Vaccine Information

Wellness examinations and vaccines are an integral part of your pet’s health.  The following shows Dr. Locke’s recommended vaccination schedules for puppies and kittens:

Puppies and Adult Dogs

8 weeks-Physical exam, distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza and hepatitis vaccines, and a fecal test for intestinal parasites.  Deworming.  Start flea prevention.

12 weeks-Physical exam, distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza and hepatitis booster.  Deworming if needed.  Start year round heartworm prevention.

16 weeks-Physical exam, distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and hepatitis booster, leptospirosis, and rabies vaccines.  Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine  if warranted (based on environmental factors).

20 to 24 weeks-spay or neuter

Adult dogs receive an annual physical exam, recommended parasite tests and boosters of the above vaccines based on their environment and vaccine history.  Continuation of year round heartworm and flea preventatives.

Kittens and Adult Cats

9 weeks-Physical exam, feline distemper, viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and chlamydia vaccines, and a fecal test for intestinal parasites.  Deworming.  Start flea prevention.

13 weeks-Physical exam, feline distemper, viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and chlamydia booster, feline leukemia and rabies vaccines.  Deworming if needed.

17 weeks-Feline leukemia booster (Spay or neuter can be done at this age in most cases.)

20-24 weeks-spay or neuter

Adult cats receive an annual physical exam and boosters of the above vaccines based on their environment and vaccine history.  Continuation of flea preventatives.

Do all of these vaccine names confuse you?  You are not alone!  Here’s the basics:


Distemper is a virus that can cause  fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, coughing, eye and nose discharge, diarrhea, convulsions, and eventual death.  It will attack the nervous system as it progresses.  This is a very contagious airborne virus.

Hepatitis virus is not as commonly seen as parvo and distemper, but signs are similar.  They include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting blood, and painful joints.

Leptospirosis is becoming more common.  This deadly bacteria is transmitted through the urine of infected animals, including rodents (rats, squirrels), other dogs, wildlife and livestock.    Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, and kidney failure.

Parvo or parvovirus can cause severe depression, bloody/watery diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and fever.  It attacks the gastrointestinal tract, stripping the lining. This virus is very contagious through contact with infected patients and contaminated areas including food bowls, bedding, and soil, especially in unvaccinated puppies.

Parainfluenza is an airborne virus that causes upper respiratory infections, coughing and congestion.

Bordetella (Kennel Cough) is an airborne virus that causes a dry, hacking cough through infection and inflammation of the lungs.  The vaccination is usually required for dogs who go to groomers, daycare, kennel facilities, or boarding facilities.


Feline distemper/panleukopenia is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease that attacks white blood cells causing fever, vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea.  It is transmitted through oral and nasal secretions of infected cats.

Viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus,  and chlamydia are airborne upper respiratory viruses that can affect the eyes, nose, sinuses and mouth causing discharge, sneezing, oral ulcerations, up to pneumonia.

The above are preventable through vaccination and usually treatable if caught early enough.

Feline Leukemia Virus leads to a suppression of the immune system and anemia and is transmitted mainly through saliva.  Cats who are outdoors are at higher risk due to exposure to other, possibly unvaccinated, cats.  This virus can cause cancers, destroy the immune system, inflammation of the intestines, and eventual death.  Cats can carry the virus for prolonged periods of time before showing any signs.

Rabies is a fatal virus that can attack animals and humans alike.  Testing requires a sampling of brain tissue.  Rabies vaccinations are required by law.  At this time, the state of Texas and the city of Sherman is under a three year rabies vaccination law, meaning all pets are required to be vaccinated with a three year vaccine every three years after they meet specific guidelines.  Some cities require more frequent vaccination.  Contact us or your local health department if you have questions on your local requirements.  Contact us if you are unsure of your particular pet’s status.  Persons with unvaccinated pets are at risk of fines, loss of their pet, and/or quarantine of their pet if they bite someone.  There is no treatment for rabies.

****The above information is just that, information.  It  is not intended to diagnose.  Do not think that just because your pet exhibits any of the above symptoms that they have the disease or virus associated.  It is ALWAYS best to have any pet exhibiting signs of illness examined by a licensed veterinarian for diagnosis.


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