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At Day Creek Animal Hospital, we believe in preventative medicine. It's easier and better for your pet's health to prevent disease than to treat it. And the best way to prevent many serious or deadly diseases is to have your pet vaccinated on a regular basis. As a loving pet owner, it's up to you to make sure you make an appointment for your pet's needed cat shots or dog shots. Here are some of the most common questions we get about pet vaccinations:
Vaccines are medications that contain antigens. Antigens are similar to the organism that cause certain diseases, but they don't cause the actual disease. Introducing antigens into your pet's system causes it to create an immunity against the disease it was designed to prevent. In short, vaccines make your pet's body become stronger and better able to fight off dangerous diseases.
Your puppy or kitten should get its first rounds of vaccines at around six to eight weeks of age, then three more times during its first year. After that, our veterinarian will administer booster shots to your dog or cat once a year to keep its immunity strong.
Like with human vaccinations, some animals have mild reactions such as sore spots at the injection site, mild fevers or feeling lethargic for the first day or so after getting a vaccine. Most pets don't even suffer from that, though, and go through the vaccination process with no ill side effects at all.
Core vaccines are those that every pet need every year, no matter where or how they live. One core vaccines, the rabies vaccine, is even required by law for dogs in California. It's not required for cats, but we strongly urge all cat owners to be vaccinated against rabies, as well. Some other core vaccines are hepatitus, parvovirus and canine distemper for dogs, and feline distemper, calcivirus and herpesvirus type 1 for cats.
Non-core vaccines are only given to cats and dogs that require them because of their environment or lifestyle. For example, if you board your dog in kennels frequently or take it to a dog park on a regular basis, we'll recommend the bordetella vaccine. A reputable kennel owner won't allow your pet to board without it. On the other hand, a feline leukemia vaccine may be a smart choice for your cat. Our veterinarian will talk with you about your pet's lifestyle to determine which non-core vaccines it needs.
Every pet needs a regular course of vaccinations throughout its life. If you have any questions, or if you're looking for a Rancho Cucamonga veterinarian for your cat or dog, call our office at 909-646-7387 today.
Visit us at 7369 Day Creek Blvd, Suite F 101, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739. Call 909-646-7387(PETS).
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