Vaccinations are designed to strengthen the immune system against certain viruses. The immune system recognizes and builds immunity to the particular virus that the vaccine is designed for. If the patient comes into contact with that live virus in the real world, the patient has a strong enough immune system to fend off the invading virus. If the patient comes into contact with the live virus without full immunity the patient could become violently ill or even die.
In canines, we commonly vaccinate against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Parainfluenza and Rabies.
In felines, we commonly vaccinate against Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calici Virus, Panleukopenia and Rabies. There are other vaccines that can be given for both species but we prefer to give them on an “as needed” basis, considering the particular lifestyle of the patient.
Generally, you can vaccinate puppies and kittens as early as 6 weeks and depending on the kind of vaccine it should be repeated every 2-4 weeks until the pet is approximately 12 – 14 weeks of age. Depending on the kind of vaccine, it should be repeated every one to three years for the duration of the animal’s life.
Following the guidelines set forth by your veterinary practitioner will ensure the highest degree of protection from these sometimes deadly diseases.