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If you love your pets and want to keep them healthy and happy, then you're no doubt looking for ways to help prevent the illnesses that threaten their health or even their lives. Pet vaccinations play a critical the preventative wellness puzzle by enabling your best friend to maintain protective antibodies against these killer diseases. If your pet is due for vaccinations or vaccination updates, you'll be glad to know that The Veterinary Clinic can provide these all-important shots alongside other wellness essentials.
A pet's immune system can ward off many kinds of disease threats, but it isn't primed for that task right from the beginning of an animal's life. The immune systems of newborn puppies and kittens have not yet built up their own stores of antibodies; instead, the mother's milk conveys a degree of second-hand protection. But once the babies are weaned, they find themselves without any ready safeguards against deadly infectious ailments. This is where vaccinations step in as an essential part of preventative animal care and why your Brunswick veterinarian at our animal hospital will recommend administering them starting around the age of 6-8 weeks, following up with multiple rounds of vaccinations during the first year of life to create the strongest possible immunity.
The immune system creates antibodies in response to threats, by which time, the germ in question may already have caused serious illness. Vaccines provide the perception of that threat without the actual danger of contagion. These inert substances bear a close enough resemblance to the active disease that they trigger antibody production just as if they were the genuine article.
Animal vaccinations fall into two principal categories: core and non-core (or elective). Core vaccinations are the ones every pet needs to maintain protection against some of the most pervasive everyday killers. Different animals require different core animal vaccinations. Dogs are routinely vaccinated against rabies, canine distemper, canine parvovirus and canine hepatitis; cats are routinely vaccinated against rabies, feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus type 1 and feline distemper. While the rabies vaccination is administered as a separate shot, the other vaccines can be combined into a single injection.
Some pets face additional disease risks, meaning that they may require additional non-core vaccinations. For instance, dogs who will be boarded or placed in close quarters with other animals may need to vaccinate against "a kennel cough" (Bordetella), while cats in these situations may need vaccinations against feline leukemia or other highly communicable diseases. Your veterinarian in Brunswick can make specific recommendations for your pet.
It's important to remember that vaccinations lose their power over time, so even if your pet has been vaccinated, he may be due for booster shots. Contact us at 207-729-3412 to schedule any necessary vaccinations and other pet care essentials from our Brunswick veterinarians!