Importance of Vaccinating Your Pets
At Thornapple Veterinary Medical Center in Middleville, MI, we know that pet vaccinations protect your furry friend from many diseases. This, of course, helps them live long and healthy lives.
So What are Pet Vaccinations?
Vaccines are designed to bolster your pet’s immune system. Each vaccine can help prevent or lessen the impact of one or several diseases. They do so by causing the immune system to start producing antibodies to fight disease and infection. Just as in humans, preventable diseases can be avoided with vaccines. They can also stop the transmission of disease from wildlife to your pet or between other animals and humans. In most areas, there are some vaccines, such as rabies, which are legally required for pets.
Vaccinations Start Young
Puppies and kittens have yet to develop a strong immune system to help them combat disease and illness. They do receive some antibodies from their mother’s milk but this is limited. They will receive their vaccinations as a series, receiving a dose every 3 - 4 weeks. This allows their immune system to gradually develop the antibodies it needs. Most vaccinations are completed at four months of age.
Risks to Vaccinations
Pet vaccinations do carry a certain level of risk. However, most pets respond well to them. Beyond the required vaccinations, the veterinarian will explain any vaccines that they recommend and why. These can be considered by weighing the benefits against the risks.
Side Effects and Reactions
While most pets don’t have any issues with vaccinations, some will experience a few small side effects. Some may have some tenderness or slight swelling at the vaccination site. You may also notice that they seem a little lethargic with a loss of appetite. Even a mild fever can occur. These are normal and should pass within a day.
There are several signs that your pet is having a severe reaction to the vaccination. These include diarrhea and/or vomiting, bumpy skin, swelling around the face, eyes or muzzle and difficulty breathing. If any of these occur, contact the veterinarian immediately.
Is Your Pet Ready to Get Their Shots?
If you are in the Middleville area and would like to set up an appointment to vaccinate your pet, please call us. The Thornapple Veterinary Medical Center will provide quality veterinary care to ensure your furry friend a happy and healthy life.