January Newsletter: Don't Forget to Vaccinate Your Pets this Year

Pink cat gets vaccinated

Don't Forget to Vaccinate Your Pets This Year

Vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness or death and are essential for your furry friend's good health. Unfortunately, it's easy to forget about vaccinations when your life is hectic. If it's been a while since your pet received its vaccinations, paying a visit to the veterinarian will help you ensure that your dog, cat, or ferret is protected.

How Vaccines Work

Vaccines make it easier for your pet's immune system to recognize and kill germs that cause serious illness and disease. After your pet receives a vaccine, his immune system produces antibodies, proteins that fight the particular bacteria or virus. These proteins destroy germs before they can make your pet sick.

Vaccines ensure that:

  • Pets Don't Develop Devastating Illnesses. The vaccines your pet receives offer protection against serious or deadly diseases, like rabies or distemper. Even if an unvaccinated pet survives a disease, it may face lifelong health complications. By preventing illness, vaccinations help your pet enjoy a long, healthy life.
  • Your Pet Is Welcome Everywhere. Boarding and grooming facilities may require proof of vaccinations before you can use their services. Your state or municipality might also require pets to be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Diseases Don't Spread. Since disease symptoms usually don't appear immediately after exposure, your pet could easily spread the illness to other animals and people long before you're aware that your furry friend is sick. By preventing illness, vaccines also reduce the likelihood of disease outbreaks in your area.
  • Young and Old Animals Receive the Protection They Need. Although vaccinations are important for all animals, young and old animals are at increased risk of illness due to their immature or weak immune systems. Vaccinations help them fight illnesses that could kill them.
  • You Won't Break Your Budget. Thanks to medical advances, it's now possible to treat illnesses and conditions that would have killed your pet years ago. Although the treatments will help improve quality of life, they can be expensive if your pet develops a chronic condition after suffering an illness. Vaccinations not only protect your pet's health, but also help you avoid costly veterinary bills.

Why It's Important to Follow the Recommended Vaccination Schedule

Most vaccines don't offer lifelong protection. In fact, they may begin to wear off just a year or more after your pet receives them. Luckily, vaccine boosters offer a simple way to provide continuous protection for your pet.

The recommended schedule for vaccines varies depending on the type of vaccine and the laws in your state. Dogs and cats receive the rabies vaccine every one to three years. The vaccine protects your pet from rabies, a disease that's almost always fatal. Rabies is spread to animals and people after contact with an infected animal's saliva, or eyes, nose or mouth.

Although you may associate rabies with dogs, cats are actually diagnosed with the disease more often according to the American Medical Veterinary Association (AVMA). The AVMA believes that may be due to lower vaccination rates for cats, in addition to exposure to rabid animals when cats wander outdoors.

Vaccines for feline and canine distemper, diseases that can cause death, brain damage, and other health complications, are recommended every three years. Ferrets also need distemper and rabies vaccines on a regular basis.

Puppies and kittens receive a series of vaccines several times throughout their first year of life. After the dog or cat turns one, it follows the adult vaccine schedule.

In addition to distemper and rabies vaccines, these core vaccinations are recommended for pets:

  • Canine Hepatitis (dogs)
  • Parvovirus (dogs)
  • Calicivirus (cats)
  • Feline Herpesvirus (cats)

Your veterinarian may also recommend certain non-core vaccinations depending on your pet's risk factors and the rate of disease transmission in your area. Non-core vaccinations that might be offered include:

Lyme Disease (dogs)

  • Leptospirosis (dogs)
  • Parainfluenza (dogs)
  • Feline leukemia (cats)
  • Bordetella (dogs and cats)

Is your pet due for its vaccinations? Contact our office to make an appointment.

Sources:

AVMA: Rabies and Your Pet

https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/one-health/help-control-rabies/rabies-and-your-pet

ASPCA: Vaccinations for Your Pet

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/vaccinations-your-pet

WebMD: Pet Vaccines: Schedules for Cats and Dogs, 11/9/2022

https://pets.webmd.com/pet-vaccines-schedules-cats-dogs

Call to schedule your pet's wellness or urgent care exam now: (952) 758-6722

Testimonials

  • We have been clients of New Prague Animal Care for over 13 years. They have provided exceptional and compassionate care for our “pack” (6 dogs and 3 cats). As a professional dog trainer, breeder of Best in Show and Master Hunter Retrievers as well an owner of multiple kennel/ doggy daycare facilities (30+ years), I have worked with numerous veterinary clinics both in the Twin Cities and nationwide. Dr. Steve and his crew rate among the finest I have worked with. The clinic has all of the fea

    ...
    Show More - Kathryn N
  • My dad has taken all of his dogs there for years, and I take mine there as well. Dr. Lavalle's bedside manner is amazing, and his staff are so genuine and caring. I always have, and will continue referring people to take their pets here. They are hands down the best veterinary care in the area!

    - Amber C
  • Have taken our dogs to Dr. Lavallee for over 10 years and he is great with each of them. He and his staff are very caring and helpful.

    - Barb S
  • Middle of a snow storm a few days ago. My little puppy was injured. I live in Faribult. Vet offices were closed in town. They actually called me while in route to see if I was ok. They were so good with the puppy. The cost was very reasonable. Called today to see how everything was going. I really was very impressed with this office. I recommend this place.

    ...
    Show More - Wendy E
  • Awesome experience! My pets love the care they get from Dr. Lavallee and his staff! They are not just a number; they care for them like my babies are family! Would highly recommend them!

    - SGGM
  • Found a 6-wk old kitten on the side of the highway and brought it in at 7pm on emergency basis. I was blown away by the compassion of Dr. Johnson's team. What a great experience. True animal people!

    - Anna H
  • Moved to New Prague and found this place for our dog.. Such great service, friendly staff, amazing Dr. and very accommodating to all of our needs!! Highly recommended by my pet family!!!

    - Kerri N
  • We love New Prague Animal Care, they are always so kind and caring, from the phone calls to when you walk in. We take our Siberian Husky Bandit in and he gets so much attention, well loved. We've had to take him in twice for emergencies, the in house testing was great, Dr. Johnson was able to resolve the issue almost immediately. I wouldn't take him anywhere else.

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    Show More - Myra C

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