The health of a family pet is universal in many homes across the world. Family pets often become a major part of the family and require ongoing health care planning for a lifetime of wellness. There are a few major vaccinations that can be added insurance for pet owners to ensure a more robust lifestyle for all your furry friends: 

The Top 5 Vaccinations Pets Should Have for Health

Rabies is a very common infection found in the wild and should be done in a regular series to prevent future infection. It is contagious among most animals and fatal for both humans and pets. Booster series are usually done after the first year of the initial vaccination.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is the equivalent of the FPV vaccination in felines. The vaccination has a wide range of protection against respiratory infection as well as gastrointestinal and central nervous system infections.

Feline Viral rhinotracheitis-calcivirus-panleukopenia (FVRCP)

Don't let the long name of this vaccine deter you. This vaccine is a highly routine vaccine for felines due to the wide range of treatment. One of the most common types of vaccinations to receive at any animal pharmacy in Willoughby or other local areas is one that effectively aid in prevention of multiple viruses in one shot. These can easily be compared to the human version of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine given at birth. Cats receive the FVRCP vaccination for preventing three main virus strains:

  • Calcivirus
  • Panleukopenia
  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis


Bordetella vaccination is not as common as others. However, this vaccine should be a part of every preventative arsenal in pets. It is commonly known as "kennel cough" in dogs and can remain dormant in animals until the virus interacts with other animals in closed environments. Consider this vaccine if plans call for boarding or outdoor life.


One bacterial infection that is shown to cause a wide range of symptoms that can affect all dogs in particular is Leptospirosis. It can be an insidious disease that goes in hiding during initial infection. Dogs do not necessarily show illness at first. Susceptibility is more common for outdoor pets.

Vaccination is just one component of the healthcare plan of a pet. However, it is probably the most effective early on at preventing more serious illness and healthcare costs. These major vaccinations often work together at preventing more aggressive strains of virus from developing. 


Lizzie WeakleyLizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. If you like Lizzie's writing style, follow her on Twitter @LizzieWeakley or find her on Facebook

By Natalie Gomez on Apr 17, 2014 at 9:26 am 0 Comments

While plenty of people know that altering your pet will avoid unwanted pregnancies and may decrease aggression and wandering, there are more reasons to spay or neuter than you may realize. If you are on the fence about whether or not to have you pet fixed, here are four lesser-known, compelling reasons to book the appointment today.

Photo Courtesy of MC Mosman Council

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Drastically Lowers Cancer Risks

Female cats who are not spayed by their second heat cycle have a 26 percent chance of developing breast cancer. If you spay her before her first heat cycle, that risk drops to below one percent, and of course she will never have the chance to develop ovarian or uterine cancer. Male animals of all species will never develop testicular cancer once they are gelded or neutered. In addition, prostate cancer and prostate infection rates among desexed male animals are but a tiny fraction of those suffered by intact pets.

Eliminates Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

No matter how careful you are, accidental matings occur. Unfortunately, a sexually transmitted disease can make your pet very sick or even end his life prematurely. What's worse is that your pet can pass the STD to you! Canine brucellosis can be transmitted when Fido licks your face, and leptospirosis can pass to you if you come into contact with your pet's urine.

Helps Epilepsy and Diabetes Management

When a pet has diabetes or epilepsy, there are medications available that will help keep her stable and healthy. Spaying is especially helpful in keeping hormone levels constant so that these medicines work properly. Cats, especially, go through huge hormonal shifts during heat cycles that can make managing blood sugars or seizures impossible. Since these diseases can strike later in life when surgery is more risky, it's best to desex your pet while they are young. You can inquire at clinics like Hamilton Road Animal Care in Columbus or one near you when is the right time to take your friend for his pet vaccinations.

Avoid Malnutrition and Exhaustion

Any pet that is kept intact may refuse to eat, drink or sleep if kept from breeding. Female ferrets can die if they are allowed to go into heat and not bred, and some species of birds will pull out all of their feathers in frustration. A stallion that can smell a mare in heat but cannot get to her may refuse to eat or drink until he collapses. The health ramifications of leaving an animal intact can be terrible.

Spaying and neutering your pets can prevent diseases and keep your pets happy and healthy. Unless you intend to breed your animal ethically and with full veterinary care, there is no reason to keep a pet intact. 


Anica OaksAbout the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. 

By Natalie Gomez on Feb 25, 2014 at 10:00 am 0 Comments