Importance of Vaccinating Your Pet

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February
13

We here at LCHS want every pet to be as healthy as it possibly can be.

One of the easiest and most effective ways of making sure your pet is as healthy as they can be, is to make sure your furry friend is up to date on their shots. Vaccines help prevent many illnesses that affect pets and vaccinating your pet has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help them live a long, healthy life.

Experts agree that widespread use of vaccinations within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.

For most pets, vaccination is effective in preventing future disease and only rarely will a vaccinated pet have insufficient immunity to fight off the disease. It is important to follow the vaccination schedule provided by your veterinarian to reduce the possibility of a gap in protection. 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.

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 to protect an animal from diseases.

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. Be sure to finish the series. An incomplete series of vaccinations may lead to incomplete protection, making puppies and kittens vulnerable to infection.

Many vaccinations provide adequate immunity when administered every few years, while others require more frequent schedules to maintain an acceptable level of immunity that will continually protect your pet. Your veterinarian will determine a vaccination schedule that’s appropriate for your pet. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about your pet’s lifestyle, including any expected travel to other geographical locations and/or contact with other animals, since these factors impact your pet’s risk of exposure to certain diseases.

5 Reasons to Vaccinate Your Pet

1. Vaccinations prevent many pet illnesses. 2. Vaccinations can help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented. 3. Vaccinations prevent diseases that can be passed not only from animal to animal but also from animal to human. 4. Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets. 5. By state law, all domestic dogs, cats, and ferrets, three months of age and older, are required to have up to date rabies vaccinations.

Weekly wish: Call your vet and make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccines, and consider making a donation to our Foster or Transport fund at http://leecountyhumane.org/ways-to-help/donate/