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Vaccinations – Why Your Dog Needs Them

pet vaccinations in lakeland flThere are many dangerous and potentially fatal diseases that exist in our environment that can affect your pets. Fortunately, those diseases can be prevented with simple and affordable routine vaccinations. At Highland Pet Hospital, we offer all of the vaccines that your pet needs to prevent these dangerous diseases and give you peace of mind.

Although the rabies vaccine is the only vaccine that is required by law for your pet, we also recommend vaccines to protect your pet against other diseases as well. Dogs and cats have different needs, so we’ll cover them separately.

What Vaccines does my dog need, and why?

It’s important to understand what vaccines do and how they work. Vaccines help prepare a dog’s immune system to defend itself from any invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which mimic disease-causing organisms in a dog’s immune system, but don’t actually cause disease. The purpose of puppy vaccines and dog vaccines is to mildly stimulate the immune system by having it recognize the antigens present. This way, if a dog becomes exposed to the real disease, its immune system will recognize it, and therefore be prepared to fight it off, or at the least reduce its effects. Every pet’s immune system is a little different. Two dogs in the same household, who are exposed to the same disease after vaccinations may have differing symptoms- or none at all.

What are ‘Core Vaccines’ for a dog?

‘Core vaccines’ are what we consider vital to all dogs based on universal risk of exposure and the severity of the disease. Core vaccines not only protect your pet, but since they prevent the disease, it helps limit the transmission of the disease to other potentially unvaccinated pets, other animals or in some cases, humans.

Core vaccines protect against:

  • Rabies
  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis

Non-core vaccines include

  • Canine Influenza
  • Bordetella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme Disease

These ‘non-core’ vaccines are important, too. Although these illnesses or diseases are rarely fatal themselves, they can cause serious problems for your pet. Pets with compromised immune systems or other chronic health problems can face life-threatening complications from these illnesses. Talk with us about your pet’s lifestyle and we can assist you in making the best vaccination choices for your pet based on their risk factors.

Pet Hospital & Vet in Lakeland FLCore Vaccines for Cats

  • Rabies

The FVRCP vaccine is a combination vaccine that protects your cat against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia. Panleukopenia is often also called feline distemper- but it’s not related to distemper that can affect dogs. Actually, feline distemper is more closely related to canine parvovirus.

Non-core vaccines for felines include:

  • FeLV- Feline Leukemia virus

Behind trauma, Feline Leukemia is the 2nd leading cause of premature death in cats, as it suppresses the cat’s immune system leaving them prone to potentially deadly infections.

What are the risks associated with vaccinating my pets?

The benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the risks, despite numerous groups and websites claiming otherwise. Do not buy into the thought that we only recommend vaccinations in order to increase the cost of your visit. We vaccinate your pet to protect them against harmful and potentially deadly disease. If you are concerned about the risks, we’re happy to discuss your concerns during your next visit.