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FAQs About Vaccination
Indoor-only pets still need to stay up to date with core vaccines and yearly exams.
An unintended, though common, problem we see with indoor-only pets is that they accidentally get out. And if they are unvaccinated, it means they can be exposed to disease with no protection at all.
In addition, it is possible for owners or other pets to expose indoor-only pets to disease. Some diseases are in the environment and can be brought in by owners or other pets.
Other diseases are so dangerous to people, such as rabies, that it is mandated by law to have all animals vaccinated for this disease.
In order to produce vaccines, viruses are introduced into cell cultures to produce viral antigens—the main component of the vaccine.
These are then harvested, and viruses are either killed or modified into an inactive state for vaccine safety.
A process of purification to remove cellular debris and stabilization will occur as well as a process to quantify vaccine concentration before forming the end product. These processes are performed to assure safety, stabilization and effectiveness of the vaccine end product.
Government oversight and regulation of vaccines for pets is performed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This means that manufacturers of vaccines must adhere to rules and regulations established by the USDA in creating safe and effective vaccines that do what manufacturers claim they do. This includes quality control monitoring by the USDA.
There are multiple large pharmaceutical companies, which allows for a healthy amount of competition to assure constant refining and improvement of vaccines, as no company wants to be outdone by the other.
So far in our US market, I believe this has helped produce pet vaccines that the majority of veterinarians consider to be very safe and efficacious.
Yes, it is still considered safe for senior and geriatric pets to get vaccines. Discuss with your veterinarian which vaccines they recommend for your senior pets.
The goal with every pet is to keep them healthy and protected while not over-vaccinating. Your veterinarian can help you figure out what that means for your pet and will review their history, current disease/illnesses, lifestyle and risk to help determine which vaccines are appropriate for your older pet.
Distemper titers can be discussed with your vet as well.
Depending on the age and timing of vaccine, the immune response generated by vaccines can be anywhere from weeks to years.
Younger pets (puppies and cats) will need vaccines more frequently due to antibodies provided by their mother that minorly interfere with a vaccine’s long-term effectiveness. Older pets can have a lasting immune response that will stay effective for months to years.
Core vaccines such as rabies and distemper will always be needed, as even with our best vaccine protocol, these fatal diseases widely exist and have the potential to be devastating for our pets and wildlife.
In the case of rabies, this disease can also pose a risk to you and your family.
Noncore vaccines will be recommended based on the lifestyle and risk level of your pet. Some vaccines that have fallen out of favor include: