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Complete Pet Vaccinations in Los Angeles

What Exactly Are Vaccines?

Pet vaccinations help prepare the body’s immune system to fight the invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don’t actually cause disease. When the vaccine is introduced to the body, the immune system is mildly stimulated. If a dog is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce the severity of the illness.

Importance of Vaccines for Your Pets Health

Bottom line—pet vaccinations are very important in managing the health of your pet. That said, not every dog and cat needs to be vaccinated against every disease. It is very important to discuss with the veterinarian a vaccination protocol that’s right for your pet. Factors that should be examined include age, medical history, environment, travel habits and lifestyle. Most vets, including Dr. Kim, highly recommend administering core vaccines to healthy dogs and cats.

Core and Non-Core Vaccines


In 2006, the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Task Force published a revised version of guidelines regarding canine vaccinations. The guidelines divide vaccines into three categories—core, non-core and not recommended.

  • Core vaccines are considered vital to all dogs based on risk of exposure, severity of disease or transmissibility to humans. Canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines by the Task Force.

  • Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria.

Our veterinarian, Dr. Kim, can determine what pet vaccines are best for your dog.


  • Core vaccines are vital to all cats and protect against panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calici virus, feline herpes virus type I (rhinotracheitis) and rabies.

  • Non-core vaccines are given depending on the cat’s lifestyle; these include vaccines for feline leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chylamydophila felis and feline immunodeficiency virus.

Talk to Dr. Kim if you have any questions about pet vaccinations and what type your cat should have.

Vaccines for Puppies

Puppies should receive a series of vaccinations with a combination vaccine product that protects against parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis. Your puppy must also be vaccinated against rabies. There are a variety of other vaccines that may or may not be appropriate for your pet.

Pet Vaccinations Required By Law

Each state has its own laws governing the administration of the rabies vaccine. Some areas require yearly rabies vaccination. Other areas call for vaccines every three years. An up-to-date canine rabies vaccination is a legal requirement. Be sure to keep proof of your dog’s rabies vaccines with his medical records.

How Often to Vaccinate Adult Pets

Dr. Kim can best determine the best pet vaccinations schedule for your dog or cat. This will depend on the type of vaccine, your pet’s age, medical history, environment and lifestyle. Some adult pets might receive certain vaccines annually, while other vaccines might be given every 3 years or longer.

Vaccinating Kittens and Puppies

If the mother has a healthy immune system, a kitten or puppy will most likely receive antibodies in mother’s milk while nursing. Puppies and kittens should receive a series of vaccinations starting at six to eight weeks of age. The veterinarian should administer a minimum of three vaccinations at three- to four-week intervals. The final dose should be administered at 16 weeks of age.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Pet Vaccinations?

Immunizations mildly stimulate an animal’s immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This stimulation can create mild symptoms, ranging from soreness at the injection site to fever and allergic reactions. Another less common side effect is the development of immune mediated disease following vaccination.

With that said, it is important to realize that vaccines have saved countless lives, and play a vital role in the battle against infectious disease. Additionally, rabies vaccinations have saved the lives of countless dogs & cats—and many humans as well. In some developing countries, hundreds of people die each year due to rabies contracted from dog bites.

As with any medical procedure, there is a small chance of side effects. In most cases, the risks are much smaller than the risks of disease itself. But it is important to talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s medical history before he is vaccinated.

Pet vaccinations information brought to you by ASPCA & AVMA

Your pet’s well-being is of the utmost importance to us. If you make the decision to get pet vaccinations in Los Angeles, our compassionate veterinary staff is here to help. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and make the whole process easy for your and your pet. Contact us today at 323-733-2500

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