Modern science has made it possible to prolong the life of our four-legged family members, so one of the most important ways to prevent disease is through vaccination. Vaccination has long been considered one of the easiest ways to boost an animal's immunity and help it avoid a wide range of dangerous diseases. Not only different vaccines are offered to prevent different diseases, but also different combinations of vaccines.
What is a vaccine?
The vaccine prepares the body's immune system to fight disease-causing organisms. The vaccine contains antigens that appear to the body's immune system as disease-causing organisms. Once the vaccine enters the body, it is easily stimulated, so that if the pet were actually infected, the body would already be ready to fight the pathogen. Its immune system quickly recognises the pathogen and neutralises it completely or reduces the complications of the disease, leaving the animal with a milder form of the disease.
The most important thing is to discuss with your veterinarian which vaccine or combination is the most relevant and appropriate for your pet, as well as what vaccination schedule should be followed in each case.
What are the most important questions for first-time vaccinators?
When is a small puppy/kitten vaccinated?
There are two types of vaccination schedules for small puppies: the first vaccination is given at one-and-a-half months, followed by vaccinations at two months and three months. A second vaccination schedule is available at two and three months of age. The schedule depends on the manufacturer of the vaccine, and should generally be chosen according to the health of the animal, which is best advised by your veterinarian.
Kitten vaccinations are usually given at two and three months of age.
The vaccinations are the same, but the three-month-old vaccine includes a rabies vaccine.
How do I vaccinate an animal taken from a shelter?
The first thing to do is to give deworming medication and then vaccinate ten to fourteen days later. If the animal has worms, the dosage of the medication should be repeated and the vaccination delayed, depending on the parasites the animal has; if it has ascarids, the vaccination can be delayed for up to two months, and it is always best to consult a veterinarian in each case.
When to delay/avoid vaccinations?
When the animal is sick: diarrhoea, fever, cough, is being treated for a specific disease and given antibiotics, and when it has parasites.
Are vaccines safe?
Vaccines are really safe, guaranteed by the manufacturer. However, the vaccination can be followed by soreness at the site of the vaccination for up to two days, swelling and a rise in body temperature. The animal may also be sluggish for up to three days and not eat. Cats may have nasal discharge, sneeze and cough. There is a small chance, but an anaphylactic reaction may occur - shock. It is then necessary to contact a vet as soon as possible, however, these cases are extremely rare.
Is it really necessary to vaccinate every year?
Yes, especially if you have small children and the animal lives in an environment where it has contact with wild animals or other dogs.
Based on scientific literature and consultation with veterinary surgeons