There's nothing more joyous than watching a healthy dog or cat play and romp, and nothing more painful than watching him experiencing an agonizing or even fatal illness. That special four-legged friend in your life is counting on you to provide critical protection against killer diseases. Fortunately, you can depend on The Oaks Pet Hospital to make it happen. Our veterinarian in Bakersfield, Dr. Sidhu, can administer both required and elective vaccinations throughout your pet's life to keep him happy and healthy.
Why Your Kitten or Puppy Needs Vaccinations
A newborn puppy or kitten comes into the world with an enormous disadvantage -- lack of immunity against the many disease organisms that seem to lurk in every corner. The immune system doesn't know to produce antibodies against specific germs until it has been exposed to those germs, by which point a serious illness may be in the works. Puppies and kittens are armed only with second-hand immunity granted by their mother's milk, so by the time they are weaned they face serious health risks. Vaccines resemble dangerous germs without causing the same diseases as those germs, prompting the immune system to get a head start on making those protective antibodies.
Not all vaccinations are created equal. The ones every pet must receive as protection against common threats are known as core vaccinations. Some pets may also need other non-core or elective vaccinations to protect against environmentally-specific dangers, such as being boarded with many other animals or traveling areas populated by disease-transferring creatures such as ticks.
Recommended Pet Vaccination Schedules
You should bring your puppy or kitten in for his first set of core vaccinations starting at the age of 6 weeks. The first round of dog core vaccinations protects against canine distemper, measles, and parainfluenza, while cats receive vaccinations against feline distemper, rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus. At 12 weeks, both dogs and cats receive core vaccinations against rabies. At 10 weeks, dogs receive core vaccinations against canine distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus, while cats receive a repeat of their first round of vaccinations. By 16 weeks of age, puppies and kittens should have had their third round of vaccinations (which duplicates the second round). During these rounds of vaccinations, our veterinarian in Bakersfield may also immunize your pet against leptospirosis, feline leukemia, Bordetella, Lyme disease or other non-core threats.
Pet vaccinations don't end with adulthood. Booster shots for specific vaccinations may be necessary at 1-to-3-year intervals. Even if your older pet has never been vaccinated, you can always start an immunization program to get him the disease protection he needs.
Call Our Veterinarian in Bakersfield to Schedule Pet Vaccinations
Now that you understand how pet vaccinations work, why they're important and how often they should occur, take the next step by scheduling any vaccinations your pet may need. Call The Oaks Pet Hospital at (661) 665-8950 to make an appointment with our veterinarian in Bakersfield!