Veterinarian in Costa Mesa explains vaccination myths and the importance of vaccinations for your pet
You love your pets. You want them to live long, healthy lives. While high-quality medical treatment is important for sick pets, prevention is also a crucial form of medicine. Immunizations provide protection from dangerous, contagious diseases. Dr. Rand Spongberg and All Creatures Care Cottage in Costa Mesa, CA offers vaccinations for your pet. Diseases like rabies can be spread from wild animals to your pet and are transferable to humans. Vaccinations protect you, your pet, and other animals with which your pet may come into contact.
Vaccines help prevent illnesses that may affect pets. Getting your pet vaccinated is a simple way to help him or her live a healthy life. Vaccinations come with risks and benefits that are weighed against your pet’s health. Dr. Spongberg can determine an appropriate vaccination regime to keep your pet safe and protected.
Vaccines prep the immune system to fight potential diseases. Vaccines contain antigens. These antigens look like a given disease but never actually cause it. The vaccine mildly stimulates the immune system so that if the pet is ever exposed to the actual disease, the body is prepared to recognize and fight off or at least lessen the severity of the illness.
The most common reasons to vaccinate your pet include:
- Prevention of contagious, dangerous illnesses
- Protection for yourself, your pet, and other animals
- A requirement by law in some cases
Vaccines are an important part of health management for pets. However, not every pet needs every vaccination. Your veterinarian can determine the best protocol for your animal’s needs. Dr. Spongberg will consider your pet’s age, medical history, environment, and lifestyle when creating a treatment plan. Generally, core vaccines are given to healthy pets. These are considered vital due to the risk of exposure, the severity of the potential disease, or the transmissibility. Non-core vaccines are given if the animal has an increased risk of exposure or lifestyle risks. The veterinarian can determine the appropriate vaccine schedule for your pet.
Vaccinations come with risks and benefits. Most often, the risk of side effects is much smaller than the risk of the actual disease. Common side effects are generally mild and short-lived and may include soreness at the injection site, fever, and tiredness. It is important to remember that most animals do not experience negative effects from vaccinations.
Common vaccination myths
Vaccines have saved countless lives. Immunizations play a crucial role in defending your pet against diseases. Just as with human vaccinations, there are a few myths that circulate regarding animal vaccinations.
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Myth – Pets do not need yearly vaccinations.
Every vaccine is different. Certain core vaccines are given yearly, others are given every three years. Some viruses, like the flu, change yearly. Regular vaccines keep your pet protected against the different strains. Dr. Spongberg will let you know which type of vaccine is appropriate for your pet.
Myth – My pet is too young or too old for vaccines.
Pets who are very young or old have weaker immune systems. Illnesses that are vaccinated against are much more serious for young and old. Puppies’ immune systems and bodies are still developing and may require a different schedule or more frequent vaccinations. Vaccinating should continue regardless of the animal’s age.
Myth – My pet is only indoors and does not need to be vaccinated.
Vaccination schedules are based on each pet’s needs. Veterinarians consider the exposure risk, the area you live in, and your pet’s health and lifestyle when creating a treatment plan. However, some vaccines such as rabies are required by law. Others protect against diseases that can be transmitted to humans or diseases that are highly contagious or deadly. Our goal is to keep your pet healthy.
Remember, vaccinations protect you, your pet, and other animals with which your pet may come into contact. If you ever board your pet, take training classes, or go to a dog park, your pet comes into close contact with other animals. Any illnesses your pet has can be passed along and vice versa. When your pet comes home, those diseases are present in your house. In multi-pet households, contagious diseases are easily transmitted.