What are vaccines?
Vaccines are health products developed to help your pet's immune system recognise and fight pathogens (disease causing organisms) in advance of your pet ever becoming exposed to these potentially dangerous pathogens.
Some vaccines can lessen the potential severity of the disease, while others can prevent such an infection occuring altogether. They are widely used within veterinary medicine due to the benefits associated with their use.
Why should I vaccinate my pet?
The old adage of 'Prevention is the Best Cure' is exactly what vaccines are all about.
Many of the diseases we vaccinate your pet against do not have a specific cure. This means in many cases, should a pet become infected, our veterinary team's only option is a supportive treatment plan. We then have to hope your pet's immune system can mount a sufficient response to overcome the infection.
However... should your pet be vaccinated, the likelihood of the disease being
(a) as severe
(b) even occuring
is remarkably reduced!
What vaccines will my pet require?
If your pet is either a cat or dog we recommend vaccination. All cats and dogs receive a course of what are called CORE vaccines. Depending on your pet's lifestyle, our vets may strongly recommend additional vaccines to be added to your pet's vaccine program. The aim of this is to ensure your pet has the benefits of as full a cover as possible.
Will my pet need booster vaccinations?
After your pet has been vaccinated, the level of immunity it acquires from the vaccine may wane over time. This reduction in immunity leaves your pet at an increased risk of infection. For this reason we recommend an annual vaccination booster.
I haven't heard of this disease. Why am I vaccinating my pet against it?
All the diseases we vaccinate for still occur in the country. While some are perhaps not as common as they once were (in part thanks to vaccines) they are by no means eradicated. We continue to vaccinate your pet against these diseases to boost their immunity should they become exposed and also to prevent re-emergence and outbreaks should we stop vaccinating the pet population against them altogther.
I've heard vaccinating my pet can cause more harm to them than good. Is this true?
If you are concerned about the use of vaccines with your pet please chat to one of our veterinary team and we'll happily discuss your concerns with you.
From our point of view vaccines are an integral part of your pet's long term health plan. As with all medical health products there are risks associated with their use from transient temperature increase, swelling at the injection site, to the very rare cases of anaphylactic shock. It is worth noting that all members of the team here in O'Dowd Veterinary vaccinate their own pets as we all believe in weighing up these risks against protecting pets from becoming infected with a range of potentially fatal or long term devastating diseases.