What are vaccines?
A biological substance that is given to protect against disease causing organisms (bacteria or viruses).

How are vaccines given?
Vaccines are commonly given as an injection. There are some vaccines such as the Bordetella vaccine that are given orally or intranasally.

When should vaccines be given?
Most vaccines should be started between 6-8 weeks in puppies and kittens. Some vaccines such as Rabies cannot be given until 12 weeks of age in the state of California. After an initial vaccine is given, boosters are recommended ranging from 3 weeks to 3 years depending upon how many vaccines have been given prior or risk of exposure to disease.

Why are boosters needed?
Booster vaccinations are important in helping the body recognize AND remember how to fight off disease (immune system) if your pet is exposed to it. With some vaccines if boosters are not given both parts of the immune response cannot be appropriately stimulated/prepared when your pet encounters disease. For younger pets the maternal protection the pet gets from nursing from the mother will interfere with the vaccine being able to stimulate the immune system.

Where should I get vaccines?
Alameda Animal Hospital is able to perform vaccinations! We recommend you get vaccines performed at a veterinary hospital to ensure the vaccines are administered and stored appropriately. Some vaccines will lose their ability to immunize within 2-3 hours if not stored properly despite color.

Types of vaccines we carry are:
DA/HPP (Distemper virus, adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, parvovirus)
These viruses have a high rate of sickness and/or death when acquired and is considered a CORE vaccine. Clinical signs include fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

In accordance with California state law, we recommend the rabies vaccination because this virus is a public health concern. Rabies can be transmitted to humans and is considered a CORE vaccine. Clinical signs range from anxiety or other vague behavioral changes to pica, dysphagia, photophobia and paralysis.

This bacteria is responsible for Lyme disease (borreliosis). Transmission occurs when a dog is bitten by an infected tick. If you think your pet is at risk for lyme disease make sure to keep your pet on tick prevention in addition to vaccination.

A bacterial pathogen that causes acute hepatic and renal disease. Leptospirosis is typically transmitted through the urine of infected animals and in contaminated water. Reservoir hosts include dogs, rats, wildlife and livestock.

The virus causes upper respiratory signs including a cough, nasal discharge and a low-grade fever followed by recovery. A small percentage of dogs develop more severe signs in association with hemorrhagic pneumonia.

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterial agent that causes kennel cough. Infection with bordetella may occur in concert with other agents infecting the respiratory tract. Transmission occurs via direct contact or through aerosolized microdroplets from infected dogs and is most likely to occur under crowded conditions such as boarding, grooming facilities and dog-show venues.

Although FeLV is considered a non-CORE vaccine in adult cats (kittens are most vulnerable to infection and may be exposed if outdoors) and immunity increases with age, it is rational to vaccinate all kittens against this disease with a repeat vaccination 1 year later. If the cat is subsequently housed strictly indoors and does not live with an infected (FeLV) cat, additional vaccinations are not indicated.

FVRCP (rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia)
These viruses have a high rate of sickness and/or death when acquired and is considered a CORE vaccine. Clinical signs include fever, anorexia, lethargy, vomiting, sneezing, conjunctivitis, ocular discharge, nasal congestion and discharge