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?
Vaccines are an important part of any pet health plan. They help animals fight disease before it takes hold, and helps keep pet populations 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?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, "vaccines stimulate the immune system's production of antibodies that identify and destroy disease-causing organisms that enter the body. 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.
That’s why it's important to keep up with the recommended vaccines based on your pet's location and lifestyle.
Which Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
Your pet needs “core” vaccines (these are suggested for all patients) and may need “non-core” vaccines (these are based on lifestyle and location). Core vaccines for dogs include Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis and Rabies. Core vaccines for cats include Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Rhinotracheitis and Rabies.
Depending on your individual pet, your vet may recommend other vaccines, such as Bordetella, Lyme and Flu for dogs, and Feline Leukemia for cats.
Are There Side Effects to Vaccinating?
Vaccines are safe and well researched, and serious side effects are not common. Like humans, pets may experience a mild fever and soreness at the injection site. True allergic reactions are rare, but can occur. Symptoms may include hives, swelling of the face, vomiting and diarrhea. Most allergic reactions can be resolved quickly with the proper medication.
Want to learn more about vaccinations? Feel free to get in touch with us at 813-671-3400!