Although pet vaccines have been proven highly effective in protecting dogs and cats from disease, many pet owners still have reservations about vaccinating their pets. The answers to the following FAQs from Raleigh Community Animal Hospital in Raleigh, NC, provide greater insight into the importance of vaccines and the benefits of their use.
What Exactly Are Vaccines?
Pet vaccines are products used to stimulate a dog or cat’s immune system to help your pet combat infectious diseases. In some cases, vaccines protect your pet from contracting a contagious disease. In other cases, the vaccine reduces the severity of the disease’s symptoms.
Why Are Vaccines Important?
If your pet spends any time outdoors, he’s at risk for contracting an infectious disease. Even indoor pets are susceptible to disease. These diseases can debilitate your pet’s health or cause his early demise. If your pet contracts a contagious disease, he could spread it to you, other people, or other pets. Vaccines help prevent the spread of infectious diseases while protecting your pet’s health.
What Is Meant by Core and Noncore Vaccines?
Core vaccinations are those that offer protection against extremely dangerous, contagious diseases. Pets should receive core vaccines. Noncore vaccinations are administered when a pet is at high risk of a specific disease due to his environment or lifestyle. Outdoor pets, pets that socialize a lot with other animals, and pets who attend boarding facilities are at greater risk of certain diseases, making them good candidates for specific non-core vaccinations.
What Are the Core Vaccines for Dogs and Cats?
Core vaccines for your dog include rabies, distemper, parvo, and hepatitis. Core vaccines for cats include rabies, feline distemper, herpes, and calicivirus. All dogs and cats should be vaccinated against these diseases.
How Safe Are Pet Vaccines?
Like any other veterinary treatment, vaccinations come with some risks. These risks, however, are quite small. Serious repercussions to pet vaccinations are rare. Your pet may experience slight swelling where the shot is given along with soreness and drowsiness. The protection vaccinations provide far outweigh the minor adverse effects your pet may have when vaccinated against infectious diseases.
When Should I Vaccinate My Kitten or Puppy?
Baby pets are at greater risk for contracting diseases as their immune systems are still developing. We recommend your kitten or puppy start vaccinations as early as 6 weeks of age. Baby pets undergo a series of vaccines which are given every 2-3 weeks until they reach the age of 16 weeks. Afterward, your pet will be put on a regular vaccination schedule.
Pet Vaccination Services in Raleigh, NC
Call Raleigh Community Animal Hospital today at (919) 948-4210 for more information on vaccinations or to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian.