dog getting immunized.

We’re dedicated to helping pet owners protect their best friends from many terrible diseases all year round, but August is National Immunization Awareness month. This important campaign aims to elevate the importance of routine vaccines so that more of our furry friends achieve the health and happiness they deserve. 

A Strong Beginning

Vaccines for cats and dogs are designed to create a strong immunity against future infections. By triggering antibodies in the immune system, vaccines prevent disease or minimize severity. What’s more, national immunization month may remind pet owners that the prevention of certain diseases extends to themselves and vulnerable family members. 

Part of the Plan

Pet vaccinations not only safeguard overall health and longevity, but can save owners the high cost of treating various contagious diseases. It’s good for individual pets, but also contributes to the community’s health, as well, by stopping the cycle of contagious disease. While the eradication of infectious disease in wildlife may still be out of reach, pet owners can play an important role in reducing the impact on companion animals. 

The Schedule

Kittens and puppies do not have the ability to ward off infections because their immune systems are still developing. While they receive antibodies through their mother’s milk, once they are weaned young animals may become vulnerable to various infections. As such, it is recommended to start a young pet’s vaccination schedule as soon as possible. 

Many cat and dog vaccines are given in a series (typically 3-4 weeks apart) in order to jumpstart their immune system’s ability to fight disease. Follow-up shots are given to provide complete and long-term protection. If there are lapses between scheduled vaccinations, or missing shots, full immunization is incomplete. Typically, full immunization is achieved by 4 months of age.

An incredible value, our wellness plans include the core vaccines, heartworm test, and much more. 

Shots for My Pet

Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, medical history, and age we’ll work with you to determine the right dog or cat vaccines. Core vaccines are essential immunizations that protect pets from diseases known to be in particular locations or environments. Non-core vaccines are more elective immunizations that guard against diseases related to lifestyle, such as traveling, hiking or camping. 

A Bright Future

Blood tests can measure antibody titers. These measurements can inform us of a pet’s ability to fight certain diseases based on the antibodies in their blood. Results can help pet owners understand their pet’s potential immunity. Depending on past reactions to vaccines or possible exposure to disease, pet owners have a lot to consider when it comes to their pet’s health and safety. 

Reactions to vaccines can vary between animals, and we encourage watching a pet closely for any signs of illness or allergic reaction following routine vaccinations. 

Veterinary Medical Associates are always here to help your pet achieve the optimal health that they deserve. Please call us at (209) 527‑5855 with any questions or concerns, or to schedule a wellness exam.