Vaccinations form an essential part of your pet's preventative care, helping to keep your pet healthy and safe from the multitude of different infectious diseases that pose a risk to his wellbeing.
While some of these may have fairly mild effects, others can cause irreversible damage to his body or even prove fatal should he contract them.
Vaccines tend to be divided into two different groups. These are 'core' and 'non-core' vaccines. The core vaccines are those which should be given to all pets of the species regardless of their age and where they live and roam. These include parvovirus, distemper, rabies, and leptospirosis for dogs and feline herpesvirus, calicivirus, and feline distemper for cats. The non-core vaccines tend to be recommended for animals on a case-by-case basis, using information about your animal's health, environment, and location to decide if they will be beneficial. Typical non-core vaccinations include kennel cough for dogs and feline immunodeficiency virus in cats. Your vet in Atlanta, GA will be able to tell you if your furry friend would benefit from receiving any of the non-core vaccines currently available.
Vaccines work by tricking your pet's body into thinking it is being attacked by a disease so that it produces antibodies to fight it. That way, if it comes into contact with the real deal, it will be able to counteract it promptly and before the proper infectious disease can have serious consequences for your pet. Once the effectiveness of the vaccination starts to wane, it can be re-administered, ensuring that your pet is fully protected once more.
Are Vaccinations Offered at or Recommended during an Annual Pet Exam?
Precisely what services will be included in your pet's annual exam will depend on what is offered by your vet in Atlanta, GA. Nevertheless, annual pet exams often touch on a few elements such as:
- A physical examination of your pet's body, looking at everything from the condition of his coat to whether he has any abnormal lumps or bumps.
- Urine analysis & Fecal analysis (if required, additional charges may apply)
- Blood and lab tests (if required, additional charges may apply)
- Parasite check and discuss preventative options
- Vaccination boosters (if required, vaccination charges may apply)
Vaccinations are not necessarily required yearly. The exact lifespan of the effectiveness of a vaccine can vary, but it should always be re-administered before it is estimated to "run out". Failure to do so could cause your pet to become vulnerable to the disease that the vaccine protects them from. For this reason, most vets will automatically create a personalized vaccination schedule for the pets registered to them and share this with their owners. Many will also send out reminders when booster shots are due.
If it is time for your pet to have a booster vaccination, it may be recommended to do so during his annual pet exam. Your vet will advise you if this is the case.
If you would like more information about pet vaccines or annual pet exams, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your individual circumstances, please call our friendly, experienced veterinary team at (404) 584-8761 or visit our vet office in Atlanta, GA.