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What are vaccines?

Vaccines trigger protective immune responses in pets and prepare them to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines can lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection altogether. Today, a variety of vaccines are available for use by veterinarians.

Is it important to vaccinate?

Yes!  Pets should be vaccinated to protect them from many highly contagious and deadly diseases. Experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals.

Does vaccination ensure protection?

For most pets, vaccination is effective and will prevent future disease. Occasionally, a vaccinated pet may not develop adequate immunity and, although rare, it is possible for these pets to become ill. It is important to remember that although breakdowns in protection do occur, most successfully vaccinated pets never show signs of disease, making vaccination an important part of your pet's preventative care.

Are there risks?

The most common adverse reactions are mild and short-term, including fever, swelling, sluggishness, and reduced appetite. Pets may also experience temporary pain or subtle swelling at the site of injection. Although most adverse reactions resolve within twenty four hours, excessive pain, swelling, or listlessness should be discussed with us.

Why do puppies and kittens require a series of vaccinations?   Puppies and kittens whose mother is adequately vaccinated will receive some protection (maternal immunity) from her.  This immunity will decrease as the animal gets older and is usually below the threshold of protection by 9-10 weeks.  For this reason it is  recommended to give them a series of vaccinations beginning at 6 weeks of age.  As a general rule, puppies and kittens should be vaccinated at 3 week intervals until they reach 16 weeks old, . 

What vaccines should my pet receive?  Your veterinarian will obtain your pet's history from you and make recommendations on what vaccinations your pet should receive.  There are "core" vaccines that should be given yearly.  There are additional vaccines that may be recommended based on your pet's lifestyle and exposure risk. 

How often should my pet be vaccinated?  The core vaccines should be administered yearly.  All vaccines should be administered according to the guidelines set forth by the