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Vaccines FAQs

Bloom Plaza Animal Hospital - Vaccines FAQs

Everybody urges you to vaccinate your pet -- but what exactly does this mean, and why does it matter? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about vaccines at Bloom Plaza Animal Hospital.

dog at the vet

What Is a Vaccine?

A vaccine is a substance that either resembles a specific germ or is derived from that germ. Unlike the actual germ, however, the vaccine cannot infect your pet.

What Do Vaccines Do?

Vaccines stimulate the immune system as if they represented a genuine threat to your pet's well being. This triggers the production of antibodies specially made to defeat the specific germ represented by the vaccine. 

Why Are Vaccines So Important?

Vaccines are critically important because a pet's immune system will only make protective antibodies after its first exposure to a disease -- and that first exposure might cause severe illness or death. Vaccines jump-start the disease immunity process before an initial exposure can occur.

What Kinds of Vaccines Will My Pet Need?

Every pet needs vaccines that protect against certain common dangers, such as rabies and distemper in dogs and cats. Dogs also require vaccinations against parvovirus and hepatitis, while cats need vaccinations against FHV1 and calicivirus. These essential vaccinations are called core vaccinations. Some pets also need non-core vaccinations to protect them against less-common dangers.

When Should I Start Vaccinating My Pet?

Puppies and kittens have some degree of disease immunity for the first few weeks of their lives, while they're still consuming their mother's milk (which contains antibodies). But by the age of 6 weeks, our San Jose vet needs to administer the first of several rounds of core vaccinations.

Why Does My Pet Continue to Need Vaccinations Throughout His Life?

Vaccines are highly effective at protecting against diseases, but they also have a limited lifespan. Most vaccines lose potency after 1 to 3 years, after which your pet once again becomes vulnerable to disease. This means you'll need to keep scheduling booster shots for your pet through the different stages of his life. If your pet moves to a higher-risk environment, you may need to add non-core vaccinations at that point in his life.

Do Vaccinations Produce Side Effects?

Vaccinations typically produce some mild side effects such as elevated temperature, fatigue, and a bit of soreness at the injection site. More serious reactions are rare and can be treated by our San Jose vet.

Call Our San Jose Vet for Vaccinations

Are you ready to give your pet the disease protection he needs? Call 408-972-2000 to schedule vaccinations with our San Jose vet!