Preventing Disease with vaccinations

Why Cat & Dog Vaccinations are Essential For Chelsea Pets

Your pet is a precious member of the family, and preventing illness in them is just as important (if not more!) as treating it. At Firefly Veterinary Hospital, vaccinations play an important role in our wellness care for your pet. Cat and dog vaccinations can prevent dangerous and even deadly diseases from affecting your beloved best friend. In order to give your pet the best protection in Chelsea, we devise personalized vaccine protocols for every pet.

What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

Some vaccines, considered “core” vaccines, are highly recommended (and even mandated by law) for all pets due to the dangerous and contagious nature of the diseases they protect against.

Core vaccines for dogs and cats include:

  • Rabies – Required by law in the state of New York
  • DHPP (aka DAPP or DA2PP) – Distemper, hepatitis, adenovirus 2, parvovirus, and parainfluenza (dogs)
  • Feline Distemper – Feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (cats)

Lifestyle Vaccines

Beyond the core vaccines, there are also lifestyle or noncore vaccines that we recommend on an individual basis for each pet, depending on their level of risk. We’ll assess their age, health, and lifestyle before making a recommendation.

Here are some lifestyle vaccines your pet may need:

Bordetella (dogs)

Also known as “kennel cough,” we recommend Bordetella for dogs who are often in social settings like dog parks, boarding or daycare, or groomers.

Lyme disease (dogs)

This tick-borne illness is very prevalent in New York City and the greater New England area. Dogs who often hike in tick-infested areas can benefit greatly from this vaccine.

Leptospirosis (dogs)

Sometimes included in your dog’s DHPP vaccine, lepto is a bacterial infection that is spread through an infected animal’s urine. Drinking contaminated water or digging in contaminated soil are the most common modes of transmission. If your dog is often out in wildlife areas, we’ll recommend this vaccine.

Canine influenza (dogs)

Similar to Bordetella, we’ll recommend this vaccine for dogs in social settings since dog flu is highly contagious.

Feline leukemia (cats)

FeLV is a very contagious disease, but is really only a threat to outdoor cats who may come in contact with infected feral cats. While kittens may get this vaccine as a safeguard, we only recommend boosters for adults if they are outdoor cats.

How Often Does My Pet Need Vaccines?

Puppies and kittens will start a series of vaccines during their first year of life in order to boost their developing immune systems. After that, adults will receive annual or triennial boosters based on the type of vaccine. Your veterinarian will develop a custom vaccine plan that perfectly suits your pet's needs and your abilities.

We follow the vaccination guidelines of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners. In addition, our veterinarians stay informed about the latest research and developments, adjusting our treatments as needed to ensure the highest levels of safety and protection for your pet.

dog looking at owner

Do Vaccines come with any risks?

Severe adverse reactions to vaccines are rare. In fact, the risk of your pet developing one of the diseases vaccines protect against is far greater than them having an adverse reaction. Common side effects noted after a vaccine include lethargy and soreness at the injection site. These are usually mild and self-limiting.