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vaccines

Marlboro Animal Hospital strongly recommends appropriate vaccinations for your pet over the course of its lifetime based on your pet’s lifestyle and risk for disease exposure. Most vaccinations protect your pet against common diseases. However, there are some vaccines available for diseases to which your pet may never be exposed in Massachusetts or the North East United States.

Marlboro Animal Hospital recommends the following vaccinations based on your pets lifestyle and risk of disease:

Dogs

  • Bordetella Vaccine (kennel cough) -  If your dog goes to the groomer, dog park, boarding facilities or is otherwise exposed to other dogs, you should consider this vaccination on a yearly basis.
  • Rabies Vaccine - Massachusetts requires that dogs be vaccinated for rabies virus once every three years after they have had one initial booster. An animal will receive a rabies vaccine marked as a 1 year vaccine and then have that re-boostered. This second vaccine will be valid for 3 years.
  • Distemper Combo Vaccine (DHPP) - Includes canine Distemper virus, Adenovirus (hepatitis), Parvovirus and Parainfluenza. These disease are either upper respiratory or gastrointestinal and have severe symptoms and/or are easily spread. For adult dogs, this vaccine should be given yearly or every three years depending on lifestyle. In older dogs, who have been properly vaccinated, a vaccine titer blood test can be done in order to determine if this should go on a rotating vaccine cycle.
  • Leptospirosis (Lepto) - This bacterial disease is transmitted from wildlife urine through standing water. This disease causes liver and kidney damage. We recommend this vaccine for any dog that goes outside. 
  • Lyme - Lyme is a tickborne disease that is extremely prevalent in New England. Symptoms include joint pain, lethargy, and fever. We recommend this vaccine for all healthy dogs. Ask us about our new Zoetis Lyme vaccine!


Cats

  • FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia ) - Ever year or three years depending on lifestyle. 
  • Rabies - Massachusetts requires that cats be vaccinated for rabies virus once every three years after they have completed one initial booster. An animal will receive a rabies vaccine marked as a 1 year vaccine and then have that re-boostered. This second vaccine will be valid for 3 years.
  • Feline Leukemia - This is a yearly vaccine recommended for all cats that may be going outdoors. A clear FIV/FELV blood test will be required before the vaccine is administered. 



Lifestyle and Risk Factors
The use of these vaccinations will be determined based on travel to other states and exposure to other pets at dog parks or boarding facilities. If your pet is at moderate risk for disease we may recommend yearly vaccines. However, if your pet’s risk is low we may suggest a three year vaccine schedule. A vaccine titer test can also be used with some of the vaccines.

A vaccine titer is a blood test that determines the level of immunity your animal has against certain diseases. In dogs, distemper and parvovirus titers are common.
Some pet owners elect not to vaccinate and instead rely on vaccine titers to indicate whether or not their pet is due for the vaccine.
In Massachusetts, state public health organizations will not recognize a titer in the place of a rabies vaccine. This is typically performed if pets are going to an international country and the country wants the status of the rabies blood level for that pet. Titers are also used occasionally to prove the level of protection your pet has against the rabies virus in some instances where vaccinating is not suggested due to medical concerns.
Some boarding facilities will accept vaccine titers in place of vaccinations. We have no control over what a private boarding facility will require. Will will work with all our clients who board to ensure a smooth boarding experience.