Vaccination to prevent common infectious diseases supports the first goal of medicine: disease prevention. Prevention of infectious disease is more beneficial to your pet than treating the disease once it occurs. In general, viral infections cannot be treated, but symptoms can be managed by medication. Preventative vaccination is one of the most reliable and cost-effective methods of health care available to a pet owner.
Why is Vaccination Important?
All dogs and cats are at risk of exposure to various infectious diseases, even if they spend most of their time indoors. Some infectious diseases are life-threatening, while others such as rabies also pose a public health risk.
Vaccinations against preventable diseases are recommended for each dog and cat based on individual lifestyle, age, risk factors, and local legal requirements. Puppies and kittens should begin their vaccinations when they are approximately 8 weeks old. They should receive a series of vaccines every 3-4 weeks until they are at least 15 weeks of age. Reminders for booster vaccinations are sent via email, text message, and postcards shipped to your address.
How Does Vaccination Work?
Vaccines contain killed or modified live (weakened) forms of viruses and bacteria. They stimulate the production of protective antibodies in healthy animals that neutralize the virus or bacteria if the animal is later exposed. Some vaccines contain combinations of viruses or bacteria that immunize against several diseases, minimizing inconvenience to the owner and discomfort for the pet.
Core Vaccines For Dogs:
DHPP (Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
Rabies (Required by Law)
Additional Vaccines For Dogs:
Canine Influenza (H3N2/H3N8)
Lyme Disease (Borrelia burgdorferi)
Rattlesnake (Crotalus Atrox Toxoid)
Core Vaccines for Cats:
FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia)
Additional Vaccines For Cats:
For additional resources regarding vaccines, please click the link below:
What About the Potential Risks?
The benefits of vaccination are usually considered to far outweigh the relatively small risk of vaccine-related adverse reactions. Allergic reactions to vaccination and local, injection-site irritation are uncommon, but they do occur. Your veterinarian can advise you of the possible risks associated with vaccination and the steps to take if vaccine-related reactions occur.
Common symptoms you pet may experience:
It is common for your pet to experience mild side effects from vaccination. This is a normal response by your pet’s immune system during the process of developing protective immunity.
Decrease in social behavior
Diminished appetite or activity
Sneezing or other respiratory signs with intranasal vaccines
Discomfort or mild swelling at the injection site
If your pet experiences any of these rare symptoms, please contact us immediately, as your pet may require additional medical treatment.
Rare side effects, such as an allergic reaction, may occur. Your pet may experience symptoms of a more serious response to the vaccine within minutes or hours of the vaccination.
Swelling of the face and legs
Repeated vomiting or diarrhea
Whole body itching