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How Do Pet Vaccines Work?

Vaccines are actually made from the very disease they protect against. A small amount of the virus or bacteria is chemically altered so that it stimulates the body’s immune system without actually making your pet sick. Antibodies will react to the vaccine’s altered virus and will remember their response. In the future, if your pet comes in contact with the virus, their immune system will react immediately to suppress the virus causing little to no symptoms.

Sticking to a Vaccine Schedule

In time, cat and dog vaccines lose their efficacy and your pet’s immunity weakens. That’s why regular boosters are an important part of your pet’s routine wellness care. Different vaccines, however, are on different schedules. Additionally, not all pets need all vaccines—while some are required (called core vaccines), others are only recommended depending on your pet’s level of risk (noncore vaccines). We’ll design an individual vaccine plan for your pet based on their needs.


Core Vaccines for Dogs


Rabies

  • First administered between 12-14 weeks of age
  • Booster at 1-year exam
  • Every 3 years thereafter

DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza)

  • First of a series of three: administered between 8-10 weeks of age
  • Second of series: between 12-14 weeks
  • Third of series: between 16-18 weeks
  • Booster at 1-year exam
  • Every 3 years thereafter


 

 

Noncore Vaccines for Dogs


Leptospirosis (recommended for dogs frequently outdoors)

  • First administered (with DHPP) between 12-14 weeks of age
  • Booster administered (with final DHPP) between 16-18 weeks
  • Annually thereafter

Lyme (highly recommended for every dog)

  • First administered between 12-14 weeks of age
    Booster administered between 16-18 weeks
  • Annually thereafter

Bordetella (kennel cough, recommended for dogs who frequent boarders, groomers, or dog parks)

  • For puppies: First administered between 8-10 weeks of age (as an intranasal)
  • Booster between 12-14 weeks (as an injection)
  • Every 6 months thereafter, as long as risk is high
  • For adults: A series of two injectable vaccines, 2 weeks apart
  • Every 6 months thereafter, as long as risk is high

Core Vaccines for Cats


Rabies

  • First administered between 12-14 weeks of age
  • Booster at 1-year exam
  • Every 1 or 3 years thereafter, determined by veterinarian

FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia)

  • First of a series of three: administered between 8-10 weeks of age
  • Second of series: between 12-14 weeks
  • Third of series: between 16-18 weeks
  • Booster at 1-year exam
  • Every 3 years thereafter

 


Noncore Vaccines for Cats


Feline Leukemia (strongly recommended for all cats who spend time outdoors)

  • First administered between 12-14 weeks of age
  • Second between 16-18 weeks
  • Annually thereafter

Contact Us

Leesburg Veterinary Hospital

Location

19463 James Monroe Hwy Leesburg, VA 20175

Clinic Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM