Vaccines are a vital part to your pet’s health and can help to prevent illnesses and diseases that can occur in your pet if they are left unvaccinated. Vaccines can help avoid costly treatment plans if they were to become infected, and not to mention that most local and state laws require that your pet be vaccinated against certain diseases. Here are some of the most common questions, and their answers.

Cat getting a vaccine

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.

Which Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

There are several different types of vaccines that your pet will need throughout their life. These vaccines are typically categorized into "Core" vaccines and "Non-core" vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs and cats (i.e. Rabies, Feline/Canine Distemper), unless there’s a medical need not to vaccinate. "Non-core" vaccines are recommended for certain pets based on their risk of exposure to the disease, such as through their lifestyle or geographic location. For example, Bordetella and canine influenza vaccines are recommended for dogs that visit places where other dogs gather, like boarding, daycare, and training facilities.

Please make sure to communicate with us about your pet's lifestyle, including any expected travel to other locations and contact with other animals outside of your household. We will consider these and other factors in recommending certain vaccines and the corresponding vaccination schedule that will provide your pet with the best possible protection throughout their life.

Are There Side Effects to Vaccinating?

Usually, no. Some pets may experience some discomfort and soreness depending on the vaccine they have received. In rare cases, however, you may notice a serious allergic reaction: itching and swelling of the skin and face. If you notice this, please call our office for assistance. In any case, vaccinations are a routine part of any pet’s life, and there’s nothing for you to worry about.

Want to learn more about vaccinating today? Feel free to get in touch with us at (518) 828-1622!

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