The Importance of Vaccinations in a Pet Wellness Exam in Winston-Salem

One of the most important parts of a pet wellness exam is a schedule of regular vaccinations. Even housebound pets that rarely or never go outside need to be vaccinated. Pets wander, visitors bring their pets with them, and germs can be passed to your pet in any number of other ways. Here in Winston Salem vaccinations are even regulated by law when it comes to the most serious easily transmitted animal disease. It’s crucial for your pet’s health and well being that you keep its vaccination schedule up-to-date beginning with the first months of its life.

Winston-Salem Animal Hospital Advises on Vaccinations

Forsyth Veterinary Hospital, a Winston-Salem animal hospital, advises that you begin your pet’s vaccination schedule at four months of age. Puppies and kittens are old enough to then to begin their series of juvenile vaccinations, which serve to create its initial immunity against dangerous diseases. Once the initial series of vaccinations is finished, usually at one year, pets need to have regular booster shots according to the schedule set by the veterinarian.

Types of Vaccinations

Like in the rest of the country, in Winston Salem vaccinations are split into two types: core and non-core. Core vaccines are those that every pet needs no matter where and how they live. Non-core vaccines are crucial for certain animals, depending on their lifestyle or environment, but not important for every animal.

Core Vaccines

For dogs, core vaccines include canine parvovirus, canine hepatitis, distemper, and rabies. In North Carolina, every pet must be vaccinated for rabies by the age of four months. Core vaccines for cats include feline distemper, feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus and, of course, rabies.

Non-core vaccines depend entirely on where and how your pet lives. If your dog spends a lot of time in dog parks or will be boarded in a kennel, a vaccination for bordetella is called for. Most reputable kennels won’t allow dogs to be boarded without proof of this vaccination. The same vaccine should be given to cats that spend time outdoors or boarded in a kennel. Other vaccines are called for if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors in woods or fields, among other lifestyle causes for disease. Our veterinarian will advise you on which vaccines you’ll need for your pet.

If your pet’s vaccinations aren’t up-to-date, make an appointment with our office. We serve patients in Winston New-Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, and Lexington, and we’re happy to make appointments that fit in with your busy lifestyle.

Vaccine FAQs

What Are Vaccines?

Vaccines are mixtures of chemicals that, when injected into an animal’s body, cause that body to grow an immune response to a certain disease. In other words, each vaccine makes your pet’s body stronger and more able to fight off infection, especially those infections that are the most dangerous to your pet’s health and life.

Why Should I Vaccinate My Pet?

People with indoor or isolated pets might think that they don’t need to have their pets vaccinated, but that’s not true. Your pet can come across deadly germs by simply coming in contact with the environment, with insects, or with other animals that get into your yard. These deadly diseases have multiple ways of spreading, and the only way to protect your pet is to have him vaccinated.

When Should I Have My Pet Vaccinated?

Puppies and kittens are born with immunity they get from their mother, and continue with it as long as they drink mother’s milk. As soon as they’re weaned, the immunity fades. This is when you should begin vaccinating your pet. Juvenile pets need a series of three or four vaccinations in their first year of life to build up immunity. After that, your pet will need booster shots every one to three years, depending on the type of vaccine.

What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

Vaccines come in two varieties: core and non-core. Core vaccines are those that every animal needs, like those for rabies and distemper. Non-core vaccines are only given to pets that need them, according to their environment or lifestyle. For instance, if your dog spends a lot of time in the woods, we might suggest a vaccine against Lyme disease. If you board your cat frequently in kennels, you’ll need to have her vaccinated for bordetella, or kennel cough.

Contact Our Veterinary Office

Keeping your pet happy and healthy is every pet parent’s goal. At Forsyth Veterinary Hospital Winston-Salem, we know that vaccines are among the most important parts of preventative health care. If your pet is overdue for her vaccinations, give us a call to make an appointment. Call our office at 336-765-1225 and we’ll schedule an office visit today.