Keeping your pet healthy includes a variety of preventative measures, but most important are vaccines. Each pet will have different needs for vaccinations based on breed, age, and other health conditions, and the Paion Veterinary team will tailor a plan specific for your furry friends. Vaccines help protect your pet against potential illnesses such as rabies, Lyme, and parvovirus. Here’s what you need to know about vaccines and why they’re so important.
How Vaccinations Work
The immunizations contain a substance that stimulates the pet’s immune system to build antibodies against targeted infections. As their immunity builds, the dog or cat should be able to resist the diseases if and when they come into contact with them. Once they’ve achieved full immunity it’s then a matter of reinforcement with annual vaccinations.
Core vs. Non-Core
Vaccinations are classified into two categories with core vaccinations being those absolutely necessary to prevent truly virulent diseases from attacking your pet. Non-core vaccinations are optional; however, we may recommend them if you and your dog engage in outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, frequenting dog parks, and for cats, spending time outdoors.
For dogs, the core vaccinations include:
- Canine Distemper
- Canine Hepatitis
For cats, they are:
- Feline Panleukopenia (distemper)
- Feline Herpes Virus and Calicivirus (respiratory infections)
Non-Core Vaccinations For Dogs:
- Lyme Disease
- Infectious Bronchitis
- Bacterial Blood Infections
Non-Core Vaccinations For Cats:
- Feline Chlamydophila
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (an intestinal disease)
- Feline Leukemia
My Pet Never Goes Outside, Do They Still Need Vaccines?
Some pet owners question whether their pet needs to be vaccinated if he or she never goes outside. The answer is yes! Some of these life-threatening infections are airborne and can even come in through an open window, or the pet could escape outside and be exposed. The bottom line is this: pets need to be vaccinated to be protected.
Puppies and Kittens
Pet vaccination needs to start at an early age. For the first 6 to 8 weeks of age, puppies and kittens are protected by their mothers’ immunity, but after weaning, they are then very vulnerable to being struck by one of these dreaded diseases. This is the time our vet urges you to begin the schedule of core vaccinations for your pet. We administer their vaccines more frequently than older pets and right up to 16-20 weeks old.
At Paion Veterinary, all of our monthly membership plans include the necessary vaccines for your pet. To learn more about our plans, click here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!