Immunization Recommendations and Policies...
At Lake Tapps Veterinary Hospital, we are aware of some of the controversy currently surrounding immunization
protocols. However, until industry leaders and experts, such as the vaccine manufacturers and the American
Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), arrive at some definitive conclusions, we believe it to be in the best
interest of your pet and the general public to continue to adhere to our established immunization protocols.
We are mindful that many of the diseases we immunize against today are rarely seen. However, we think this
is for a reason. Diligent immunization programs, just as in humans.
At Lake Tapps Veterinary Hospital, we encourage preventive health care. The easiest and most economical
thing you can do for your dog or cat is to make sure they are fully immunized against disease as puppies or
kittens and then continue to receive annual boosters as needed. Because your dog and cat age at six to ten
times the rate we do, it is important that your pet receive a physical exam with their annual immunizations.
We recommend that your pet should begin their DHLP-P-C (puppy) or FVRCP-P (kitten) immunizations at
about six to nine weeks of age and receive boosters every three weeks through a series of three to four total
immunizations with the last one occuring at or after about fifteen weeks of age If your pet is sixteen to thirty-six
weeks of age, we recommend the initial immunization and one booster. If your pet is over nine months of age,
their immune system should do fine with just the initial immunization. Thereafter, your pet should receive annual
boosters. If your pet is exposed to any disease, such as parvo for dogs, contact us immediately, even if your pet
just had its immunization yesterday, to see if your veterinarian recommends a booster immunization.
Rabies immunizations can be given as young as three months of age and should be given before reaching six
months of age. Puppies and kittens receive one shot for rabies their first year. One year later your pet will be due
for a booster which will then be valid for three years. Do not confuse this with the DHLP-P-C or FVRCP-P. Only the
rabies immunization is proven effective for three years and only if your veterinarian uses a three year vaccine.
We recommend that puppies begin their Lyme disease immunizations as early as possible. Your puppy will
receive an initial immunization with a booster in three weeks and then an annual booster, thereafter. While Lymes
disease is not epidemic in the Washington Puget Sound area, we do see lots of ticks and encourage prevention
over risk. We recommend that all dogs, especially those that will be kenneled, used in hunting, groomed regularly,
or otherwise kept around other dogs, receive a bordetella immunization every six months to one year, as needed.
We recommend that cat owners have your feline companion tested for FELV (leukemia) and FIV (feline AIDS -
not known to be contagious to humans). If negative, we recommend that your kitten receive an initial FELV immunization
with a booster in three weeks and then an annual booster thereafter. Currently, there is no immunization for FIV. Finally,
we recommend that all cats receive an initial Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) immunization with a booster in three weeks
and then an annual booster thereafter. Currently, there is not a completely reliable test for diagnosing this disease in
advance. Testing is generally relied on in conjunction with clinical signs.
PETS ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO BEGIN IMMUNIZATIONS.
WITH IMMUNIZATIONS, IT IS USUALLY BETTER AND SAFER TO RE-IMMUNIZE THAN TO NOT IMMUNIZE AND FALL BEHIND AND SUSCEPTIBLE TO DISEASE.
All pets admitted to the hospital, for whatever reason, must be current on their immunizations,
in accordance with our Chief of Staff's policy requirements. Canines must be current on their DHLP-Parvo-Corona (valid for one
year), Rabies (first vaccination valid for one year and then three years on each subsequent vaccination, or as provided by other
applicable state law), and Bordetella (kennel cough - valid for six months or one year, as indicated). Felines must be current
on their FVRCP-P (valid for one year) and Rabies (first vaccination valid for one year and then three years on each subsequent
vaccination, or as provided by other applicable state law).
Immunizations must be veterinarian verifiable. Vials or receipts for vaccines will not be accepted. If immunizations
are not veterinarian verifiable, the minimum requirements will be administered and charged to your account.