Spring has sprung. Have you vaccinated your pets yet?

Animal vaccines provide protection to control the onset and spread of dangerous diseases.

Just like people, pets need to have their vaccinations in order to control the onset and spread of devastating diseases within animal communities. The American Veterinary Medical Association has published a list of core and non-core vaccines for dogs and cats that should be followed in their appropriate time frames. Michigan State University Extension says that core vaccines are recommended for dogs and cats with an unknown vaccination history. Non-core vaccines are optional vaccines that should be considered depending on your animals’ health risk. The lists serve as a guide for developing a vaccine schedule for your pet, however all decisions regarding vaccination of your pet should be made with a licensed veterinarian.

Core vaccines for dog:

  • Parvovirus (CPV)
  • Canine distemper virus (CDV)
  • Canine adenovirus (CAV)
  • Rabies

Non-core vaccines for dogs:

  • Canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV)
  • Distemper-measles combination vaccine
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (Kennel Cough)
  • Letospira spp.
  • Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme)
  • Giardia

Core vaccinations for cats:

  • Feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1)
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV)
  • Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV)
  • Rabies

Non-core vaccines for cats:

  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus
  • Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica

Although there are risks that are associated with vaccinating pets, the benefits far outnumber them. The most common adverse reactions to vaccinations are mild and short-term. Animals may experience a fever, sluggishness and reduced appetite after receiving a vaccination. These side effects usually subside within a day or two.

Youth participating in the Michigan State 4-H Dog Show gain firsthand experience in working with their pets’ veterinarian to ensure their companion animal is properly protected from disease. The Michigan State 4-H Dog Show vaccination policy outlines the specific vaccination requirements that all dogs entered in the show.

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