Q: We are here with "Tripod," and we are going to talk about him in a minute. He is missing his front leg-hence the name. First, we are going to talk about vaccines. So, what kind of vaccines should your pet get? What are absolutely required?
A: What is absolutely, absolutely required is the rabies vaccine for cats, dogs and ferrets. Large animals, I'm not sure if it's required or recommended...
For more information on Idaho rabies livestock prevention and laws, you can click here to visit Idaho's Health and Welfare website.
...But, cats and dogs each have their own kind of Distemper, they are slightly different viruses. Also, for dogs, they get Parvo which comes in a combination with the Distemper vaccines. For [Parvo] in cats, it's in combination with other respiratory vaccines. We highly recommend Bordetella, or Kennel Cough, vaccines for dogs. Then, there are several other options [for vaccines]. There are vaccines for Canine Influenza, a couple of vaccines for that illness have came out. There are also vaccines for Feline Leukemia. It really depends on the risk factors for your pet to determine what vaccines are appropriate.
Q: What can people expect when you get these vaccines? Is it just one shot and your done or are they all spread out over time?
A: Good Question! The details of each vaccine are different. But, in general, if you have a puppy or kitten you are going to go in once a month until they are 4 months old. For an older dog or cat, they will go in and get the vaccination(s), some of them will need to be boosted in a month, then you are good for a year. As dogs and cats get older, we are doing research and figuring out which vaccines last longer than a year. So, now we have the 3 year Rabies or the 3 year Distemper.
For a more detailed and complete canine vaccine schedule and health plan, click here.
Q: How important is it to adhere to that schedule? Is there any flexibility at all?
A: It's somewhat flexible. If your pet has a miserable fever the day it's supposed to have a vaccination, we have to take care of that first. In general though, you should stick to the schedule. With Rabies, there can actually be legal ramification if they are not current on their vaccine.
Q: What happens if you can't remember which vaccines you gave your dog and when?
A: That's one of the many reasons it is a good idea to get your vaccines from the vet. The vet will keep records and you can just call the vet! Then all you need to remember is who your vet is, and most people can remember that.
Q: There are some places around town, like a clinic situation, where you can just roll up and have it done?
A: Some of the feed stores and so forth can have it done. It is a good low cost option, and if that's what you have to do-do it. But, they don't always keep the best records so you really need to hang on to that paperwork.
Q:Let's talk about Tripod a little bit again. He is missing a leg, but boy is he cute-and soft!
A: Yes, he had a horrible bone infection in his left front leg. He hardly minds at all though when I touch the stitches here a month later. He is the most happy go lucky, friendly little puppy you can ever meet! He is such a delight!
Update: Tripod was adopted the same weekend this segment aired!