We recommend vaccinating your pet against serious but preventable diseases like rabies, distemper, and other diseases. Thanks to effective vaccines and routine vaccination protocols, the incidence of these diseases is low, but when they occur, they can be severe and even fatal.
We tailor our vaccine recommendations to each particular pet’s environment and lifestyle. The doctor will take time during your pet’s exam to ask about things like interactions with other animals and time spent outside. Based on these and other questions, he or she will recommend the vaccinations most important for your pet.
Kittens, puppies, and other pets receiving vaccinations for the first time usually will need a series of shots given about 3-4 weeks apart to establish their immunity. Once the initial series has been completed, your pet will need a booster shot each year. If you stay on schedule with the boosters, you may be able to shift to a three-year schedule for some of the vaccines.
Vaccines are generally safe and effective, so in almost all instances, we consider vaccination to be the best strategy for protecting your pet. However, for owners who prefer an alternative to vaccinations, we can run blood tests called vaccine titers to gauge a pet’s immunity to certain diseases.
The titers measure the antibodies circulating in the bloodstream and can give us an idea of how well-protected your pet is against a particular disease. These tests are significantly more expensive than vaccination, and the results cannot guarantee immunity, so we generally recommend following the standard vaccination protocol when possible. Further, titer testing only works if your pet has already gotten a good start with vaccinations in the past.