The Importance of Completing The Initial Vaccination Series

Your pet is at risk for contracting deadly diseases until the initial vaccination series is completed. That is why it is so important to complete the initial vaccination series on time. Your veterinarian will schedule this series of vaccinations to help ensure adequate protection for your pet.


Immunity in young unvaccinated pets is constantly changing. If the mother has sufficient immunity in her own system, some of this protection is passed to the unborn pet. In the first 24 hours after birth, more short-term protection is passed to the newborn when it nurses and takes in colostrum. If the mother has no immunity herself, the infant receives none.

This temporary immunity weakens over a short period of time (0 to 20 weeks in most cases) at different rates for different diseases. The infant’s immune system begins to manufacture its own protection (immunity) when vaccines are administered if protection obtained from the mother does not “block” its own immune response.

When vaccinations are given at appropriate intervals, they help close the window of opportunity for infection because an effective level of vaccine is present at the time the infant’s immune system is able to respond. Unvaccinated dogs are susceptible to life-threatening diseases like parvo and canine distemper. Unvaccinated cats are susceptible to fatal diseases like panleukopenia and feline leukemia.

It is not feasible to test for antibody levels for each potentially fatal disease and it is nearly impossible to predict exactly when the maternal antibody levels will be low enough, and the infant’s immune system mature enough to begin producing the level of antibodies needed for protection from any one disease. This is why following the initial vaccination series schedule is critical.

Camino Animal Clinic Vaccine Protocol

Canine Vaccines:
Protects against the diseases of canine distemper, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Booster yearly.
Bordatella: Prevents kennel cough (canine infectious tracheobronchitis). Booster every 6 to 12 months. Given intranasally. This vaccine is highly recommended for all dogs, especially those being boarded or groomed.
Lyme: Prevents tick-borne diseases like Lyme Disease. Booster yearly.
Rabies: Vaccinate at 16 weeks, 1 year later, and then booster every 3 years. Required by state law.

Feline Vaccines:
Prevents feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. Booster yearly.
FeLV: For outdoor cats only. A feline leukemia virus (FeLV) blood test should be run prior to the vaccination series to identify those cats that are positive for FeLV. If a cat is positive for FeLV, then there is no reason to vaccinate for FeLV. Booster yearly.
Rabies: Not required by law, but strongly recommended because most rabies cases in domestic animals occur in cats. Vaccinate at 16 weeks, 1 year later, and then booster every 3 years.

6-8 weeksCell6-8 weeks
9-11 weeks9-11 weeks
FeLV/FIV blood testBordetella #1
FeLV #1
12-14 weeks12-14 weeks
16 weeks16 weeks
Rabies 1 yr durationDA2PP #4
Rabies 1 yr duration
17 weeks
Leptospirosis #1
20 weeks
Leptospirosis #2