Young animals are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.

While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.

Mission Rabies

1 for 1: For every vaccine your pet receives through Michigan City Animal Hospital, a dose of rabies is donated to the Afya Project for Mission Rabies to eradicate this deadly disease around the world.

Core and Non-Core. What’s the Difference?

In veterinary medicine, there are two types of vaccines available for pets: core and non-core. Core vaccines are for illnesses that are much more serious than others, and/or that can be transmitted to humans. The rabies vaccine is an example since rabies is 100% fatal and can affect both animals and humans. In many states, including Indiana, this vaccine is even required by law. Core vaccines are considered “essential” for a pet’s health.

Non-core vaccines are considered optional vaccines and are usually recommended only if a pet has a high exposure risk to a certain virus or disease. For example, Bordetella (kennel cough) and Canine Influenza are contagious diseases that can be transmitted from dog to dog. Therefore, it’s usually recommended and often required before boarding. The feline leukemia vaccine is usually recommended for cats that spend time outdoors, where they may come in contact with other cats.

Canine and Feline Vaccines (Pet Shots)

The following are examples of some of the core and non-core vaccines we carry for dogs and cats here at Michigan City Animal Hospital:

Canine Core and Non-Core Vaccines

Feline Core and Non-Core Vaccines

Pet Vaccinations in Michigan City, IN

It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to a disease. Your Michigan City Animal Hospital veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 219-872-4191.