Vaccines are incredibly important, I have strong feelings about what vaccines each pet is given– we want to ensure that they are adequately protected, but do not receive more vaccines than they need.
First and foremost, Rabies vaccines are required in Oklahoma for all pets. Your pet can not get a Tulsa, Broken Arrow, or Bixby license without proof of vaccination. Rabies vaccines are only legally acknowledged if given by a veterinarian. Even indoor cats can be exposed to Rabies, and it is best to keep them current on this vaccine. If a cat ends up biting a human, if their Rabies vaccine has lapsed, the pet would need to either be quarantined or euthanized for testing.
While we are mentioning cats, there are 2 common vaccines that are recommended for cats- one of them is “core”, or recommended for all pets- this is an FVRCP (feline upper respiratory combo). Some cats, particularly those that go outside or are in a home with a Leukemia positive cat, should be vaccinated for Leukemia virus.
Dogs have different vaccines- the basic core vaccine is Distemper/Parvo/Adenovirus (which causes liver disease) combo. Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, I recommend a Lepto vaccine– this is a disease from an organism similar to bacteria that can cause liver disease. Dogs can get Lepto if there is wildlife in the environment (read: rabbits, rats, raccoons, deer, squirrels)- even without direct contact. A dog can walk through a puddle that a rabbit urinated in, then lick their paws, and develop Lepto. Then, if a human comes in contact with the dog’s urine, they can develop Lepto as well.
Surprisingly, “kennel cough” is not just from kennels. It is a broad description of a cough that dogs can get from other dogs, that is spread by air. The particles can go through fences, under doors, and move several yards when There are several viruses and bacteria that can make a dog exhibit this typical cough, however most are self-limiting. Some dogs that are exposed to others need this vaccine.