Vaccination, vaccine, sick, disease, protect, medical, health, core, discretionary, distemper, parvovirus, rabies, booster, adenovirus, exam, wellness, age
Ask 10 different dog owners, the best way to potty train a puppy and you may get 10 different answers. Ask 10 different veterinarians which vaccine protocol offers the best protection for their canine patients, and they will likely give you several distinct answers. Why the variation in something that seems so straight forward?
A vaccine is defined as preparation of a modified microorganism that is administered to produce a protective immune response to a particular disease. Exactly how a vaccine works, how long the protection lasts and which dogs require a particular vaccine is an area of active investigation. With recent advances in veterinary medical knowledge, previously held beliefs regarding vaccination protocols are in a state of flux.
Many veterinarians are now following the guidelines endorsed by the American animal hospital association. These state that which vaccines are administered and how often they are given should be decided by your veterinarian based on your pet's unique lifestyle. A stay-at-home dog that never goes outside, other than to its own backyard, and rarely sees another dog is not at the same risk of contracting a communicable disease as the dog that goes hiking, biking and traveling with its owner. But one basic fact remains constant, vaccines are essential in protecting the health of your dog.
There are two basic categories of vaccines, core and discretionary. Core vaccines are those that pose a serious health threat to dogs such as distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus and rabies. The frequency that these immunizations are given vary with age. Puppies, like human children, need a series of vaccines their first year of life, a series which is very important t complete. Older dogs need boosters depending on their lifestyle and individual health issues.
Though it may be tempting to try and save a few dollars by having your dog's vaccines administered at a low cost vaccine clinic, do not sell your pet's health short. One of the most decisive measures you can take to help protect the long term health of your dog, is to have a complete wellness exam at least twice a year. Why examine a pet that seems totally healthy, twice a year? Since pets age so much more quickly than we do, a great deal can change in a very short amount of time. Your veterinarian is trained to detect subtle changes in your pet's health. Medical problems caught early are easier to treat, typically cost less to manage, and usually have a better outcome.
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