Furry family members mean almost as much to you as their human counterparts – if not just as much. Why wouldn’t you, therefore, give them all the same tools to live long, stay strong and experience maximum health?
Of course you would, and vaccines are an essential part of any pet health plan. They help animals fight disease before it takes hold, and keep pet populations as a whole safe from infection. To see exactly why vaccines are so important and how best to ensure your pet’s safety, it’s critical to understand how they work.
Here are some of the most common questions, and their answers.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines administer a very low dose of a pathogen to a pet, so that their immune system can “learn” to fight it. When a virus or bacteria enters the animal’s body for the first time, they will not possess an immunity, but introducing the disease prompts their system to manufacture antibodies to help fight it, explains the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Those antibodies then live in their bloodstream from then on, so should they encounter that pathogen in real life, full-strength, they will already have the tools to fight it.
Will My Pet Be 100 Percent Immune?
This is a tricky question. Some animals who receive vaccines do develop total immunity. Others only develop partial immunity. Still others, if they don’t receive booster shots regularly, may lose part or all of their previous immunity. However, today’s reports show that not nearly enough animals are getting vaccinated. Let’s all work to change that.
Which Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
Our veterinarians recommend for dogs that they are vaccinated against: distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, Bordetella, rabies, and canine influenza.
Our veterinarians recommend for cats that they are vaccinated against: feline rhinotracheitis, calici virus, panleukopenia, chlamydia psittaci, feline leukemia, Bordetella, and rabies.
Rabies is required by law for all domestic cats and dogs.
Are There Side Effects to Vaccinating?
Usually, no. Vaccines are safe and well-vetted, and we’ve been using the same ones on dogs and cats for years. Pets may experience a bit of mild fever or discomfort associated with the low dose of the disease they’ve received. In rare cases, however, you may notice a serious allergic reaction: itching and swelling of the skin and face, vomiting and diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any of this, please seek veterinary assistance right away.
Want to learn more about vaccinating today? Feel free to get in touch with us at (251) 625-1950!