All dogs in Ontario should receive the core vaccinations, the DA2PP and the rabies vaccine (mandatory by provincial legislation).
Depending on your puppy/dog's lifestyle some or all of the non-core vaccines can be adminsitered as well. All pets should have at least one annuall physical exam, often coupled with preventative deworming and wellness blood testing as they get older.
Core Vaccines for Puppies
- Adenovirus-2 (hepatitis)
These four antigens are often grouped into one vaccination called DA2PP and are administered by a single injection given under the dog’s skin. Puppies should be vaccinated starting at 6-8 weeks of age and re-vaccinated every 4 weeks until 14-16 weeks of age (earlier end of age range and shorter interval when infectious disease risk is high, or the puppy is not with mom). Once your puppy reaches adulthood they will only need the DA2PP vaccine boostered once every year.
Rabies: All dogs must be vaccinated against rabies as it is the law in Ontario. The rabies vaccination is given at 14-16 weeks of age and then boostered annually for life. While foxes, raccoons and bats are the three primary carriers of rabies in Ontario, pets provide a link for the transmission of rabies from these wildlife animals to people. Because of the seriousness of the rabies virus this is a mandatory vaccine.
Non-Core Optional "Lifestyle" Vaccines
Bordetella: (also known as kennel cough): This is an upper respiratory virus that causes a severe croup-like cough that can turn into pneumonia. It is airborne and highly contagious. The vaccine is administered to dogs and puppies who will be in contact with other dogs whether it’s at obedience class, while hiking, at the groomer, at a boarding kennel or playing in the dog park. Bordetella is typically administered annually.
Lyme Vaccine: This vaccine prevents tick-borne Lyme disease. The vaccine is not normally given unless the dog is high risk for tick infestation such as if camping or hunting frequently, hiking and or living in or near escarpment and wooded areas or trails, travelling to a different part of the country south of the boarder or areas endemic to ticks, or has had a tick infestation before. Typically administered annually.
Leptospirosis: A contagious disease affecting both animals and humans. It may result in chronic liver and kidney disease and fatality. If your dog is allowed to roam outdoors in areas where carrier species may be active (rats and other feral mammals), or may swim or drink from groundwater, ponds or puddles, they are at risk of infection and should be vaccinated. This is typically administered annually.
All cats in Ontario should receive the FVRCP vaccine, the rabies vaccine (mandatory by provincial legislation) and depending on your kitten/cat's lifestyle, some or all of the non-core vaccines. All pets should have at least one annual physical exam, often including de-worming and parasite preventatives as needed.
Core Vaccines for Kittens
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
These three antigens are often grouped into one vaccination called FVRCP and are administered by a single injection given under the cat’s skin. Kittens should be vaccinated starting at 6-8 weeks of age and re-vaccinated every 4 weeks until 14-16 weeks of age (earlier end of age range and shorter interval when infectious disease risk is high or kitten is not with mom). Once your kitten reaches adulthood they will only need the FVCRP vaccine boostered once a year.
Rabies: All cats must be vaccinated against rabies as it is the law in Ontario. The rabies vaccination is given at 14-16 weeks of age and boostered annually for life. While foxes, raccoons and bats are the three primary carriers of rabies in Ontario, pets provide a link for the transmission of rabies from these wildlife animals to people. Because of the seriousness of the rabies virus this is a mandatory vaccine.
Non-Core Optional "Lifestyle" Vaccines
Feline Leukemia (FeLV): A retrovirus that cats pass between themselves through saliva and close contact, by biting another cat, through a litter box or food dish used by an infected cat (rarely happens), and from milk during nursing. Transmission can also take place from an infected mother cat to her kittens, either before they are born or while they are nursing. If not defeated by the animal’s immune system, the virus can be lethal. The disease caused by this virus is a form of cancer of blood cells called lymphocytes (a leukemia). Cats that go outdoors or are in regular contact with other cats that have, including those that board at kennels, are especially at risk of contracting the disease. The FeLV vaccine to protect against it is boostered annually after receiving initial booster.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): FIV is transmitted primarily through saliva (bites), such as those incurred during territorial battles between outdoor cats. Cats housed exclusively indoors are much less likely to be infected, provided they do not come in contact with infected cats. The primary modes of FIV transmission are deep bite wounds and scratches, where the infected cat's saliva enters the other cat's bloodstream. FIV may also be transmitted from pregnant females to their offspring in utero. (Due to the evolving nature of the FIV Virus, we do not feel that current vaccines available provide enough protection against FIV to make using them worth while, so we do not carry this vaccine).
OUR VETERINARIAN AND STAFF ARE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING VACCINATIONS. YOU CAN ALSO FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ANNUAL PET VACCINES AND EXAMINATIONS AT THE WEBSITE FOR THE ONTARIO VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (OVMA)
Why Vaccinate: www.ovma.org/pet_owners/pet_health/pet_vaccinations.html
Why do Physical Exams: www.ovma.org/pet_owners/pet_health/physical_exam.html