As your pet grows older, he or she may develop a range of diseases and conditions associated with aging, such as obesity, diabetes, arthritis and kidney disease. Despite the health problems often ...View Article
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A serious or even life-threatening infection in a beloved animal is every pet owner's worst nightmare. Fortunately, the worst of these disease organisms can be stopped in their tracks simply by immunizing your pet against them. That's why Dr. Tatro and the dedicated team at Fairway Knolls Veterinary Hospital are so happy to provide regularly-scheduled vaccinations for area pets just like yours.
A vaccine could almost be described as a germ that works against itself. We use a sample of the disease organism we wish to protect your pet against. This sample has been changed so it can no longer cause infection -- but it still resembles the real thing closely enough to make the immune system react by producing antibodies against it. These antibodies will protect your pet against the actual germ until they begin to lose potency, at which point we need to administer booster shots.
Vaccinations need to be given as soon as your puppy or kitten is around 6 weeks of age. That's because these baby animals have been borrowing immunity from their mother's milk to up this point; their own immune systems haven't begun producing the necessary antibodies to guard against dangerous diseases.
Every pet needs vaccinations against certain common, deadly disease threats. In dogs, those threats include rabies, canine hepatitis, canine distemper and parvovirus. Cats must receive vaccinations against rabies, feline calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and feline distemper. These shots are referred to as core vaccinations. Most of these vaccines can be combined into a single shot, but repeated rounds of injections are still necessary during the first year of life to bring the immune protection up to full strength.
Some pets may need vaccinations above and beyond the standard core vaccinations. This is true for pets who are at elevated risk of certain highly-communicable diseases through their constant contact with other animals (who may not have had similar vaccinations). For example, we may recommend vaccinating your pet against Bordetella ("kennel cough"), canine influenza or feline leukemia virus if you're planning a boarding stay for your furry friend. Animals who spend lots of time in the woods or tall grass may need to be vaccinated against Lyme disease or other tick-borne diseases. Our veterinarian can advise you on the right combination of vaccinations for your pet.
Vaccinations are quite safe for the vast majority of pets. Any minor reactions, such as elevated temperature or soreness at the injection site, should pass quickly. If your pet displays a more serious allergic reaction, we can administer the appropriate care. When you think about the catastrophic illnesses that can afflict your pet without these vaccines, immunization is clearly the healthy choice for your beloved companion. Give your pet the protection he needs by calling 309-663-1414 and scheduling those vaccinations or booster shots!