Pet Vaccinations Are Critical for Keeping Pets Healthy

At Belvedere Veterinary Center, pets are our passion, and that means a commitment to keeping them healthy. Vaccinations are the foundation for good pet health and protect your pet from diseases that can kill.

Kitten getting vaccinated for the first time.

What Vaccinations Do

When we administer a vaccination, we inject a small of the illness, called an antigen, into the pet’s bloodstream. Rather than cause the illness, the antigens stimulate the pet’s immune system to develop strengthened immunity against the disease. Once they have achieved sufficient immunity, a pet only needs to be vaccinated yearly. However, since the immune systems of puppies and kittens are as yet fragile, they need smaller doses of the antigen administered more frequently until they reach 1 year of age.

Core vs. Non-Core Vaccinations

Just as the name suggests, core vaccinations are those that are absolutely necessary to keep your pet protected from extremely virulent diseases. In other words, these are non-negotiable. On the other hand, non-core vaccinations may be optional for your pet, depending on the kinds of activities he or she is involved with.

Core Vaccinations for Dogs

The protective vaccinations to keep your dog healthy and safe from dangerous diseases include:

  • Rabies - Required by state law, this vaccination protects pets from certain and agonizing death from a disease contracted from the saliva of a stricken animal.
  • Canine Distemper - Distemper is an extremely virulent virus that attacks multiple parts of the body including the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Distemper kills more dogs than any other infectious disease.
  • Canine Hepatitis - This disease is also life-threatening if not quickly diagnosed and treated.

Core Vaccinations for Cats

The protective vaccinations required to keep your cat healthy and safe from dangerous diseases include:

  • Rabies - This provides the same protection as it does for dogs.
  • Feline Herpes - This virus causes cold-like symptoms that are especially serious for flat-nosed breeds. Sometimes called cat-flu, it can also lead to serious complications.
  • Panleukopenia - This vaccination, usually combined in a single vaccine with Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus, protects the cat from feline distemper.

Non-core Vaccinations

The non-core vaccinations are administered based on lifestyle and the activities your pet pursues. For example, if you and your dog like to hike in the woods or country-side, we would recommend the Lyme disease vaccination. Also, the Bordetella vaccination, which protects against Kennel Cough, is recommended for dogs that will spend time in boarding facilities or doggy daycare. We will also be happy to tell you about the non-core vaccines for cats.

Keeping up with your pet’s vaccination schedule is one the most important ways of showing your love. Call us today and set up an appointment to ensure your pet is completely protected.

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