Pet Vaccinations: 8 Great Questions from Colorado Pet Parents
October 8th, 2014 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic
We love that Castle Rock pet families like to be “in the know,” particularly when it comes to your puppies and kittens!
We’ve put together some of the best questions we’re asked about pet vaccinations. We want to help you feel comfortable with the pet vaccination process.
(Simply want to schedule vaccinations for your pet? Call us at 303-688-3757. Or click here to book your visit.)
#1: What’s the best age to start pet vaccinations?
We’re thrilled you want to get your pet off to a great start!
We recommend starting pet vaccinations when your puppy or kitten is six to eight weeks old.
If your pet’s mother was vaccinated, she protects her puppies or kittens with antibodies for approximately six weeks.
Your puppy’s or kitten’s own immune system kicks into action at about six weeks. (It varies slightly from pet to pet.)
#2: I rescued my dog or cat. What if I don’t know my pet’s vaccination history?
We understand you may not have access to your pet’s medical history, particularly if you rescued your dog or cat.
We recommend you vaccinate your pet to make sure that he or she has the best chance of being protected.
#3: I’ve been told my puppy or kitten has been vaccinated already. Should I assume he or she is fully protected?
No, it’s important to do a little legwork first.
Some shelters, rescue groups, stores and breeders will tell you your pet has been vaccinated.
However, if he or she has only received one vaccine, your pet isn’t fully protected yet. Your little one needs a series of pet vaccinations.
The best thing to do is ask for the paperwork on your pet’s vaccinations.
Our Castle Rock veterinary clinic is happy to coordinate with you to determine whether additional pet vaccinations are needed or not.
Hopefully, you’re all set!
#4: Why does my puppy or kitten need a series of pet vaccinations?
This is a question our veterinarians are asked a lot. It’s a good one!
If the antibodies in your puppy or kitten are still really high from the mother, the vaccines won’t take effect.
In addition, some vaccines need to be given in a series to fully boost them and protect your pet’s whole body.
#5: Do we really need to complete all the pet vaccinations?
Dr. Melanie recently read that there has been an outbreak of the Parvovirus in New Jersey. Pet parents aren’t getting their puppies vaccinated like they should.
(“Parvo” is a contagious viral disease that can be expensive to treat and deadly in puppies.)
Just a little bit of prevention goes a long way!
Getting your puppy or kitten vaccinated helps keep your pet happy, healthy and comfortable.
Pet vaccinations can protect your furry friend from a range of serious and painful illnesses.
Not to mention, they can spare you from a lot of stress and unnecessary veterinary bills.
Plus, some pet vaccinations, such as the rabies vaccine, are actually required by state law.
#6: Why do you make sure my pet is healthy before giving a vaccination?
If your pet is sick, your pet’s immune system is working on overdrive to take care of that illness or disease, and he or she won’t respond well to vaccines.
In some cases, we’re giving pet vaccinations to protect against bacteria-based illnesses (such as Leptospirosis and Bordetella).
If we have to put your pet on antibiotics because your pet is sick, the antibodies can shut down the vaccine before it stimulates your pet’s immune system.
And finally, vaccine manufacturers require that vaccines be given to healthy cats and dogs.
While rare, if your pet has an adverse reaction to a shot, we can isolate the issue to the vaccine and take appropriate action.
#7: What should I expect from my pet in the 24 to 48 hours after a shot?
It depends on your pet. Many cats and dogs don’t have any issues with pet vaccinations.
With that said, it isn’t unusual for pets to have a slight reaction.
Sometimes, cats will experience gastrointestinal issues and/or a slight fever for 24 hours.
This is normal.
If you have a dog, you may notice he or she has a slight fever and/or seems achy and sore.
Again, this is normal.
Our veterinarians can give your dog an anti-inflammatory, if needed.
In very rare cases, your cat or dog may have a severe adverse reaction to shots within a couple of hours.
Be on the lookout for swelling, itchiness and/or trouble breathing. (The symptoms are similar to a person who is having an allergic reaction to a bee sting.)
If you notice any of these signs, bring your pet back into our veterinary clinic. We’ll take care of him or her, offsetting the reaction.
#8: What else do I need to know about the pet vaccination process?
It’s very important to limit where your puppy and kitten goes until he or she is fully vaccinated.
For example, we know you may want to take your puppy to the park. Until your puppy is fully protected, though, exposing your pet to other animals can be dangerous.
We want to help you keep you pet safe and healthy!
Want to learn more about pet vaccinations?
Check out our:
To protect your furry friend…
Please call our Castle Rock vets at 303-688-3757 to schedule vaccinations. Or:
Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.
This article is intended to provide general guidance on pet vaccinations in Colorado. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)
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