When breastfeeding, animals receive antibodies from their mother’s milk. Once the lactation period ends, animals are more at risk for disease because their immune systems no longer receive as much help as they once did. As part of our preventive animal care, vaccinating animals can help protect them from diseases that could threaten their lives. 

In most cases, routine animal vaccines begin as early as 6 to 8 weeks of age and continue regularly into adulthood. Sometimes the contents of several vaccines are combined in a single syringe to avoid having to give the animal too many injections. After vaccination, most young animals develop antibodies within 5 days and are fully protected within 14 days. Some vaccines are given in multiple doses (over a short period). Animals that have been vaccinated have an advantage over those that have not been vaccinated. When a disease is detected, the immune system of the vaccinated animal responds quickly and limits the severity of the disease, or prevents it completely. 

It is important to stress that vaccines are preventive and not curative. They prevent disease but cannot cure an animal already suffering from a disease. 

Basic and optional vaccines 

Some vaccines are useful for all pets, and others are only recommended under certain circumstances. Baseline vaccines are usually recommended for all animals, and optional vaccines are given only to animals susceptible to a specific disease, location, and lifestyle of the animal. The animal is vaccinated based on the risk of exposure to the disease, and the veterinarian speaks with the owner to determine the appropriate options. 

Vaccinations for Dogs

Kennel cough

This vaccine is optional because the veterinarian may not consider the animal susceptible to the disease. Booster shots are given every 6 to 12 months, depending on the dog’s exposure to the disease. 

Distemper, hepatitis, para-influenza, parvovirus

These vaccines are basic . The dog receives its first vaccine from 6 to 8 weeks of age, then booster shots are given every 3-4 weeks, until the age of 15 to 18 weeks (depending on the date of the first vaccination). A booster shot is given after the first year, then every three years. 


The vaccine for the prevention of heartworms is optional. It is administered monthly for the life of the dog. We usually conduct a screening test heartworm during the routine examination is carried out when the dog is a year old. If the presence of a heartworm is detected , treatment is implemented. 


It is done annually and in order to prevent bacteriosis in the kidneys , liver . This vaccine may not be necessary, depending on the risk of the dog coming into contact with the disease . 

Lyme disease

The Lyme disease vaccine is optional . It is then recommended that booster shots be given annually for dogs living in an area where the risk of contact with ticks carrying Lyme disease is high


The rabies vaccine is considered a basic vaccine . It is mandatory in several states , although there are some exceptions. The first vaccine is given at 16 weeks of age. A booster shot is then given a year later , then usually every three years. 

Vaccinations for Cats

Feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, infectious leukopenia in cats

These are basic vaccines . The first vaccine is given when the cat is 6 to 8 weeks old. 

Feline Leukemia Virus

This is a basic vaccine since this disease is the leading cause of death in cats . The first vaccine is given when the cat is 12 weeks old. A booster shot is then given at the age of 15 or 16 weeks, then annually during routine examinations


This is also a basic vaccine . The first vaccine is given when the cat is 12 to 16 weeks old. A booster shot is given a year later, then every 3 years. 

Optional Vaccines

The optional vaccines include those against the Chlamydia , the feline infectious peritonitis , and ringworm , but it is the administered when we consider that the contact risk. 

Preventable canine diseases and their symptoms: 

Adenovirus – a life threatening disease that causes hepatitis . 

Distemper – a disease which is also life threatening and causes diarrhea , pneumonia , seizures and vomiting . 

Heartworm – a life-threatening parasite that is spread by mosquito bites . The worms live in the lungs and then travel to the heart if left unchecked. Some of the symptoms are: cough and fatigue , especially during physical exertion. Left untreated, the worms build up in the lungs and heart, causing the animal to cough up blood , pass out, and lose weight. This eventually causes congestive heart failure 

Leptospirosis – a disease that threatens the life of the animal and seriously damages the liver and kidneys . Symptoms include: loss of appetite yellowing eyes vomiting , and dark brown urine . Transmitted to Humans. 

Lyme disease – a disease transmitted through contact with ticks . It is mostly common in the Northern Hemisphere , and therefore remains optional. Some of the symptoms are: depression fatigue fever Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics when an early diagnosis is made. 

Para-influenza and Bordetella – highly contagious diseases that cause kennel cough . These illnesses do not usually endanger the animal’s life, and some of the symptoms are: runny nose and excessive coughing 

Parvovirus – a potentially life-threatening disease that causes diarrhea vomiting and low white blood cells 

Rabies – fatal disease that attacks the nervous system . Since there is no cure for rabies animals that contract the disease should be euthanized . When the animal remains alive, the greatest risk is that the disease can be transmitted to humans. 

Preventable feline diseases and their symptoms: 

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) – retroviral disease (which duplicates and integrates into the host’s DNA) causing immunosuppression . Most cats with this disease appear normal for several years, until the disease completely attacks the immune system , causing death. 

Feline Leukemia Virus – a potentially fatal disease causing chronic immunosuppression , resulting in frequent infections . A cancer develops in many cases. 

Feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus – highly contagious diseases causing: fever discomfort runny nose and watery eyes .

Cat infectious leukopenia – a life threatening disease that causes: dehydration diarrhea low white blood cell count and vomiting 

Concerns about animal vaccination 

Much like in the case of humans, animal vaccination carries the risk of side effects . Although there are some negative side effects , it is important to note that the animal is more likely to get sick if it is not vaccinated than if it is. However, it is important to be informed in order to be able to ask the right questions to the vet during the appointment. After vaccination , the affected area may swell. Some animals experience a loss of appetite fever, and lethargy . These side effects. If side effects persist, contact us. In some rare cases, animals develop an allergy to the vaccine . An allergy can be detected a few minutes after giving the vaccine . Left untreated, this allergy can cause death . If you notice any of these reactions, contact our veterinary clinic in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region  immediately: fainting continuous diarrhea continuous vomiting difficulty breathing itching swelling on the legs or face 

Rabies vaccination regulations 

These laws vary from country to country. We must therefore make sure to look closely at the regulations during a move so that the transition goes smoothly. If you have any questions regarding vaccination or would like to make an appointment, contact us today.