5 Reasons To Vaccinate Your Pets!
- Vaccinations prevent many pet illnesses.
- Vaccinations can help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented.
- Vaccinations prevent diseases that can be passed between animals and also from animals to people.
- Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets.
Do vaccinations ensure protection?
For most pets, vaccination is effective in preventing future disease or decreasing the severity clinical signs. It is important to follow the vaccination schedule provided by your veterinarian to reduce the possibility of a gap in protection.
Why do puppies and kittens require a series of vaccinations?
Very young animals are highly susceptible to infectious disease because their immune system is not yet fully mature. They receive protection through antibodies in their mother's milk, but the protection is not long-lasting and there may be gaps in protection as the milk antibodies decrease and their immune system is still maturing. Maternal antibodies can also interfere with a puppy’s or kitten’s vaccine response, so a series of vaccines is typically recommended to ensure that the puppy or kitten receives a vaccine as early as possible after maternal antibodies subside.
In many instances, the first dose of a vaccine serves to prime the animal's immune system against the virus or bacteria while subsequent doses help further stimulate the immune system to produce the important antibodies needed for long-term protection.
Finish the series
An incomplete series of vaccinations may lead to incomplete protection, making puppies and kittens vulnerable to infection.
To provide optimal protection against disease in the first few months of life, a series of vaccinations are scheduled, usually 3-4 weeks apart. For most puppies and kittens, the final vaccination in the series is administered at about 4 months of age; however, a veterinarian may alter the schedule based on an individual animal's risk factors.