Why is vaccination important?
Pets are exposed to a variety of potential risks for infection. At the Animal Hospital of Pataskala we evaluate the risks of your pet's lifestyle, age, and disease exposure then vaccinate as appropriate. If you have concerns regarding vaccinations, please discuss them with the doctor at your pet's appointment. We are happy to discuss the vaccinations your pet may need, share our knowledge and recommendations, and help you choose an appropriate vaccination plan for your pet.
How does vaccination work?
Vaccines contain killed or modified live (weakened) forms of viruses or bacteria. They stimulate production of protective antibodies in healthy animals that neutralize the virus or bacteria if the animal is later exposed.
Why do puppies and kittens require more frequent vaccinations than older dogs?
Nursing animals ingest antibodies from their mothers. These maternal antibodies provide early protection against infectious disease. Maternal antibodies naturally decline during the first three to four months of life and eventually disappear. This is why younger animals receive a series of vaccines starting around 6-8 weeks of age. Long term protection from the vaccines is achieved as soon as maternal antibody levels decline below protective levels.
How often should my pet receive vaccination?
Immunity to most infectious diseases gradually declines over time, so periodic revaccination is necessary for proper protection. Frequency of vaccination depends on your pet's lifestyle, age, and risk of disease exposure. You veterinarian will help you determine the appropriate vaccination schedule that is appropriate for your pet.