Vaccination for cats and dogs - is it important?
What is vaccination?
Vaccine is a solution of 'weak' (attenuated) or killed microorganisms such as
viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae, administered for prevention of infectious diseases.
Vaccination is an introduction of vaccine into the body using many routes, to
produce immunity to a specific disease or it has the same meaning of
immunization. Vaccine was given to the dogs and cats for protection from
infection of certain diseases that can be fatal.
Why must we vaccinate our cats and dogs?
There is no effective treatment for any viral diseases because by the time an
animal is seen to be sick, the diseases have often progressed to the point where
treatment is ineffective. Antibiotics are useless against viruses. The only
safeguard is prevention by vaccination.
Classification of vaccine
There are various types and brands of vaccines that are available in the market.
However, these vaccines can be divided into two groups:
Vaccine that used "weak' or live virus - less safe because the virus in the
vaccine solution can create reverse reaction that can be bad for the dog
or the cat. Usually the price of this type of vaccine is cheaper than killed
Vaccine that used killed virus - safer because killed virus is used and it is
inactive. The price of this vaccine normally higher.
There are also vaccines that could protect dog or cat from one, two or three
diseases only and the price of these vaccines are cheaper.
When can we bring our cat or dog for vaccination?
Earliest is at 6-8 weeks old (2 months old)
Second vaccination or booster at 12 weeks old
Third vaccination or booster at 16 weeks old
Followed by annual booster - after 12 months. Annual booster is highly
recommended as a lifetime protection for your dogs and cats.