Frequently Asked Vaccination Questions at Carol Stream Animal Hospital
You may be surprised at how often various people and institutions ask you whether your pet has "had his shots." Of course, they're referring to vaccinations -- but why are these preventative measures at the top of everyone's mind? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about vaccinations from your vet team at Carol Stream Animal Hospital.
- What is a vaccine, and what does it do? A vaccine is a medication that mimics a disease organism. While the substance itself cannot introduce an actual infectious agent, your pet's immune system sees it as a real threat. It then begins manufacturing antibodies that will remain in the bloodstream and fight off the actual disease organisms as long as the vaccine remains potent.
- Why do animals need to be vaccinated? A pet's immune system won't begin producing its own specific antibodies until the disease is already present -- by which point, your pet is already in danger. Vaccination allows our vet center to "jump-start" the process so your pet already has the protection he needs in advance.
- Which vaccinations will my dog or cat definitely need? The vaccinations necessary to safeguard all dogs and cats are called core vaccinations. For dogs, that vaccination list includes protection against hepatitis, rabies, parvovirus and canine distemper. For cats, it includes protection against rabies, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and feline distemper.
- Which vaccinations are considered elective, and why do some pets need them? Beyond the normal everyday risks every pet faces, some animals may be at risk of exposure to other infectious agents as well. This is true of pets who interact regularly with other animals in daycare facilities, for instance, or dogs who live in "tick country." For example, your veterinarian may recommend elective vaccinations against diseases such as Bordetella, feline leukemia or Lyme disease.
- Are there risks involved with vaccinations? It's rare that a pet would experience a serious allergic reaction to a vaccination -- but if it does, any veterinarian on our team can provide prompt treatment. More commonly, your pet may experience mild, short-lived side effects such as a slight fever, cold-like symptoms, or soreness at the injection site. The life-saving benefits to be gained from vaccinations are more than worth it!
- When should my pet be vaccinated? Puppies and kittens should generally start receiving core vaccinations around the age of 6 weeks, with several rounds of such vaccinations in the following months to build up full immunity. Most of these vaccinations can be combined into one injection, with the rabies vaccination and any elective vaccinations administered separately. Most vaccinations need to be repeated after 1 to 3 years in the form of booster shots, as each vaccine may have a different potency span.
Your Pet Vaccination Solution for Carol Stream, Wheaton, and West Chicago, IL
Looking for a handy pet vaccination solution for Carol Stream, Wheaton, and West Chicago, IL? Call Carol Stream Animal Hospital at (630) 462-7888 to schedule vaccinations at our vet clinic. We have the answers that can help secure your pet's lifelong health!