Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to answer your questions.



These frequently asked questions below are related to vaccinations, such as the recommended vaccines or vaccine schedules. If you do not see an answer to your question below, please feel free to call us at 217-483-6000.

At what age does a dog/cat get its first vaccination?

Normally a dog or cat receives its first vaccine at 69 weeks of age.

What vaccinations does a dog need, and at what ages do they need them?

Dogs should receive DA2PPCV (distemper) starting at 6-9 weeks of age. This should be boostered every three weeks until 12-15 weeks of age.

A first Rabies vaccine is given between 12-16 weeks of age. Every county in the state of Illinois requires dogs to be vaccinated for Rabies.

Boosters on Da2pp and Rv are tailored to each dog’s lifestyle and owner preference. A kennel cough vaccine is available and is usually required for dogs in shows of boarding situations. Kennel cough should be boostered yearly.

Other vaccines are available. Vaccines are tailored to each pet and their individual needs.

What vaccinations does a cat need, and at what ages do they need them?

Cats should begin with an FVRCP (distemper) at 6-9 weeks of age. A booster should be given at or after 12 weeks. A booster is given at the 1-year anniversary and, generally, every three years after that.

The Rabies vaccine is given at 12 weeks. Every county in the state of Illinois requires cats to be vaccinated for Rabies. Yearly boosters are necessary.

The feline leukemia vaccine can be given at any age after six weeks. It is recommended only for those cats that go outside or those that live with cats that go outside. A booster is necessary at 3 weeks later. Yearly boosters are necessary. There are no other vaccines that we would recommend at this time.

Should my dog be vaccinated for Lyme disease?

A dog should be vaccinated for Lyme only if the dog will be traveling to a high-risk area.

Do indoor cats need vaccinations?

Yes. Feline distemper can be carried in on clothing or shoes. A Rabies vaccine for all cats is required by law.

Do dogs that primarily stay indoors need vaccinations?


Do older pets still need vaccinations?
Why do pets have to go through a series of vaccinations?

The immune system is basically a memory system. Vaccinations are a way of teaching the immune system to recognize and fight these diseases. Boosters are a necessary reminder system.

Why can't I give my pet their own vaccinations myself?

The Rabies vaccine is controlled by law. Owners can obtain and use vaccines for their pets if they like, but care must be used to handle and administer them properly. Many veterinarians and boarding facilities will not recognize vaccines administered by owners.

Why are vaccinations important?

The diseases we vaccinate for are still rampant among our pets and stray dogs and cats. Vaccinations keep our pets healthy.

My pet has a lump where the vaccination shot was given -- what can I do?

These are fairly rare. They are called local site reactions. We should look at it to make sure everything is okay. Usually, no treatment is required.

Should my cat have a FeLV (feline leukemia) test before being vaccinated?

A FeLV test is a good idea for all cats. We recommend testing as early as possible in life.

Will my pet have a problem with the needle from a vaccination?
Most pets act as if they never felt the vaccination.
What does DHLP-Parvo mean?

DHLPP stands for Distemper, Hepatitis(also known as adenovirus type 2-A2), Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus.

What does FVRCP stand for?

FVRCP stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia.

Can I get my dog vaccinated for rabies without an exam fee?
The boarding kennel wants my dog to have the "kennel cough" shot -- what is it?

Kennel cough is a contagious disease affecting dogs housed together. The disease causes a harsh cough lasting 2-3 weeks. The vaccine is very effective.