Preventative care is a crucial element of keeping your pet healthy and able to enjoy a long, happy and fulfilling life with you. While there are several different aspects to preventative care, vaccinations are one of the most well-known ways to protect your pet against infectious diseases.

Vaccinations help prepare your pet’s immune system for fighting disease-causing organisms. They work by masquerading as each disease, triggering the production of antibodies to fight it. However, they do not actually cause any harm. If your pet is then exposed to the real disease, her body will recognize and fight it automatically. Although many pets who are vaccinated will manage to avoid all symptoms of the disease, some animals will find that they simply experience a less severe reaction and become less unwell than they would if they were not protected.

How do I know which vaccinations my pet needs?

With so many different vaccinations available, it is very easy to become confused about which are appropriate for your pet. It is important to understand that not all pets need all vaccinations, and this is where our team of knowledgeable and experienced veterinarians can provide invaluable advice. We can explain which vaccinations are necessary for your pet, and how often they need to be administered to keep your furbaby safe from harm.

Vaccinations tend to be divided into two categories. These are core vaccines, which are recommended for all pets of that species regardless of their risk of exposure, and non-core vaccines which are only administered if we feel that they would be particularly beneficial based on your pet’s individual circumstances.

Each vaccine is only effective for an approximate period of time before a further dose is needed to keep your pet fully protected. To help ensure that these are delivered on time and your pet isn’t left vulnerable to disease, your vet will work with you to create a schedule of vaccinations.

Core Vaccinations for Dogs

Core vaccinations for canines include:

  • Parvovirus

  • Distemper

  • Canine hepatitis

  • Rabies

Non-core vaccinations for dogs

Non-core vaccinations that may be recommended for your dog based on his risk of exposure to the diseases include:

  • Leptospirosis

  • Lyme disease

  • Kennel cough, which can be caused by the parainfluenza virus, adenovirus and Bordetella bronchiseptica

  • Canine herpes virus

Our team will be able to advise you if any of the above vaccinations would be beneficial for your dog.

Core Vaccinations for Cats

Core vaccinations for felines include:

  • Panleukopenia (feline distemper)

  • Feline calicivirus

  • Rhinotracheitis

  • Rabies

Non-core vaccinations for cats

Non-core vaccinations that may be recommended for your cat could include:

  • Feline leukemia virus

  • Bordetella

  • Chlamydophila felis

  • Feline immunodeficiency virus

Our veterinary team will be able to advise you which, if any, of these vaccinations would be beneficial for your cat.

Core Vaccinations for Rabbits

There is a combination vaccine available that is able to protect your rabbit against the two most serious infectious diseases that pose a threat to them – myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD). If contracted, both of these conditions are often fatal.

The legal requirement for rabies vaccinations

Each state has its own laws governing the administration of the rabies vaccine. While in some states you are required to have your pet vaccinated against rabies on a yearly basis, others are happy for boosters to be administered every three years. However, proof that your pet has had a rabies vaccination is required in almost all states.

If you have further questions regarding which vaccinations your pet might need, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for your pet to be vaccinated, please do not hesitate to call our animal clinic in Paducah, KY today.

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