Cat & Dog Vaccinations in Indian Head, MD

For adult pets, we recommend vaccine appointments


Depending on your pet’s age and vaccination history, your veterinarian might recommend a custom vaccination plan.

Vaccinations are an important part of keeping pets, both young and old, free of devastating disease. Our doctors keep up with the most recent vaccine protocols as recommended by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Our staff will discuss your cat or dog’s life-style to determine a vaccine protocol specifically tailored for each pet. Together we will determine which vaccines are needed to offer the most complete protection, while minimizing unnecessary vaccines. This is both more cost-efficient, as well as safer by reducing the possibility of vaccine-associated reactions.

Dog Vaccinations

The DAPP dog vaccine provides protection against canine distemper, adenovirus, para-influenza and parvo. This immunization should be given to puppies at six to eight weeks old. To eliminate the possibility of maternal antibody competition, we recommend continuing the DAPP vaccination every three to four weeks until your pup has reached 16 weeks of age. We administer this dog vaccine one year after the last puppy shot is given and once every three years afterward.

Canine Distemper  
Canine Distemper is a virus that affects a dog’s gastrointestinal, respiratory and central nervous systems and the conjunctival membranes of the eye. Canine Distemper is often fatal and needs to be reported immediately. Canine Distemper is passed from dog to dog through direct contact with fresh urine, blood or saliva and/or sneezing, coughing and sharing food and water bowls. Some symptoms of distemper are sneezing, coughing, thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose, lethargy, and sudden vomiting and diarrhea. Distemper is the “D” in the DHPP vaccine. 

Canine Hepatitis 
Canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and eyes. It mostly affects young dogs under one year of age, though it can affect adults.  Canine hepatitis can be transmitted through direct contact with infected saliva, urine, or feces. Hepatitis is the “H” in the DHPP vaccine.

Canine parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is frequently confused with kennel cough. Canine parainfluenza is an acute inflammation of the upper airways. The disease can progress to pneumonia in puppies or chronic bronchitis in older dogs. The canine parainfluenza virus is transmitted through contact with the nasal secretions of dogs that are infected with the disease. Parainfluenza is the first “P” in the DHPP vaccine.

Parvovirus attacks the white blood cells and rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Parvovirus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problems in young animals that are infected. This makes the parvovirus especially deadly in puppies. Parvovirus is extremely contagious and can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s feces. Parvovirus is highly resistant to most disinfectants and can live in the environment for months. Some symptoms of parvovirus are lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite and bloody, foul smelling diarrhea. Parvovirus is the second “P” in the DHPP vaccine.

Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is a very common and contagious illness that affects the canine respiratory system. An injectable vaccine is given three to four weeks after the intranasal dose, and then the vaccinations rotate between intranasal and injectable doses.

Kennel cough is both viral and bacterial and causes inflammation of the trachea and lung bronchi. It usually causes what is described as a “hacking” cough.  Kennel cough is passed from dog to dog from aerosols in the air or germs from contaminated objects. The most common way kennel cough is spread is in enclosed areas with poor air circulation like boarding kennels and animal shelters. 

Leptospirosis, also known as lepto, is a bacterial disease that can affect both humans and pets. It occurs all over the world and leads to liver and kidney damage as well as death if left untreated. Humans and pets can get this bacterial infection by coming into contact with infected wild animals (e.g., opossums, skunks, raccoons and rodents), lepto-infested water or infected urine. Since this disease can harm animals and humans, we encourage dogs to receive this immunization via two initial doses three weeks apart, and then on a yearly basis.

Common risk factors for leptospirosis in dogs include exposure to or drinking from rivers, lakes or streams; roaming on rural properties (because of exposure to potentially infected wildlife, farm animals, or water sources); exposure to wild animal or farm animal species, even if in the backyard; and contact with rodents or other dogs.

It is by law that all domesticated dogs must be vaccinated against rabies after 12 weeks of age. Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including dogs and humans. Therefore, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus. An adult booster shot is given a year later and administered every three years afterward. 

Rabies is responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in humans and millions in animals worldwide annually. Rabies is primarily passed through a bite from an infected animal. It can also be transmitted through a scratch or when infected saliva makes contact with an open, fresh wound. Some symptoms of rabies are extreme behavioral changes, hypersensitivity to touch, light or sound, paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles and, the most commonly recognized, foaming of the mouth. Because of the human health risk, rabies vaccination is required by law for all dogs and cats.

Canine Influenza Virus causes severe upper respiratory symptoms that can progress to a fatal pneumonia. This severe viral disease is a newly recognized condition seen mostly as outbreaks in large canine populations housed closely together such as in crowded boarding kennels. Many boarding kennels have started requiring this vaccine.

Lyme disease (borreliosis) is an infectious, tick-borne disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of bacteria called a spirochete. It can cause fever, lameness, swelling in the joints, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In rarer cases, untreated lyme disease can lead to neurologic signs or severe kidney disease. 

Cat Vaccinations

Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats and humans. This being the case, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus. At PAWS, kittens receive this cat vaccine one time after they reach 12 weeks of age. Following the initial vaccine, adult pets receive the Purevax® form of this cat vaccination every 1 to 3 years for the most advanced safety and protection.

FVRCP cat vaccine is our “feline distemper” vaccination that protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calici virus and panleukopenia. These diseases are highly contagious among cats and can have devastating effects on their respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Our feline patients should receive this cat shot when they are kittens, starting at six weeks of age. This cat vaccination should be given every three weeks until the kitten is 16 weeks old, as it will confidently ensure there is not any maternal antibody competition. Once the initial immunizations have been administered, we administer this cat vaccine one year after the last kitten shot is given and once every three years afterward.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) is an infectious disease caused by the feline herpesvirus and is a major cause of upper respiratory disease in cats. It is the most common cause of conjunctivitis. Some symptoms of FVR are inflammation of the tissues that line the eyelids and surround the eyes, excessive blinking, and discharges from the eyes and nose. The virus can infect cats of all ages. Rhinotracheitis is the “FVR” in the cat FVRCP vaccine.

Feline Calicivirus is one of many upper respiratory infections that affect felines. While they rarely cause death in adult cats, they often cause serious illness and death in young kittens. Calicivirus is transmitted by direct contact with infected eye, mouth, or nose discharge. Calicivirus is the “C” in the cat FVRCP vaccine.

Feline panleukopenia virus is the parvovirus of cats. Like canine parvovirus, it is a life threatening disease that is highly contagious. Panleukopenia is transmitted through contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids or feces. It often presents as severe vomiting and diarrhea, but can also cause neurologic signs in kittens that are infected before birth. Panleukopenia is the “P” in the cat FVRCP vaccine.

FeLV (i.e., feline leukemia virus) is a deadly viral disease that wreaks havoc on affected cats’ immune systems and can lead to an array of cancerous conditions including leukemia. Because symptoms can remain hidden for months or even years in affected cats, many owners don’t realize there is a problem until it is too late and other cats in the household have already been exposed to the disease. For the best protection, our feline friends should start receiving this cat vaccination beginning at nine weeks of age. After the second set of immunizations is given, a booster is administered one year later.

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