Immunizing or vaccinating a pet is a safe, smart, and inexpensive protection against a variety of deadly diseases that are known to infect both dogs and cats. By following a regular vaccination schedule, your pet will make antibodies to those specific viruses and will have protection if they are exposed. Diseases such as canine parvovirus, canine distemper, feline leukemia, feline distemper (panleukopenia), and leptospirosis are all easily prevented by the administration of regular vaccinations during the pet’s lifetime. Each of the above mentioned infectious diseases threaten the pet’s life, and can be extremely costly to treat. Also, some of the diseases that pets can get can cause disease in humans too. For example, leptospirosis is an important disease passed from animals to people. Outbreaks of disease in humans are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. 

Puppies and kittens present a special case for vaccinations. Because they are born with immunity from their mother, which interferes with their ability to produce protective antibodies when vaccinated, we don't know exactly when is the best time to vaccinate them. If we vaccinate too early, the vaccine will have little effect and if we wait until the puppies and kittens are old enough to be sure the protection from their mother won't interfere with the vaccine, they may become exposed, infected and ill. For this reason we start vaccinating at a very early age and give the vaccines every 2 to 3 weeks until we can be reasonably sure that the vaccine is working.  We will work with clients to create the best vaccination schedule for their individual pets.

Vaccine failures

One of the greatest frustrations occurs when a dog develops a disease against which it has been vaccinated. For example, you may have spent quite a bit of money to vaccinate your puppies against canine parvovirus and they still come down with parvo. You may become upset and angry. After did what you were asked to do and now this! Unfortunately, although most of our pet vaccines have a very high success rate in dogs and cats, none produces immunity in 100% of the animals being vaccinated. Also, if the dog's immune system is not functioning properly or if the immune system is immature, it cannot respond properly to the vaccine and make antibodies. And if puppies are sick when vaccinated, the immune system will be so "occupied" with the germs causing the sickness that it will respond poorly to the vaccine. Some breeds (like rottweilers) are very difficult to vaccinate and "breakthroughs" are not uncommon.

The best way to prevent costly vaccine failures is to vaccinate your pets according to the schedule suggested by your veterinarian, keep your puppies away from older dogs and dirty areas until they are fully vaccinated, and when you take your puppies to your veterinarian to be vaccinated, bring them in a box or carrier and NEVER place them on the waiting room floor.

Let's work together to make your pet healthy and happy!