5 Important Vaccines for your Pet

pet care pet health vaccination vaccine

Vaccination at the right age helps to prevent any unforeseen illness in pets. The vaccine has both risks and benefits that must be weighted for every dog relative to its lifestyle and health. Most pets need only core vaccines that protect against the most common and serious diseases.

In canines, the core vaccines are known to be distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies. While in cats, core vaccines are panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis (herpesvirus), and rabies. These vaccinations are required by law.

pet virus

Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don't actually cause disease.

Here are some common important vaccines provided to pets


Rabies is one of the most essential pet vaccines required by law. It used to be required annually, however, in recent years the recommended frequency has been lowered to once every three years. The research provided the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Rabies vaccine is important because it not only protects your pet but also provide protection to humans from the spread of rabies which is easily transmitted through bite or saliva.


Although distemper doesn’t pose any threat to humans, it can prove to be dangerous to your pet should they contact it. Distemper may affect canine and feline. The disease can be caused by a different virus in cats than in dogs.

Distemper in dogs is caused by the paramyxovirus, a virus that causes measles and mumps in humans. It is highly contagious among dogs and primarily affects the respiratory and digestive systems. The symptoms of distemper can include congestion, coughing, and discharge from the eyes and nose, as well as vomiting and diarrhea.   

Feline distemper is caused by the panleukopenia virus which is highly contagious among cats and is easily transmitted through bodily fluids and secretions. The infestation of fleas, ticks, and other insects can play a major role in its transmission. The initial symptom is usually a high fever, followed by vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and depression. It also affects the white blood cell count which hampers the ability to fight the virus.

Canine parvovirus

Canine parvovirus, also known as Parvo, is a contagious virus that can be deadly if not treated. The disease spreads when a dog sniffs an infected dog’s poop. It can also contact your shoes when walked through an area where an infected dog has been.

The symptoms of parvo are bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, weakness, and Dehydration. The disease manifests itself in either of two ways:

  • Intestinal form - The intestinal form is more common and brings symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and weight loss.
  • Cardiac form - The cardiac form is more common in puppies between the ages of six weeks and six months. The virus attacks the heart muscle and often leads to death.

Canine hepatitis

Canine hepatitis is an acute liver infection common in dogs caused by canine adenovirus CAV-1, a type of DNA. It affects the respiratory system, liver, and kidneys. It often spreads through the bodily fluids of an infected dog to the mouth and nose of a healthy pup usually by sniffing another dog’s poop. Most pet owners may often confuse it with Parvo.

The symptoms of canine hepatitis usually include fever, coughing, and loss of appetite. Tender Belly, vomit, and in some cases jaundice are the signs of canine hepatitis.

Feline Calicivirus

Feline Calicivirus is a common and highly communicable respiratory disease among cats. It’s more common in home or shelter with multiple cats. It can spread through bodily fluids and can be transmitted through the air or orally — usually by sniffing or licking. The symptoms may include loss of appetite, discharge from the eyes and nose, difficulty breathing, fever, and ulcers on the tongue, mouth, nose, or toes.

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