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The Critical Role of Pet Vaccines in Animal Health

Pet vaccinations are the cornerstone of health and wellness for your Los Angeles pets. These injections activate the pet's own immune system against many potentially deadly diseases -- if you need a veterinarian to help ensure your pet's long-term health in this manner, Century Veterinary Group is ready to help.

Vaccines create immunity by priming the body to mount an immense response against a specific pathogen, or disease agent. Pathogens carry molecular "markers" called antigens on their surfaces; these antigens identify the pathogen as a dangerous intruder to the body's immune system, which then unleashes antibodies to destroy it. Vaccines are weakened or synthetic forms of a virus; they are not strong enough to infect your pet, but the presence of their antigens is sufficient to train your pet’s body to develop and maintain immunity again them.

The most important pet vaccinations that every pet owner should schedule are known as core vaccinations. Core vaccinations tend to be administered all at once and guard your pet against a handful of especially serious diseases. Different types of pets require somewhat different core vaccinations, although many need vaccines that protect against rabies, an invariably fatal nerve and brain disease that is highly contagious via the bite of an infected mammal. (In fact, your pet cannot even be registered with the city until his rabies vaccination has been documented by a veterinarian.) In addition to rabies vaccinations, puppies need protection against canine parvovirus and distemper virus; kittens need to be vaccinated against feline calicivirus, panleukopenia, and feline herpes virus 1. Depending on your pet's location and lifestyle, you may want to look into additional pet vaccinations well. Our Los Angeles veterinarian can advise you on the need to vaccinate your pet against Lyme disease, "kennel cough" or other diseases as needed.

Scheduling Vaccinations for Your Los Angeles Pets

It is important to realize that no pet vaccinations offer permanent immunity. Vaccines have a limited effective lifespan, and once their effectiveness fades your pet is once again vulnerable to infection. Following the initial round of core vaccinations administered by our Los Angeles veterinarian within the first eight weeks of life, your pet will need booster shots every eight weeks until he is four months old. We will then arrange to administer ongoing updates as needed during your pet's annual wellness checkups to ensure that your pet remains protected year after year.

While we encourage all pet owners to schedule the appropriate pet vaccinations for their animals, we should also mention that while most animals have no difficulty tolerating the shots, there is always the slight possibility of an allergic reaction. The symptoms of a reaction may include nothing more than a mild fever or sluggishness, but if more serious issues such as seizures or breathing trouble occurs, bring your pet to our Los Angeles veterinarian for emergency treatment.