Vaccinations are extremely important for a pet’s health. Having your pet vaccinated can prevent harmful illnesses from occurring. Our veterinarians at Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic in McMurray offers vaccinations for dogs and cats to ensure that they live a long and healthy life. The sooner you have your pet vaccinated, the better protected your pet will be.

Pet Vaccinations

What are Vaccinations?

Vaccines contain small amounts of antigens of the specific disease. When the vaccine is administered, your pet develops an antibody response to the organism of the disease. The next time your pet is exposed to that disease, your pet’s immune system will be strong enough to fight the disease or at least, not get as sick as he or she would without the vaccination.  

What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

There are two different types of vaccines for your pet, core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccinations are those that all pets need, regardless of what type of activities your pet participates in. Non-core vaccinations are for pets that spends a lot of time outdoors.

For dogs, core vaccines include parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies. Non-core vaccination for dogs includes bordetella, influenza, lyme and leptospira. For cats, core vaccinations include feline distemper, feline calicivirus, and feline herpesvirus. Non-core vaccines include feline leukemia virus.

Some vaccinations are required by law, including the rabies vaccination. Not only does the rabies vaccine protect a pet, it can also protect the owner from getting gravely ill.

Why Vaccinate at Different Life Stages?

Puppies and kittens may receive vaccinations every three to four weeks from the time they are around six weeks old until they are around four months old. Shots are given frequently to provide protection as the puppies or kittens transition from their mother’s antibodies to their own. Once a pet reaches the age of four months, he or she may receive shots once a year during yearly examination. Some shots may be given every three years depending on their health condition.

How a Veterinarian Can Help In Choosing The Right Vaccines?

Our veterinarians will first do an examination on your pet to see how healthy he or she is. Afterwards, our vets will want to know your pet’s lifestyle. As mentioned above, if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, your pet may need non-core vaccines with his or her core vaccines. Depending on the age, what breed your pet is, and how healthy your pet is, our veterinarians can tell you which vaccines your pet may need. If you have any questions about the vaccine that is being given to your pet, ask our vets about it during your pet’s examination. Our veterinarians are more than happy to answer your questions as well as explain why vaccines are important for your pet.

If you have additional questions about pet vaccines or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact the Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic in McMurray at 724-941-5484.


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  • "Dr. Hart and Madison were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING with my dog. Both of them made me comfortable the entire time. My dog can be a bit overwhelming to those that don't know her because she LOVES people. I kept apologizing for her wanting to be hugged and so excited. It can be embarrassing sometimes. They both assured me that it wasn't a problem and they both actually showed love to her. That really made my heart happy! Thank you all so much I really appreciate it."
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