We understand that when it comes to your pet’s vaccination health, it can be a lot to keep track of and understand. So, our team put together this FAQ page to help pet owners better understand the vaccination process.
Why do vaccines matter?
As a pet owner, your pet depends on you to provide care that will help them live a long, happy, and healthy life. Vaccinations are a core component of preventative care for your pets and offer protection against various illnesses and diseases. It is crucial to your pet’s health and well-being that they stay up-to-date on the recommended vaccinations.
I just got a new pet, what should I do now?!
If you’re bringing home a new puppy or kitten soon, it’s very important to request copies of their medical records, including a record of their vaccination history. Typically, the location where you got your pet will provide records or refer you to which vet performed any services to request records directly from the vet’s office.
When you schedule your first visit with Telford Vet, we will require you to provide your pet’s medical records prior to your appointment. This allows the vet to look over their history and create a baseline for their care needs, including any vaccinations. This procedure applies whether you’re bringing in a young puppy/kitten or an adult dog/cat.
When should my pet get their first shots?
For both puppies and kittens, we typically recommend beginning the first round of vaccinations around 6-8 weeks old. After this stage, your pet should receive a series of vaccinations every 2-4 weeks until they are at least 14 weeks old.
Young pets’ bodies are constantly developing and their immune systems are not yet capable of fighting off disease. Fortunately, their mother has passed on disease-fighting antibodies to her offspring. The problem is that these same maternal antibodies interfere with vaccines. As the maternal antibody levels decrease, the antibodies stimulated by the vaccines take over. This is why we start vaccines around the 6-8 week old timeframe and give a series of vaccines. At the end of the series, your pet will be fully protected for one full year.
Why does my pet still need vaccines every year?
Vaccinations are a core component of preventative care for your pets and offer protection against various illnesses and diseases. It is crucial to your pet’s health and well-being that they stay up-to-date on the vaccinations the vet recommends for them.
It’s important to remember that dogs age differently than humans; if you skip one annual wellness exam, it’s comparable to missing a check-up for seven years! When they miss out on updating a vaccination, they are more susceptible to contracting diseases, some of which are potentially fatal without vaccine immunity.
I’m not sure if my pet is up-to-date on shots, what should I do?
If you do not know the vaccination history of your pet, you should consult any prior or current veterinary offices. At Telford Vet, you can simply give our office a call and a member of our Reception staff would be happy to help you. We can easily check your pet’s file to let you know their current vaccination status and the due dates of any future boosters.
If you are coming to Telford Vet for the first time, we can call your prior vets on your behalf to obtain medical records and save you time.
You can also utilize our PetDesk app to find your pet’s vaccination history and due dates directly on your phone. PetDesk allows you to email yourself a copy of the Vaccination Certificate directly from the app.
If you are unable to provide any medical records or vaccination history, your vet may recommend re-starting the vaccination process from the beginning. While this may seem strange, when it comes to your pet’s vaccinations and protection, it is always better to be safe than sorry!
I need a copy of my pet’s records, what should I do?
If you need a copy of your Medical Records and/or Vaccination Certificate for another vet office, boarding facility, dog sitter, or grooming salon, we would be more than happy to email them a copy for you. Please give our office a call and provide us with their contact information.
You can also utilize our PetDesk app to find your pet’s vaccination history and due dates directly on your phone, and email yourself a copy of their Vaccination Certificate directly from the app.
Does my pet need all of the available vaccines?
The risk factors are different for each individual pet. To protect your pet’s health throughout their lifetime, we routinely vaccinate them against rabies and DHPP, which protects against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Your vet will consider the risk factors facing your unique pet and advise you on any additional vaccinations that are best for your dog’s health and well-being.
If you have any questions or concerns about particular vaccines or financial concerns, you’re more than welcome to discuss these with your vet. At Telford Vet, we take pet owners’ wishes into consideration before administering any vaccines.
Please Note: In the state of Pennsylvania, it is required by law for veterinarians to keep the rabies vaccine up to date for both dogs and cats.*
Will my pet have any side effects from vaccines?
Most pets will not have major side effects from their vaccinations but may experience only a brief or minor reaction. If you notice any of the following side effects, contact your vet immediately to determine if other treatment may be necessary.
If these minor reactions occur, there is no cause for concern and should resolve within 24 hours:
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased energy levels
- Swelling or soreness near the injection site
If these major reactions occur, there is some level of concern, and you should call the Vet:
- High fever
If you recently brought home a new puppy or kitten, you can schedule their first vet visit with us using the PetDesk app, or by contacting our office directly.
Check out the Telford Vet Blog for more informational resources!
Embark Genetic Testing For Puppies
Tips For Bringing Home A New Pet
*Rabies is 100% fatal. There are no treatments currently available, and it’s contagious. Prevention is crucial. The rabies vaccination may be required annually or every 3 years, depending on the vaccine used. In the state of Pennsylvania, it is required by law for veterinarians to give all dogs and cats the Rabies vaccine continuously throughout the pet’s lifetime.
While there are other vaccinations offered elsewhere, this blog only outlines those which are regularly administered by the Veterinarians at Telford Veterinary Hospital in Souderton, PA. Additionally, the information and advice provided in this blog are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s health, please make an appointment with your vet.
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