What Are All Those Vaccines For?

The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to teach, and I take this part of my job very seriously. I frequently follow-up on office visits with lengthy and detailed emails about what we discussed in the exam room. My hope is that by providing you with a stronger understanding of my recommendations, you will feel more confident in decision-making, and we can better achieve our goal of fostering optimal health for your pet.

One of the most important components of your pet’s wellness care is keeping his/her vaccines up-to-date. Despite the fact that we give these injections every single year I find that many clients don’t know what each vaccine protects against and why it is given. Explore the links below to familiarize yourself with the different vaccines that we recommend for dogs and cats.

Core Vaccines: Recommended for ALL pets

Optional VaccinesRecommended based on your pet’s individual lifestyle and exposure risks.

Keeping your furry family member up-to-date on their vaccinations is important… here are four reasons why:

  1. Immunizations can save your pet’s life. Rabies is ALWAYS fatal and most of the other diseases listed above are potentially fatal.
  2. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are developed following a long and careful review by scientists and healthcare profressionals. The 24-48 hours of discomfort associated with the injection site is minimal compared to the pain and suffering of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Side effects following vaccination, such as allergic reaction, are rare.
  3. An immunized pet can save your family time and money. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged treatment which takes a financial toll on your family.
  4. Responsible boarding/grooming/daycare facilities require immunizations. Dogs and cats who spend time in close contact with other animals are at the highest risk of contracting the diseases listed above. For this reason, responsible boarding/grooming/daycare facilities require immunization against Rabies, Distemper, Kennel Cough +/- Influenza to protect the animals under their care.

If you have any questions or concerns about vaccinating your dog or cat be sure to bring it up with your veterinarian at your next wellness exam!

For more information, refer to the Vaccinating Your Pet Brochure produced by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).

Dr. Melissa Bisesi


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