Maintaining a lifetime of good health is important for every loving pet owner. That includes us! Riverstone Animal Hospital takes a proactive approach when it comes to pet wellness. We believe that you are always better served by preventing illness and keeping your pet healthy. When it comes to immunizations, we follow the guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). Their goal is to assure protection for your pet while minimizing the number of vaccines and associated stress on your pet’s body. We base each pet’s wellness regimen on his/her unique lifestyle and on your goals as a pet owner.
A Reminder about Canine Influenza
As you may have seen on the news, we have had an outbreak of Canine Influenza here in Georgia and there are currently still active cases in the state. Since this virus is airborne and extremely contagious, we still consider it to be a threat in our area.
As is the case in people, illness caused by Canine Influenza can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, nasal and ocular discharge, fever, and lethargy. They are very similar to other more common respiratory infections such as kennel cough, parainfluenza, and bronchitis. For more current information about Canine Influenza, consult the AVMA pet owners’ guide.
We currently do not recommend that every dog be vaccinated for canine flu, and we currently do not require the vaccine for your pet to board with us at our hospital. We do, however, recommend the vaccine for those dogs that are considered at higher risk. This includes dogs that regularly come into contact with other dogs via frequent boarding, grooming, dog parks, doggie day care, and frequent travel. Senior dogs are also considered at a higher risk as their immune systems are not as strong as younger dogs. At Riverstone Animal Hospital we carry the bivalent vaccine, which immunizes pets against both the H3N2 and H3N8 canine flu strains. This is currently the most protective vaccine on the market. A booster is required 3 weeks after the first injection. After that, only yearly boosters are needed.
Core and Non-Core Vaccines
We offer a combination of core (essential) and non-core (optional) vaccines for dogs and cats, allowing us to accommodate every lifestyle. A vaccine is considered a core vaccine if the illness it protects against is serious and frequent enough that every pet is considered at risk. The rabies vaccine is an example of a core vaccine. Non-core vaccines are only recommended if a pet’s specific life style or activities put them at risk for a certain disease. Leptospira and Feline Leukemia are examples of non-core vaccines.
While we feel very strongly that immunizations are an important and necessary part of your pet’s wellness, we do strive to minimize the number of vaccines your pet receives and the impact they may have on his/her health. For this reason we follow the AAHA and AAFP vaccine guidelines, which include three-year intervals for most core vaccines in healthy adult pets. We also use the Feline Purevax® line of vaccines for cats, which eliminate the use of adjuvants to minimize the risk of vaccine-related tumors in cats.
Canine Vaccine Prices:
|Rabies 1 year||$10|
|Rabies 3 year||$24 (must have had prior 1-year rabies vaccine)|
|DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvo, parainfluenza) 1 year||$12|
|Bordetella (kennel cough)||$14|
|Leptospirosis (includes all 4 strains)||$25|
|Canine Influenza (bivalent vaccine H3N2/H3N8)||$47|
Feline Vaccine Prices:
|Rabies - Feline Purevax® (non-adjuvanted)||$19|
|FVRCP (distemper/upper respiratory complex)||$14|
|Feline leukemia – Feline Purevax® (non-adjuvanted)||$25|
When to Vaccinate Your Pet
Your pet needs to begin receiving vaccines when they’re a puppy/kitten, typically beginning at 6-9 weeks of age. There are three to four initial “rounds” of vaccinations for puppies and kittens. These are necessary to assure long term protection after the mother’s protective antibodies wear off.
Once your pet is an adult, vaccines are administered every one to three years, depending on the vaccine and your pet’s age and lifestyle. We’ll customize a schedule for your pet at your next visit. Give us a call at (770) 479-7141 to schedule an appointment, or if you’d like to learn more about our immunization protocols.