It’s National Immunization Awareness Month and we’re answering your top questions about pet immunizations in San Diego. Just like us, our pets need to stay up to date on their vaccines. Vaccines are the easiest way to lower the risk of your pets suffering complications of harmful, preventable diseases. Without these precautions, your pet could get very sick. You’re not only lowering the risk to your furry friends, though. Vaccinating pets protects those around your pet from contracting things transmitted between animals and humans, too.
How Do Vaccines Work For Pets?
Immunizations for our pets, similar to vaccines for us, are rigorously tested before use. Vaccines stimulate the immune system’s response to disease, causing the creation of specific antibodies. This prepares your pet’s body to fight off the disease in the future.
What Diseases Should I Vaccinate My Pet For?
Different animals need different immunizations because they can carry different diseases. Here are some diseases dogs and cats are commonly vaccinated against.
- Kennel Cough
- Lyme Disease
- Feline Calicivirus
How Often Does My Pet Need Shots?
Immunizations for cats and dogs typically start at about 8 weeks. When your pet is fully grown, boosters are administered yearly or every three years, depending on the vaccine. Your vet will be able to let you know when your pet needs to be boosted.
Do Animals Have Side Effects?
Your pet may have mild side effects or even none at all. Your pet may experience:
- Decreased appetite
- Swelling at the site of injection
- Discomfort at the site of injection
- Mild fever
- Sneezing (after intranasal vaccine)
- Coughing (after intranasal vaccine)
These side effects generally only last a few days but if you notice any severe side effects like allergic reaction, vomiting or diarrhea, severe swelling or sudden collapse, contact your veterinarian immediately.