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Immunization Awareness Month

Did you know that August is Immunization Awareness Month? Remember that vaccinations are one of your cat or dog’s very first lines of defense against dangerous and contagious diseases! Here, your Orangevale, CA veterinarian goes over some immunization basics.

How Do Vaccines Work, Anyway?

In essence, vaccinations work by introducing a virtually harmless strain of a disease to your pet’s immune system. In response, your pet’s system develops natural antibodies. Should the real disease ever come along later in life, your pet’s immune system is now prepared to recognize, fight off, or—at the very least—minimize the symptoms of that disease. It’s a great way to prevent a problem before it happens!

What Vaccines Does My Pet Require?

Cats and dogs require what are known as the core vaccines; these are so named because of the contagious, common, or dangerous nature of the viruses they protect against. Core vaccines often include those that protect against distemper, feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), calicivirus, parvovirus, feline leukemia (FeLV), and rabies, amongst others. Many of these vaccines are given together in a batch, often administered when your pet is as young as six weeks old.

What About Non-Core Vaccines?

Non-core vaccines are not required for all pets but may benefit some. It all depends on exposure risk, location, environmental conditions, and other factors. One example of a non-core vaccine is the Bordetella vaccine, which protects against kennel cough. This vaccine may be helpful for a pet who will commonly be boarded later in life.

Are Booster Shots Needed?

Yes, most vaccinations will require booster shots over time to remain effective. Most pet owners have their animal friend’s booster shots administered at one of their bi-annual veterinary appointments. For more details on booster-shot scheduling, contact your vet’s office.

Are Vaccines Legally Required?

This depends on the vaccine itself and the rules and regulations in your area. Some vaccines may be required legally, while some won’t. The rabies vaccine is one example of a vaccination that is a legal requirement in most areas; this is because of the dangerous nature of the rabies virus and the possibility for transmission to other mammals (including humans!). Talk to your vet for more information.

How Do I Get My Pet the Proper Vaccines?

Set up an appointment today at your Orangevale, CA animal hospital to get your pet the vaccinations he or she needs. We’re here to help!

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