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Vaccine Information for your pet

There are several different vaccines that are used to protect your pet from a variety of illnesses. Some of these are considered ‘core vaccines’- which simply means we strongly recommend your adult pet be vaccinated annually to ensure they remain protected. The exception is the Rabies vaccine, which is available in a 3 year vaccine and can be given once every 3 years in adult patients.  The other vaccines offered are non-core vaccines. These are offered based on your pet’s activity level and lifestyle- usually dependent on whether your pet goes to a boarding facility, groomer, dog park or is in the company of other animals on a regular basis.
Vaccinations for pets available in Tampa FL

Rabies- Canine and Feline Vaccine

The rabies vaccine is a vaccine that helps protect against rabies, a viral disease that can be deadly to humans and animals. Rabies is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, such as a dog, cat, bat, raccoon, or fox.

The rabies vaccine works by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that can fight the rabies virus if the vaccinated animal is ever exposed to it. In other words, the vaccine helps the animal’s immune system recognize and destroy the rabies virus before it can cause illness.

In most parts of the world, including the United States, the rabies vaccine is required by law for dogs and cats. Depending on the country and region, the frequency of vaccination may vary, but generally, initial vaccines are given around three to four months of age, followed by booster shots at regular intervals. Veterinarians can provide specific recommendations based on the animal’s age, health status, and local laws and regulations.

It’s important to note that rabies is a serious disease that can be fatal to humans, and it is important to seek medical attention immediately if bitten or scratched by an animal, particularly if the animal is wild or not vaccinated against rabies.

DHPP or DHLPP? Which is right for my pet?

DHPP and DHLPP are both acronyms used to refer to canine vaccines that protect against certain infectious diseases. The main difference between DHPP and DHLPP is that DHPP only includes vaccines for four diseases, while DHLPP includes vaccines for five diseases.

DHPP stands for:

  • D: Distemper – a highly contagious virus that can cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system symptoms in dogs.
  • H: Hepatitis – a viral disease that can cause liver damage and other serious health problems in dogs.
  • P: Parvovirus – a highly contagious virus that can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms and dehydration in dogs.
  • P: Parainfluenza – a virus that can cause respiratory symptoms and is one of the causes of kennel cough in dogs.

DHLPP stands for:

  • D: Distemper
  • H: Hepatitis
  • L: Leptospirosis – a bacterial disease that can cause liver and kidney damage, as well as other serious health problems in dogs.
  • P: Parvovirus
  • P: Parainfluenza

So, the main difference between DHPP and DHLPP is that DHLPP includes a vaccine for leptospirosis, while DHPP does not. Leptospirosis can be a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs, and it is more common in certain regions of the world. Therefore, if a dog is at risk of exposure to leptospirosis, DHLPP may be recommended by veterinarians to provide comprehensive protection.


The bordetella vaccine is a vaccine that helps protect against bordetella bronchiseptica, a bacterium that is one of the most common causes of kennel cough in dogs. Kennel cough is a respiratory disease that is highly contagious and can spread quickly in environments where dogs are in close contact with each other, such as kennels, doggy daycares, and dog parks.

The bordetella vaccine is not required by law in most places, but it is often recommended by veterinarians for dogs who are at high risk of exposure to kennel cough. The vaccine is typically administered as a nasal spray or injection and may require booster shots at regular intervals, depending on the specific vaccine and the dog’s individual health status.

It’s important to note that while the bordetella vaccine can help reduce the risk of kennel cough, it does not provide complete protection, and dogs can still contract the disease even if they have been vaccinated. Therefore, it’s important to practice good hygiene and take other preventive measures to minimize the risk of kennel cough, such as avoiding crowded doggy areas during outbreaks, and keeping sick dogs isolated from healthy ones.

Canine Influenza*

Canine influenza vaccine is a vaccine that helps to protect dogs from infection with the canine influenza virus (CIV). There are two strains of CIV: h2N8 and h2N2, and both strains can cause respiratory illness in dogs.

The canine influenza vaccine is not a guarantee against infection with CIV, but it can help to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms if a vaccinated dog does become infected. It may also reduce the spread of the virus to other dogs.

The vaccine is typically given in two doses, 2-4 weeks apart, and then followed by annual booster shots to maintain immunity. It is recommended for dogs at high risk of exposure to CIV, such as those who visit boarding kennels, dog shows, or participate in dog sports.

It’s important to note that the canine influenza vaccine is not part of the core vaccination protocol for dogs, which includes vaccines against diseases such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. However, it may be recommended by your veterinarian based on your dog’s individual health status and risk of exposure to CIV.

*At this time, there is a nationwide shortage of the Canine Influenza vaccine, due to a manufacturer ceasing production. Other manufacturers have increased production, but are struggling to meet demand.


The FVRCP vaccine is a combination vaccine for cats that protects against three common feline diseases: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (also known as Feline Distemper).

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the feline herpesvirus. Calicivirus is another highly contagious respiratory infection that can cause ulcers in the mouth and respiratory tract. Panleukopenia is a highly contagious viral disease that attacks the cat’s immune system and can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms.

The FVRCP vaccine is recommended for all cats, especially kittens and cats that are frequently in contact with other cats, such as those that live in multi-cat households or visit boarding facilities. The vaccine is typically given as a series of shots during the kitten’s first year of life, followed by booster shots every one to three years depending on your cat’s lifestyle and risk of exposure.
Cat care services available in Tampa FL


The feline leukemia vaccine is a vaccine that is designed to protect cats from feline leukemia virus (FeLV), which is a viral infection that can cause serious illness and even death in cats. FeLV is a retrovirus that can weaken a cat’s immune system and make it more susceptible to other infections, as well as increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

The feline leukemia vaccine is typically given to kittens starting at around 8-10 weeks of age, with booster shots given every few weeks until the kitten is around 16 weeks old. Adult cats can also receive the vaccine if they have not been previously vaccinated, although the frequency of booster shots may differ depending on the cat’s age and risk of exposure to FeLV.