VaccinationsThere was a time when dogs and cats were always vaccinated annually. In recent years, new technologies have been developed and veterinarians have taken a closer look at how to assess risks and the protection that vaccination offers. Now, vaccination recommendations have changed and many vets, including the staff of St. Matthews Animal Clinic, follow the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Guidelines, advocating a less frequent vaccination protocol. That’s why we administer 3-year distemper vaccines for both cats and dogs, once a pet is old enough. We recommend an annual rabies vaccine, usually at the time of an annual examination. We also vaccinate for kennel cough every 6 months, a serious and contagious illness usually linked with the bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria. Many other vaccinations are available such as the Leptospirosis and Lyme vaccine, need determined by your veterinarian upon history and environmental exposure.

With many new vaccine products becoming available, AAHA developed a series of recommendations to assist veterinarians and pet owners in making the best choices. AAHA engaged a team of immunologists, researchers, practicing veterinarians, and others with expertise in animal diseases. The guidelines they developed were first released in 2003. Revisions followed in subsequent years. As a result of these recommendations, many veterinarians now recommend reduced frequency of vaccinations. A core recommendation stresses the fact that dogs are not “all alike.” As a consequence, vaccine selections need to be individualized considering factors such as age, health status, geographic area, travel, and exposure risks. At St. Matthews Animal Clinic, we use these guidelines to shape our individual recommendations for your pet.

Take this short quiz to see what vaccinations your pet should receive! Vaccine Guideline Quiz

YEARLY VACCINES FOR DOGS

  • Rabies 1yr or 3yr
  • DA2PP (go to every 3 years after adequate vaccine history)
  • Bordetella (every 6 months)
  • Canine Influenza
  • Leptospirosis (based on environmental exposure)
  • Lyme (based on environmental exposure)

YEARLY VACCINES FOR CATS

  • Rabies
  • FVRCP (go to every 3 years after adequate vaccine history)
  • Leukemia (based on exposure)