What Diseases Do Pet Vaccines Help Prevent?

What Diseases Do Pet Vaccines Help Prevent?

What Diseases Do Pet Vaccines Help Prevent?


What Diseases Do Pet Vaccines Help Prevent?

Vaccines are extremely important. They help your pet build immunity against life-threatening diseases. In the early stages of life, pets receive maternal antibodies through the placenta and colostrum. But as they grow, they lose these antibodies. Thus, they need vaccinations to help them develop immunity to disease. 


Vaccination usually begins at around six weeks. Different animals have varied reactions to these vaccines, so it is no cause for alarm. It’s important to ensure your pet gets its full series of vaccines so it has adequate protection.


Types of Vaccinations


These fall under two categories: core and non-core vaccinations. Core vaccinations are vital for every pet. They are mainly based on the severity of disease, risk of exposure, and transmission to humans. Diseases that require core vaccinations include:


  • Rabies

  • Canine parvovirus

  • Panleukopenia

  • Canine distemper

  • Canine hepatitis

  • Feline calicivirus

  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis

  • Parainfluenza

  • Canine adenovirus type 2


Non-core vaccinations are optional and depend on your pet’s risk of exposure. The risk of exposure refers to an animal’s lifestyle and geographic distribution. Diseases that have non-core vaccinations include:


  • Leptospirosis

  • Bordetella

  • Lyme disease

  • Feline leukemia




The number one core vaccination required by law is for rabies. This is because rabies is highly contagious and fatal. It has no cure. It affects all warm-blooded animals, spreading through the blood and saliva of those infected. This creates a greater risk as it is also a zoonotic disease, meaning it can affect humans.


Canine Parvovirus


This is also highly contagious. Unvaccinated dogs and puppies under four months old are at the worst risk. It spreads via dog-to-dog contact, contact with people, environments, and contaminated feces. It affects the gastrointestinal tract, causing diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, fever, and severe weight loss.




This is a highly contagious disease caused by the feline parvovirus. It does not affect people or older vaccinated animals, but it severely affects kittens. This is because the feline parvovirus attacks and kills rapidly growing and dividing cells. These cells are mainly found in the intestines, bone marrow, and, for pregnant cats, they are in the developing fetus.




Leptospira bacteria cause this disease. It is present in wildlife’s urine left in soil and water. It causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and reluctance to move due to muscle tenderness, among other symptoms. It is zoonotic, so it passes on from animals to humans.


Lyme Disease


Lyme disease transmission is by ticks. It causes inflammation in the joints and general malaise. This may result in recurrent lameness, depression, and a lack of appetite. In severe cases, there is damage to kidneys and sometimes the heart and nervous system.


Your vet will determine the best vaccination schedule for your pet. It will depend on its age, environment, lifestyle, and medical history. Ensure you stick to this schedule so as not to compromise your pet’s immunity. If by any chance you miss a vaccination or a booster, contact your vet. He or she will then advise you on the plan of action.


For more information on pet diseases or vaccines or to schedule a vaccination appointment, call Brekke Veterinary Clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado at 303-474-4260 today.