Why Pet Vaccines Are Important
Some people wonder why their pet needs so many shots. Vaccines are meant to prevent disease and death by helping our pet’s immune system fight infection. A simple vaccination can keep your pet from undergoing expensive treatment for a preventable condition, and they can stop your pets from passing diseases between each other and to you.
Vaccinations for Puppies and Kittens
It is especially important for young babies under one year of age to get their series of shots because their immune system hasn’t matured. When they nurse, their mother’s milk does provide some protective antibodies, but they don’t last long. The first shots are intended to jump start the immune system, and the subsequent shots help the immune system continue producing the antibodies, so they’ll be protected in the long run. If the series isn’t completed, your puppy or kitten becomes vulnerable to infections.
Which Vaccinations Does My Pet Need?
There are two types of vaccines: core and non-core. The core vaccinations are dependent upon geographical location because they protect the pet from the diseases that are common in that area. The non-core vaccinations are based on individual need. For example, if you travel with your pet, or if your pet will be in contact with other animals, especially wild animals, a non-core vaccination may be necessary.
Core Vaccinations for Cats
There are four core vaccines for the following diseases: • Rabies: the shot is very important for prevention as there is no treatment and rabies results in death • Distemper: if not prevented, it causes a contagious disease that can result in death • Herpesvirus: causes FVR, or feline viral rhinotracheitis, a contagious upper respiratory disease • Calicivirus: causes a contagious upper respiratory disease that can harm the joints, and result in ulcers and anorexia
Core Vaccinations for Dogs
There are four core vaccines for the following diseases:
• Rabies: the shot is very important for prevention as there is no treatment and rabies results in death
• Distemper: if not prevented, it can cause brain damage
• Parvovirus: causes vomiting and bloody diarrhea, and is fatal if not treated
• Adenovirus: causes hepatitis, liver damage, and death
Can a Vaccination Make My Pet Sick?
It’s not uncommon for pets to experience mild side effects within a few hours of the vaccination, such as swelling where they got their shot, a low-grade fever, and decrease in activity. If they’ve had an intranasal vaccine, they may sneeze or cough. However, if your pet vomits, has diarrhea, has bumpy skin that itches, has a swollen face, can’t breathe, or collapses, there may be a serious allergic reaction. Call Dr. Newman immediately for further instruction.
Another Reason to Vaccinate
It’s also important to remember that there may be a local or state ordinance that requires you to vaccinate your pets. In fact, both Pocatello and Chubbuck require rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats. Dr. Newman keeps a comprehensive health history on your pet and sends out reminders, so you won’t forget to schedule an appointment for vaccinations. If you have questions about the vaccinations and the schedule, give Dr. Newman a call at 208-233-2844.