Preventative veterinary care includes making sure your pets have regular wellness exams, that they see their veterinarian for various ailments they may encounter, and that they stay up to date on their vaccines. While vaccines won't guarantee that your pet will never get sick, they do provide a good baseline that protects against many serious diseases that face pets today.
Which Vaccines Should My Pet Receive?
Much like vaccinations that children receive, pet vaccines follow a schedule. If you adopt a puppy or a kitten, he is going to need fairly frequent rounds of vaccines in order to be protected against diseases like distemper, leukemia, or even conjunctivitis and kennel cough. Some vaccines, such as the rabies vaccine, are core vaccines and are required by law. Others like Bordetella, that helps protect against kennel cough, are considered non-core and are recommended based on the environment your pet lives in, and whether or not he spends time with other animals or not.
Core vaccines for your pets are non-negotiable. Your pet needs them, and if he doesn't have them, he could become very sick or even die. Some are required by law in order to keep not only your pet safe, but to make sure the community stays safe as well.
Aside from rabies, core vaccines for cats include feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline leukemia virus (FeLV - kittens) feline herpes virus 1 (FHV1), and feline calicivirus (FCV). For dogs the core vaccines required are Leptospirosis, distemper, adenovirus, and rabies.
Common non-core vaccines for cats include feline leukemia and Bordetella. It is also often recommended that dogs receive non-core vaccinations for canine influenza, Bordetella, and Lyme disease. It is important to share what types of activities you do with your cat or dog, whether or not you travel, or if your pets are sometimes boarded. This will help your vet get a clear idea of the risks of your pet will encounter.
What to Watch for When Your Pets Are Vaccinated
Vaccinations are an important way to protect your pets, but that doesn't mean that pets don't struggle sometimes. It's important to watch out for adverse reactions and discuss these with your vet. In some cases, there may be some pain or stiffness, and possibly a bit of lethargy. If your pet has a history of having a hard time, he may be offered medication to help him through the first day or two. If reactions occur past then, contact your vet to see if further treatment is required.
At Alexander at the Park Veterinary Hospital in Durham, NC, we look forward to taking care of all your pet's veterinary needs. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment contact us at (919) 484-9900.