You know what they say: prevention is the best medicine. At Chapel Hill Veterinary Clinic, we believe that pet vaccinations in Ottawa and Orléans are an important part of living with a pet. They will spare your best friend a lot of needless suffering and save you a lot of money on medical treatments.
Pet vaccinations are usually divided into core and non-core type vaccinations. All dogs and cats should receive core vaccines, unless they are sick, allergic to vaccines, or the vaccine cannot be administered due to extenuating circumstances. Veterinarians can determine which vaccines are best for individual cats and dogs during their annual physical exam, depending on their history and lifestyle.
We administer vaccines for both cats and dogs at our Orléans clinic according to standard protocols:
Canine Vaccine Protocol*
Core Vaccines for Dogs
The 2 canine core vaccines are the rabies and DHPP vaccines. These pet vaccinations in Ottawa should be administered every 4 weeks when your dog is still a puppy according to the following schedule:
8 weeks of age: DHPP vaccine
12 weeks of age: DHPP vaccine
16 weeks of age: DHPP and rabies vaccines
The DHPP vaccine protects your dog against distemper, adenovirus (infectious canine hepatitis), parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Dogs should receive their first dose at 8 weeks of age and be revaccinated every 3 or 4 weeks until after they are at least 16 weeks of age.
Rabies vaccines are made to last either 1 year or 3 years. Dogs should receive a single dose no earlier than at 16 weeks of age. They should receive a booster shot 1 year after having received their first vaccine, regardless of their age when they were first vaccinated.
Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs
Non-core vaccines include Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Lyme disease vaccines. They are administered if your veterinarian deems that your dog’s lifestyle puts him or her at risk of exposure. Several factors can influence such a decision, such as whether or not your dog comes into contact with other dogs or animals and the area that you live in. Our veterinarians would be happy to discuss these vaccines with you.
Bordetella, also known as infectious canine tracheobronchitis or kennel cough, is a type of cold that dogs can get from other sick dogs. The vaccine should be administered at least 2 weeks before you plan on bringing your dog into contact with other dogs, such as at a dog run, a boarding facility, or a puppy daycare.
Leptospirosis is a contagious bacterial disease that your dog can get from other animals. The first dose should not be administered before your dog reaches 12 weeks of age, and the second dose should be administered 3 to 4 weeks after the first. Your dog should then receive an annual booster shot.
Lyme Disease Vaccine
Borrelia burgdorferi, or Lyme disease, is transmitted by ticks, so the best way to prevent it (aside from an Ottawa pet vaccination) is by giving your dog regular tick control medication. The vaccine is generally recommended only for use in dogs with a known risk of exposure, living in or visiting regions where the risk of vector tick exposure is considered to be high, or where the disease is known to be widespread. Dogs should receive their first vaccine no earlier than at 12 weeks of age and their second dose 3 to 4 weeks later. They should receive a booster vaccine annually.
Feline Vaccine Protocol
Core Vaccines for Cats
The two core feline vaccines are the FVRCP and rabies vaccines. Cats should be vaccinated every four weeks when they are still kittens according to the following schedule:
8 weeks of age: FVRCP vaccine
12 weeks of age: FVRCP vaccine
16 weeks of age: FVRCP and rabies vaccines
The FVRCP vaccine protects your cat against rhinotracheitis (feline herpesvirus), calicivirus, and panleukopenia, which are severe and highly contagious respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses. Cats should receive their first FVRCP vaccine when they are 8 weeks old and then every 4 weeks until they are at least 16 weeks old.
Both indoor and outdoor cats should be vaccinated against rabies as the disease can easily be transmitted to humans and because there is no way to guarantee that your cat will not come into contact with a wild animal or accidentally end up outside. Cats should be vaccinated starting at 16 weeks of age. Cats should receive a booster shot 1 year after the first vaccine, regardless of how old they were when they got their first shot.
Non-Core Vaccines for Cats
At Chapel Hill Veterinary Clinic, we may recommend the FeLV vaccine depending on your pet’s lifestyle. Factors that might influence what vaccines your cat needs may include whether or not they come into contact with cats or other animals, indoors or outdoors.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) Vaccine
Leukemia is a viral disease that can be transmitted to your cat through other cats. We can test cats for leukemia when they are at least six months old before administering the vaccine for the first time.
*Protocols adapted from:
2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines
Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats by Étienne Côté