Do Pets Really Need Vaccines?

Rabies vaccine

Vaccinations are a crucial preventive measure to stop the spread of disease. Vaccinating your pets helps them have a longer, happier, and healthier life. 

Due to the widespread use of pet vaccines, many deadly diseases are close to total eradication – however, without vet-recommended vaccinations, your pet can still catch serious illnesses. 

Pet diseases are highly contagious and can even affect strictly indoor animals due to how easily bacteria travels on surfaces such as shoes. 

Pet vaccines are a necessary precautionary measure. Continue reading to find out what shots are required and how to keep your pet safe from disease. 

Why Are Pet Vaccinations Necessary?

Pet vaccines expose your furry friend’s immune system to an infection before they catch it independently. Their immune system activates upon exposure, producing antibodies that will remember how to defend your pet when they are next exposed. 

These defensive antibodies are crucial to ensuring that your pet can handle a disease if they become exposed. Pets who have not had previous exposure to infection are much more likely to experience serious symptoms or even death. 

Some diseases are highly dangerous not only for pets but also for humans. For example, 59,000 humans die per year due to rabies. Only around two of those deaths occur in the United States, as rabies pet vaccines are mandatory by law, proving the effectiveness of vaccinations. 

So, why are pet vaccinations necessary? A vaccine can help stop the spread of deadly diseases and keep both you and your pet safe.

What Vaccines Do Dogs Need? 

Some of the most common core vaccines include: 

  • Canine Distemper
  • Rabies
  • Parvovirus
  • Adenovirus type-1/Hepatitis

These vaccines protect your dogs against highly dangerous canine diseases. Canine distemper causes respiratory and nervous system failure, while rabies causes progressive neurological problems in adult dogs. 

Parvovirus leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and even sepsis if you have an unvaccinated puppy. Adenovirus type-1 induces either acute or chronic liver inflammation. 

Your dog may require other vaccines depending on your dog’s age, health, outdoor lifestyle, and other factors. These include: 

  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica: to prevent kennel cough
  • Leptospirosis: to protect from bacteria in water sources in the wild
  • Canine Influenza Virus: to block respiratory illness passed on from dogs outside the home

What Shots Do Cats Need?

The core vaccines necessary for cats are: 

  • Panleukopenia
  • Feline Herpesvirus-1
  • Calicivirus

Panleukopenia leads to dehydration and vomiting. A kitten infected before birth can also experience brain damage. Feline herpesvirus-1 and panleukopenia both result in serious respiratory illnesses that may flare up throughout a cat’s life. 

Depending on your cat’s lifestyle, your vet may also recommend: 

  • Feline Leukemia: causes chronic illness and weakens the immune system
  • Rabies: highly recommended even if your state has no legal requirement
  • Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV): contracted during catfights

Pet Vaccines Near Me

If you believe that your pet needs a vaccination schedule, the vets at Gables Animal Clinic can help. Our Coral Gables, FL, vets are experts at recommending pet vaccines tailored to your animal’s needs. Call us at (305) 384-6983 to make a vaccination appointment for your pet today.