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Pet Vaccination FAQs
Pet ownership involves a great deal of responsibility. It is important to make sure that your pet gets there vaccinations to keep them safe. It can often be confusing what your pet might need, how often, and at what age. Our Leonardtown veterinarian is here to help answer any questions you might have regarding your pet's vaccinations. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on the subject from our veterinarian at Breton Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Lynn Fenwick.
What is a vaccine? A vaccine is a killed or otherwise deactivated form the disease germ your pet needs protection against. This deactivated substance cannot infect an animal, but it still carries the antigens that identify it as the germ to the animal's immune system. The immune system reacts to the perceived danger of creating antibodies to protect against it.
What are core vaccinations? Core vaccinations are those essential vaccinations every pet needs to guard against common and potentially fatal germs. Dogs need core vaccinations against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus. Cats need core vaccinations against rabies, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia.
What are elective vaccinations? Elective vaccinations aren't needed by the majority of pets but can come in highly useful for pets with particular lifestyles. If your pet spends lots of time in close quarters with other animals, for example, a Leonardtown pet vaccination against Bordetella is a smart move.Vaccination against Lyme disease (tick borne) and Leptospirosis (bacterial - found in soil & water *even puddles* and spreadable from animals to people) although elective, because of our environment in Southern Maryland, we at Breton Veterinary strongly recommend both.
Why do puppies and kittens need vaccinations so early in life? Newborn puppies and kittens are "borrowing" immunity from their mothers, but after several weeks this immunity wears out, leaving them vulnerable. That's why our Leonardtown veterinary hospital urges owners to schedule puppy and kitten vaccinations starting at 6 to 8 weeks of age. We can administer these vaccinations alongside other important wellness procedures.
Why are multiple rounds of vaccinations necessary? Puppies and kittens may need several rounds of vaccinations in their first year alone to build up a solid base of protection. By any vaccination will lose its power over time, so we need to administer booster shots on a specified schedule to make sure your pet is safe from dangerous diseases.
What circumstances might require me to double-check or update my pet's vaccination status? Some situations may call for documented proof of vaccination. If you plan on boarding your pet at our Leonardtown veterinary hospital, for instance, we need to know that your pet's vaccinations are up to date. If you transport your pet across the state or national borders, you may need to present paperwork confirming your pet's rabies vaccination.
Vaccines can do an excellent job of keeping your pet safe against potential killers, but only if they're administered and updated properly. Our team will be happy to create a vaccination schedule for your pet, but it's still up to you to arrange those appointments. Contact us at (301) 475-7808 today!