Dog and Puppy Vaccinations:

Puppies should be vaccinated at 6, 9, and 12 weeks of age against Parvo and Distemper viruses.  The vaccine series can be started at any time after 6 weeks of age, but the longer one waits after 6 weeks before vaccinating, the greater the risk of disease.  There is no advantage to vaccinating earlier than 6 weeks of age.  Since the advent of high-titer vaccines, the incidence of Parvo virus has fallen dramatically, and it extremely rare for a properly vaccinated puppy to suffer from this disease.  In spite of this, many owners do not vaccinate their puppies and Parvo is still very common in Stockton.

Following a booster one year after the final puppy vaccination, we recommend that dogs be revaccinated for distemper and parvo once every three years.

At 12 weeks of age or older, puppies should be vaccinated against contagious cough (Bordetella).  The first vaccination is followed by a booster in three to four weeks (often when the Rabies vaccine is given).  The Bordetella vaccine should be repeated annually.

Puppies are vaccinated against Rabies when they are four months old.  They receive a booster one year later, followed by boosters every three years.  Because of the high incidence of Rabies in the foothills, Calaveras County requires Rabies vaccinations every two years.

We do not recommend Lyme or Giardia vaccines, as the efficacy of these vaccines is questionable.

Cats and Kittens:

We recommend kittens be vaccinated against Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Chlamydia, and Panleukopenia (RCCP vaccine), once between 8 and 12 weeks of age, and twice after 12 weeks at 3-4 week intervals.  Following a booster at one year of age, the RCCP vaccine should be boostered at annual intervals.

Kittens should be vaccinated for Leukemia no earlier than 9 weeks of age and should receive a booster at 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccination.  Cats should be boostered for leukemia at one year of age, after which no further boosters are necessary

For Rabies, cats should be given a non-adjuvant vaccine.  The adjuvant vaccines used for dogs carry a significant risk of causing vaccine-induced sarcoma in cats. At this time, the non-adjuvant vaccine is labeled for annual use, meaning the vaccine must be given annually.

For more information about feline vaccines, visit the Cornell Feline Health Center.