Vaccination is the most common veterinary preventive measure. It is a safe and effective way to protect pets and people from serious disease. Contagious diseases remain present within our pet population, many of which can be life threatening. The best way to protect your pet is through vaccination.

At Bethel Animal Hospital, we understand that, like any medical procedure, vaccinations offer benefits and risks that you must carefully consider. Our veterinary team is happy to discuss the vaccination process with you and create a vaccination schedule that is tailored to your pet to provide the greatest protection.

Are Vaccines Safe?

Some pets may experience mild side effects following vaccination. Typically starting within hours of vaccination, any symptoms are most often mild and usually do not persist for more than a few days. This is a normal response by your pet’s immune system during the process of developing protective immunity. 

Common symptoms your pet may experience include, mild fever, decrease in social behavior, diminished appetite or activity, sneezing or other respiratory signs with intranasal vaccines, discomfort or mild swelling at the injection site.  

Rare side effects such as an allergic reaction may occur within minutes or hours of vaccination. Rare symptoms could include, swelling of the face and legs, repeated vomiting or diarrhea, whole body itching, difficulty breathing, or collapse. If your pet experiences any of these rare symptoms, please contact us at (614) 326-3000, as your pet may require emergency medical treatment.

When Should Your Pet Get Their First Vaccines?

Generally, it’s best to start your pet’s vaccination schedule when they are between six and eight weeks old. 

Core Vaccines for Pets

Our practice offers various core and non-core vaccines, enabling us to personalize your pet’s care. Core vaccines are vaccinations all pets should receive for maximum health benefits and compliance with state regulations. In contrast, non-core vaccines are risk based, based on each pet’s unique lifestyle. 

Core canine vaccines include:

  • Rabies: 1-year or 3-year duration. This is a fatal disease to both animals and humans. Rabies vaccination is required by law.
  • Canine Distemper/Adenovirus/Parvovirus: 1-year duration. These are all very serious, potentially fatal, and highly contagious diseases.
  • Leptospirosis: 1-year duration. Leptospirosis is a bacteria spread in urine of an infected wildlife. If infected with the bacteria, leptospirosis can lead to significant kidney injury in both dogs and humans.
  • Bordetella: 1-year duration. This is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. This vaccine is recommended for all dogs in contact with other dogs. 

Core vaccines for cats include:

  • Rabies: 1-year or 3-year. Rabies vaccination is required by law and is a fatal disease in both animals and humans.
  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis/calicivirus/panleukopenia: 1-year. Panleukopenia is a dangerous, highly contagious virus in cats. Calici and rhinotracheitis both cause severe upper respiratory infections in cats

Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs, Cats and Other Animals

Our veterinarians may also offer non-core or risk based vaccines for your pet. For dogs these vaccines include canine influenza and Lyme disease. For cats these include feline leukemia virus. These vaccines are considered risk based and our team is happy to discuss which of these vaccines would benefit your pet based on their lifestyle.