Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Jacksonville Pet Owners
Q: What exactly are pet vaccines?
A: Vaccines are substances derived from living or dead virus samples which, when injected into an animal's bloodstream, inoculate the animal against future exposures to that virus. Humans have used vaccines to protect themselves since the 18th Century, when the very first vaccines were used to combat smallpox.
Q: How important are vaccines to the health of my pet?
A: A vaccination is necessary to prevent potentially devastating illnesses from endangering your pet's life. Puppies and kittens do not have their own built-in resistance to these diseases, and any protection passed on to them from mother's milk fades during the first few weeks of life. This is why we urge Jacksonville owners to get their pets vaccinated from a very young age.
Q: What are core vaccines?
A: Vaccines are divided into three major categories -- core, non-core and recommended. Core vaccines are those that protect your pet against common, fatal conditions, and these are ones every pet should receive without fail. Core vaccines for dogs include those that protect against parvovirus, distemper, rabies and canine hepatitis. Cats require protection against rabies, FCV, FHV and panleukopenia.
Q: Which vaccines should my puppy or kitten get?
A: Obviously, your puppy or kitten should receive a full round of core vaccinations. In some cases, however, your pet may also require additional non-core or recommended protection against other illnesses. For instance, dogs that make use of boarding facilities should be vaccinated against bordetella, or "kennel cough." Your pet may also need vaccination against Lyme disease or other parasite-borne diseases if he spends much time outdoors.
Q: Which vaccines are required by law?
A: While legal requirements regarding vaccination vary from state to state, rabies vaccinations are mandated by law. If you are traveling with your Jacksonville pet, you will also be asked to provide proof of rabies vaccinations.
Q: How often should my pet be vaccinated?
A: A typical vaccine may remain effective for one to three years, so updates for different vaccines may be necessary at different times. Pets with specific health conditions or lifestyles may require more frequent or less frequent booster shots. Our Jacksonville vet can help explain the options to pet owners.
Q: Are there risks associated with vaccination?
A: Some animals may react to vaccination with soreness, allergic reactions or other mild symptoms. But we feel that the protection they provide outweighs lesser considerations.
Q: Scheduling Vaccinations at Our Jacksonville Clinic
We encourage all Jacksonville pet owners to contact Animal Hospital of Onslow County to schedule core vaccinations for their puppies or kittens, or to schedule vaccination updates for adult animals. Once we have vaccinated the pet, we can provide the owner with a recommended schedule of booster shots to help them maintain the level of disease protection for life. Together we can give your pet the best possible chance to enjoy many happy years as a member of your family.