Pet Vaccinations in Miami, FL

protect your pet

At Dollys Animal Clinic, we are firm believers that prevention is always better than cure.

Our primary goal is to help preserve the life and happiness of your beloved pet, which is why we prioritize educating pet owners about the benefits and drawbacks of vaccinating their furry friends. We offer a broad range of vaccines and develop customized vaccine protocols based on your pet's individual needs and lifestyle. We understand that every pet is unique, and we take pride in providing personalized care that caters to their specific requirements. If you would like to schedule an appointment or have any questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us at 786-396-1209. We are here to provide the highest quality care for your furry friend and help them stay happy and healthy for years to come.
cute dog-on vet table

Why Vaccinate Your Pet?

We understand the critical role that vaccinations play in protecting pets from life-threatening illnesses. When nursing stops, pets become more vulnerable to diseases because their immune systems lack the necessary support. Routine vaccinations are a vital part of preventative care for pets and can help safeguard their health. Most pets receive their initial vaccinations around 6 to 8 weeks of age and continue to receive them regularly throughout their adult life. Some vaccines are even combined into a single syringe, minimizing the number of injections your pet receives. After being vaccinated, most young pets take about 5 days to build up protective antibodies, with full protection occurring after 14 days. Some vaccines require multiple doses given over a short period of time, and most require booster shots every 6 months to 3 years.

By vaccinating your pet, you give them a significant advantage in the face of disease. In the event that disease is detected, your vaccinated pet's immune system responds quickly, reducing the severity of the illness or preventing it altogether. It's essential to note that vaccinations are preventative measures, not curative ones. While vaccination can help prevent an illness, it cannot cure an existing disease. If your pet has been successfully vaccinated, is current on booster shots, and has never shown signs of illness or disease, they have likely received effective protection.

Core and Non-Core Pet Vaccinations

Core vaccinations are those recommended for all pets, while non-core vaccinations are given only to those considered to be at higher risk. The necessary vaccinations may vary based on local regulations, geographical location, and the lifestyle of your pet. We take these factors into account and create a tailored vaccination plan to ensure that your pet receives the best protection possible. Our team will discuss the options available for your pet and provide recommendations based on their individual needs.

Canine Vaccinations

DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus) – Core vaccine; first given between 6 to 8 weeks old with boosters every 3 weeks until 15 to 18 weeks old, and then annually.
Rabies – Core vaccine; first given when the puppy is 16 weeks old with boosters given on an yearly basis.
Bordetella (kennel cough) – Non-core vaccine; first given to puppies at 9 weeks old, repeated after 3 weeks, and boosters every 6 to 12 months.
Leptospirosis – Non-core vaccine; given to puppies aged 6 months or older, with an annual vaccination intended to prevent bacterial infections in major organs.
Lyme – Non-core vaccine; first administered at 12 weeks old, with the first booster at 15 weeks old, and annual boosters recommended for dogs in areas with increased exposure to ticks carrying Lyme disease.

Feline Vaccinations

Feline Herpesvirus, Calici Virus, and Feline Distemper - These are core vaccines and are administered to kittens between 6 and 8 weeks old. Booster shots are given once every 3 weeks until the kitten reaches 15 to 17 weeks old (depending on when vaccinations were started). Feline Rhinotracheitis and Calici Virus require annual boosters, while Feline Distemper boosters are given every 3 years.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) – This is a non-core vaccine and is highly recommended to outdoor cats due to exposure. The first vaccine is given when a kitten is 12 weeks old and the first booster is administered when the cat reaches 15 to 16 weeks old. Booster shots are recommended to be updated annually at pet wellness exams.
Rabies – This is also a core vaccination for kittens. The initial vaccine is given between 12 and 16 weeks of age, with booster shots necessary on an yearly basis.

Non-core vaccines for felines include Chlamydia, Feline Infectious Peritonitis, and Ringworm vaccines, but they are only considered for pets with a high risk of exposure.

Preventable Canine Diseases and Symptoms:

Adenovirus – a life-threatening disease that can cause hepatitis.
Distemper – a life-threatening disease that can cause diarrhea, pneumonia, seizures, and vomiting.
Heartworm – a life-threatening parasite that is transmitted through mosquito bites. It resides in the lungs and can cause severe damage to the heart if left untreated.
Leptospirosis – a life-threatening disease that can cause severe liver and kidney damage, as well as hemorrhaging in the lungs. Symptoms include loss of appetite, yellowed eyes, vomiting, lethargy, and dark brown urine.
Lyme Disease – transferred through ticks, and while it is treatable with antibiotics if caught early, it can cause circular skin rashes, depression, fatigue, fever, and headaches.
Parainfluenza and Bordetella – highly contagious illnesses that cause kennel cough. Symptoms include a runny nose and excessive coughing.
Parvovirus – a potentially life-threatening disease that can result in diarrhea, vomiting, and deterioration of white blood cells.
Rabies – a fatal disease that attacks the central nervous system. If a pet contracts rabies, there is no cure, and the animal must be euthanized. Rabies can also be spread to humans.

Preventable Feline Diseases and Symptoms:

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) – a disease that leads to immune suppression and eventual death.
Feline Leukemia Virus – a virus that can cause chronic immune suppression, frequent infections, and cancer.
Herpesvirus and Calicivirus – highly contagious illnesses that can cause fever, runny nose, and watery eyes in cats.
Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper) – a life-threatening disease that causes dehydration, diarrhea, low white blood cell count, and vomiting in cats.
Rabies – a fatal disease that attacks the central nervous system and can be spread to humans. Pets with this disease are often euthanized as there is no known cure.

Pet Vaccination Concerns

Staying informed about pet vaccinations is important so you can ask your veterinarian relevant questions at your pet's appointment. Although pet vaccinations carry a risk of side effects, it's crucial to note that your pet is more likely to develop a life-threatening illness without vaccination than to suffer from vaccine-related side effects.

After being vaccinated, some pets may experience soreness or swelling at the injection site, reduced appetite, fever, or lethargy. However, these side effects usually go away within 24 to 48 hours. If you observe any lingering side effects, please contact your veterinarian. In rare cases, pets may develop an allergy to a vaccine, which can lead to death if left untreated. If your pet exhibits symptoms such as collapse, non-stop diarrhea, continual vomiting, difficulty breathing, itching, or swelling of the legs or face, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Regulations Regarding Rabies Vaccinations

Although the federal government doesn't mandate rabies vaccinations for pets, different states have their own laws regarding pet vaccinations, and regulations vary between countries. It's important to check the requirements in your new location before moving with your pet.

In Florida, all dogs, cats, and ferrets that are 4 months of age or older are required to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian, as stated in Chapter 828 Section 30. A vet can determine exemptions based on the pet's specific health condition. While our clinic sends reminders to our clients about upcoming vaccination due dates, pet owners are responsible for keeping track of their pet's vaccination schedule and following county rules. The county also sends reminder cards to registered pet owners when it's time for a rabies shot.
side happy white dog

Call for Pet Vaccinations in Miami

If you have any questions about vaccinations or need to schedule a new pet vaccination, please contact our office at 786-396-1209 at your convenience.

Dollys Animal Clinic offers urgent care, orthopedic surgery, pet wellness care, in-house laboratory testing, and dental care for dogs and cats in Tamiami, Sweetwater, West Kendall, Westchester.