Keeping Your Pet
with Vaccinations

Just like people, dogs and cats can succumb to illnesses and infections. Infectious disease organisms can strike your pet at any time, causing serious illness, or even death unless his immune system is already prepared for the challenge. That’s why vaccinating your dog or cat is incredibly important. Here at Best Friends Veterinary Hospital, we work closely with pet parents to make sure that each patient is up to date with all of their vaccinations and offer email and text notifications as well. Once your pet receives their initial set of puppy or kitten shots, your veterinarian will let you know when they are due for a booster shot to keep them healthy and safe.

The Critical Role of Pet Vaccines

An animal’s immune system defends against invading organisms by creating antibodies specially configured to fight and kill those organisms. This defense measure can work quite well, but some diseases are so potent that an unprepared immune system is unable to fight off the infection.

Vaccines prepare an immune system for these more prodigious invaders. A vaccine is a non-infectious germ injected into a living creature in order to stimulate its immune system. While the vaccine can’t infect your pet, it resembles the real thing closely enough to prompt the necessary production of antibodies. The immune system will remember how to create the antibodies for the lifespan of the vaccine, which is usually 1 to 3 years. To ensure that your pet remains protected against the disease for life, booster shots are administered on the appropriate schedule for the vaccine in question. Puppies and kittens receive several vaccines to establish a strong base of protection from the first weeks of life.

Core and Elective Vaccinations
from Our Veterinarians

Our Crossville veterinarian, Dr. Warlick, administers two basic types of vaccinations: core vaccinations and elective (or non-core) vaccinations. Every dog or cat needs to receive a specific set of core vaccinations, which protect against the most common threats in most animals’ everyday environments. You can expect to give your pet the following core vaccinations:

Dogs:

Canine parvovirus, rabies, distemer, canine hepatitis

Cats:

Rabies, feline calicivirus, panleukopenia, and feline herpesvirus type 1

In addition to the standard schedule of core vaccinations, some pets may need to receive elective vaccinations against certain other diseases. These tend to be infections common to specific situations or environments. For instance, we may recommend a leptospirosis vaccination for pets who spend time in the water, or a Bordetella vaccination for animals who will be kept in boarding facilities.