There are many ways to keep a pet healthy, but one of the most important is with vaccinations. Here at Kindness Animal Hospital, we offer more than a dozen vaccines to provide protection against various viruses and diseases. Even if your pet spends most of their time indoors, we still recommend that they be placed on a vaccination schedule. This schedule can include core vaccines (essential), non-core vaccines (optional), or a combination of the two. Typically, vaccines are updated at the same time of the standard wellness exams, making them easier to keep track of.
Canine Influenza Outbreak in Central Florida (H3N2 is also contagious to cats!)
There has been a recent outbreak of the canine influenza virus in Central Florida, and it has two active, highly contagious strains, the H3N8, and the H3N2. We highly recommend having your dog vaccinated for both strains for maximum protection. This virus can survive on clothes and other surfaces from 12-24 hours, and approximately 20% of dogs can develop pneumonia and spread the virus without showing any clinical signs. Both strains have an incubation period of about 3-4 days.
After their initial vaccinations, all dogs must receive their boosters in 3 weeks.
*H3N2 can be contagious for up to 4 weeks (both during incubation period and after clinical signs resolve).
Core Vs. Non-Core Pet Vaccines
Just as the word implies, “core” vaccines are those that are considered essential to a pet’s health, regardless of breed, lifestyle, or risk of exposure. Non-core vaccines are those that are considered optional and are dependent on a pet’s risk of exposure to a certain virus or disease.
An example of a non-core vaccine is the Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine, which is usually recommended when boarding a dog. This is because kennel cough is a contagious disease that’s transferred from dog to dog. For a cat that may come in contact with other cats, we may recommend the feline leukemia (a contagious feline-to-feline virus) vaccine as a non-core vaccine.
The following are some of the core and non-core pet vaccines we offer for dogs and cats:
Herpes virus type 1 (core)
Feline leukemia (non-core)
Feline immunodeficiency virus (non-core)
Customizing Your Pet’s Vaccination Schedule
Ideally, we recommend that your pet’s vaccination schedule begin when they’re a puppy/kitten, but it’s never too late to start. The initial vaccinations are typically given at or under 16 weeks of age. The initial adult vaccinations are then given after 16 weeks of age, every 1-3 years. We’ll consider your pet’s age, breed, lifestyle, and exposure risk during each wellness exam to customize a vaccination schedule to meet their specific needs.
If you have any questions about the benefits of pet vaccines, our Cape Coral facilities, or if you need to make an appointment, let us know!