Significantly Reducing the Risk of Contagious Diseases Through Routine Vaccinations

Like annual checkups, vaccinations are critical to preventing many diseases that can put the health of cats and dogs in peril. The risk of exposure to viruses and transmittable illnesses, such as distemper and parvovirus, unfortunately still exists, particularly as feral and stray pet populations rise.

While some pet parents choose not to vaccinate, we recommend some core vaccines that safeguard pets from avoidable yet sometimes fatal illnesses. Even indoor cats can be exposed to infected pets through screen doors, windows, or a visiting pet.

Since we also want to avoid over-vaccinating, we thoroughly review previous vaccination history, the health of your pet, and likelihood of exposure. We are also able to do titer testing, which is a simple blood test to measure the level of antibodies in the blood.

Core Vaccines

Core vaccines are essentially those that are recommended by associations that oversee standards of care in veterinary medicine. This includes the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).

At Blue Cross Animal Hospital, we follow core vaccine recommendations and offer the following for our pet patients:

Boy and his new vaccinated friend


  • Feline distemper combo (rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, feline distemper)
  • Rabies


  • Canine distemper combo (distemper, hepatitis, parvo)
  • Rabies
  • Parainfluenza/Bordetella (canine cough)
group of dogs running

Every pet is assessed, however, for lifestyle and travel exposure. Pets who are often out in natural areas, such as near lakes and rivers, or those traveling internationally, will sometimes benefit from additional vaccinations.

Puppies and kittens will need to be vaccinated through boosters (typically, 3) within the first year of their lives. Since young pets are much more susceptible to illnesses, we recommend bringing your kitten or puppy in for a wellness exam by 6 to 8 weeks of age.

Senior pets or those with chronic illness will be evaluated for the suitability and frequency of vaccinations. This is why we tailor our vaccine programs to your pet and carefully consider all factors.


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