Dog Vaccine Basics

As pet owners know, preventing illness and disease is far cheaper and easier in the long run than treating it. Vaccines are one of the best preventative medicine tools out there. You may have questions about vaccines and your dog: here, a Temecula vet provides some answers.

How Do Vaccines Work?

Vaccines work by preparing your dog’s immune system to fight off infection. When the vaccine is introduced into your dog’s system, the compounds in the vaccine “look” like disease-causing agents even though they don’t cause disease. Your dog’s immune system is stimulated and recognizes the danger. Then, if your dog ever comes down with the real thing, the immune system recognizes it right away and fights it off. Vaccines may prevent diseases entirely or make them much less severe.

What Are Core Vaccines?

Core vaccines are generally considered vital to all dogs’ health. The common core vaccines are canine parvovirus, rabies, distemper, and hepatitis. Talk to your veterinarian to ask more about core vaccines and what the latest research shows.

What Vaccines Does My Dog Need?

In addition to core vaccines, non-core vaccines may be given to limit against other illnesses and bacteria. Your veterinarian can advise you on what your dog might need based on health, location, environment, age, and other factors. In addition, the canine rabies vaccine is required by law in just about every area.

How Often Will My Dog Need Vaccines?

This will vary as well. Depending on the vaccines themselves and your dog’s health, age, and environment, a dog might get their vaccines annually, or once every three to five years. Contact your Temecula veterinarian to ask about the frequency and necessity of vaccine appointments.

Are There Any Risks?

Since vaccines work by mildly stimulating the immune system, some symptoms may result and side effects could occur. Call your veterinarian if they become serious. In the large majority of cases, though, vaccines prevent diseases instead of triggering them. There is also a small risk of an adverse reaction to a particular vaccine—if you think your dog is having an allergic or other type of reaction to a recently-received vaccine, call your veterinary hospital immediately.


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