The Importance of Immunization

The Importance of Immunization


When was the last time you took your pet for his routine immunizations? Do you know what immunizations he has had and when his next dose is due? These are important questions that any responsible pet owner should be able to answer, and this is because immunizations, or vaccinations, are just as important for pets as for people.


We live in a world where there are countless different diseases that can potentially make us sick. Unfortunately, there are just as many illnesses that can also affect our pets. The good news is that like us, our pets can be protected against the most serious and deadly, and this is thanks to immunizations.


Immunizations have saved countless lives, human and animal. These remarkable medical tools help to prepare the immune system to fight disease-causing organisms by tricking it into thinking it is under attack from dangerous invaders. However, this is simply the vaccine masquerading as a deadly illness, without actually causing harm. When the vaccine is introduced to your pet’s body, his immune system is stimulated. Therefore, if he ever comes into contact with the real disease, his body will recognize it and either fight it off before it causes any symptoms at all, or will significantly reduce the severity with which your pet experiences it.


All veterinary practices offer routine immunizations as part of their standard care for those animals that need them. These are often incorporated into routine wellness appointments during which the general health of your pet will be assessed, as well as providing any immunizations that your furbaby might need.


How Do I Know Which Immunizations My Pet Needs?


Your vet is the best person to advise you exactly which immunizations your pet needs. This is because, whilst there is a wide range of different vaccines available, your furbaby may not need or benefit from all of them. There is a group of core vaccinations that are recommended for all animals of a specific species. Then alongside this, there are a number of non-core vaccines that are given to those animals that a veterinarian decides would benefit from.


Examples of core vaccines for dogs include parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies. Non-core vaccines include leptospirosis and Bordetella.


Your veterinarian will put together a vaccination schedule for your pet based upon his individual needs, including his age, medical history, environment, and lifestyle. It is important that you adhere to this schedule exactly as given as being late with any immunizations, even by just a week, can potentially leave your pet vulnerable to a life-threatening illness.  


The Threat Of Zoonotic Disease


Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases that are caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites that are able to be passed between animals and humans. There are many different zoonotic diseases and it is estimated that more than 60% of newly identified infectious diseases in humans originate in animals. One of the best ways to keep yourself and your family safe from zoonotic diseases is to make sure that your pet is up to date with his preventative medications, including his immunizations.


Immunizations And The Law


Every state has its own individual laws relating to immunization requirements and the schedule against which they should be given. Proof of rabies vaccination is required by law in virtually all U.S. states. Failure to meet the legal vaccination requirements of your state could see your pet taken away and potentially euthanized, and you could receive a hefty fine.



If you would like more information about the importance of immunizations, or if you would like to make an appointment to discuss a vaccination schedule for your pet, please get in touch with Mill Creek Animal Hospital in Shawnee, KS 913-268-0900.