October 13, 2014
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Importance of vaccinations

All of our pets are susceptible to a variety of infectious diseases. Fortunately, we have vaccinations that help protect them against most of these diseases. While cases of some of these conditions may be rare, it is still important to ensure they are up to date on vaccinations.

Unlike immunizations in people, it is essential to have your pet vaccinated annually, as some of the vaccines only provide one year of immunity or coverage. Keep in mind that if you are late for your booster vaccination, you may have to restart the series all over again to ensure adequate protection.

To ensure that your pets are not over vaccinated, we tailor the vaccination protocol according to your pet’s age, lifestyle and any additional risk factors.

Diseases we vaccinate for...


DA2PP – The vaccination covers distemper, a viral disease which can lead to severe respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological disease and even death. In addition, it covers two forms of hepatitis (adenovirus) that can lead to liver disease. Parvovirus is a well-known virus that can affect dogs of all ages, leading to serious damage to the white blood cells and causing severe vomiting and diarrhea, even death. Young puppies are the most susceptible, but it can affect dogs of all ages. Finally, parainfluenza is a respiratory virus that can lead to an upper respiratory infection.

Leptospirosis – This vaccination protects against bacteria that is prevalent in the environment. Anywhere there are waterways, rodents, farm animals or wildlife, there is potential exposure to leptospirosis. This simple annual vaccination, can help prevent this potentially deadly disease which can lead to irreversible kidney failure and/or liver disease. It is also a zoonotic disease (transferable to humans), therefore vaccination can also help protect you and your family.

Bordetella Intranasal – You may notice that this vaccination is given as a liquid into the nose, as opposed to a ‘shot.’ That is because immunity to Bordetella, otherwise known as ‘Kennel cough’ or Canine Respiratory Syndrome (CRS), is best achieved through the intranasal vaccination, as opposed to the injectable vaccine. Depending on the need, this vaccine will be administered annually.

Rabies – Virus causes a fatal neurological disease. Vaccination is required by law in dogs! It is given as a 1 year vaccination as a puppy, then every 3 years from then on as long as it is kept up to date.

Lyme – This disease is caused by a spirochete bacteria, called Borrelia Burgdorferi, spread by ticks, which can lead to painful symptoms such as fever, shifting leg lameness, lethargy and joint swelling. According to recent research, the wider East Bay Area is prevalent for this disease.

Rattlesnake – Part of living in California is the potential risk for rattlesnake bites. These bites can be deadly to our canine companions, especially since they often happen out on hikes, far away from help. This vaccination, while it does not prevent bites or guarantee survival from a bite, does buy you valuable time to find the help that your dog needs. If you often hike on trails known for rattlesnakes, this is a highly recommended vaccination.

        Dog Vaccination Protocol

            • 8 weeks- DA2PP #1, Bordetella intranasal
            • 12 weeks – DA2PP # 2, Lepto #1
            • 16 weeks - DA2PP # 3, Lepto # 2, Rabies 1 yr
            • First annual visit – DA2PP 3yr, Rabies 3yr, Lepto annual

        Bordetella, Rattlesnake and Lyme are all annual vaccinations. Lifestyle indicators are used to assess the need for your dog.


FVRCP – This viral vaccination, protects your cat against several viruses leading to upper respiratory tract infections (rhinotracheitis and calicivirus), along with panleukapenia, a virus which can wipe out a kitten’s immune system, much like parvovirus in dogs. It is given in a series as a kitten, then every 3 years on going.

FELV – Vaccination for feline leukemia virus is important for any cat that may have or could potentially have contact with feral cats or those with unknown vaccine history. If there is any chance your feline could venture outside, then vaccination for FELV is a must. A two shot series is given as a kitten, then annually thereafter. There is some evidence to suggest this disease may be spread by fleas, therefore indoor cats may also be at risk.

Rabies – This is the same virus that affects dogs (and people), we use a different vaccination for our cats, known as purevax and is given annually. While it is not legally required for cats to be vaccinated for rabies in this area, there are a lot of implications should they bite another animal or person or be attacked by a wild animal themselves. We consider Rabies vaccination in cats a must, just as with dogs.

        Feline Vaccination Protocol

          • 8 weeks: FVRCP # 1
          • 12 weeks: FVRCP # 2, FELV #1
          • 16 weeks: FVRCP # 3, FELV # 2 and Rabies purevax
          • First annual visit – FVRCP 3yr, FELV annual and Rabies purevax annual