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If you're like most pet owners, you regard your beloved animals as members of the family -- and just like the rest of your loved ones, they need and deserve preventative wellness care. Pet vaccinations are an important part of that wellness care, and a critical means of protecting your pets from some of the most common and dangerous infectious agents out there, as well as other diseases for which some pets might be at elevated risk. Here at Fairfax Veterinary Clinic, your pet's personal veterinarian in Fairfax CA (Dr. Aaron Wentzell, Dr. Katie Kristensen, Dr. Mary Beth Goetting, Dr. Ryen Morey, or Dr. Kelly Pipkin) can provide these all-important vaccinations. Importantly, we will answer any questions you might have about vaccination, and help decide which vaccines are most important for your pet based on their age and lifestyle.
A vaccine is a deactivated version of the live disease organism we wish to protect your pet against. While it can't convey the actual disease to your pet, it resembles the disease closely enough to make the immune system react to it by producing antibodies. These antibodies then guard your pet against the real thing as long as the vaccine remains potent -- once it nears the end of its potency, a booster shot must be administered to keep up the protection.
Pet vaccines are especially important in light of the fact that puppies and kittens aren't born with any disease resistance of their own. Any resistance "borrowed" from their mother (it comes naturally through the colostrum while nursing) vanishes after the first few weeks of life, making vaccination a must.
Core vaccinations are critical for your pet's everyday health. Your Fairfax veterinarian typically administer these vaccinations to puppies and kittens as part of their routine wellness regimen. Core vaccinations include:
Rabies - Rabies is invariably fatal and can be transferred through the bite of an infected animal, so dogs and cats both need this vaccination. Since Rabies can be transmitted to people, there is a legal requirement that all dogs and cats in Marin receive Rabies vaccination. While we do not enforce this county ordinance, we make sure to educate our clients about it.
Canine hepatitis - Dogs need a canine hepatitis vaccination to protect them from this serious liver ailment.
Parvovirus - Parvovirus causes catastrophic digestive or cardiac symptoms in dogs, sometimes leading in death. It is also highly contagious.
Distemper - Distemper comes in canine and feline versions, so both kinds of animals need this vaccination.
Calicivirus - This virus can cause severe oral ulcerations, upper respiratory infections or even symptoms of lameness in cats.
Rhinotracheitis - Rhinotracheitis, also called felne herpesvirus type 1, causes severe respiratory infections as well as conjunctivitis in cats.
In addition to core pet vaccinations, there are other vaccinations that are considered non-core or elective. Your Fairfax veterinarian may recommend them if your pet is at special risk of infection. Bordetella, for example, is a respiratory infection that can spread among animals kept in close quarters (hence the nickname "kennel cough"). If you plan on boarding your pet, we may advise a Bordetella vaccination beforehand. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection carried in wild animals, especially rodents, and is spread through their urine. We will discuss whether or not your dog may need this vaccination. And feline Leukemia Virus in another non-core vaccine that makes sense for many outdoor or indoor/outdoor, younger cats.
If you need a vaccinations and wellness care for your pet, call 415-454-8204 today. Fairfax Veterinary Clinic is ready to protect your special friends!
The Doctors, Techs and Front Desk staff are always friendly, professional, very knowledgeable and treat my dogs with the utmost care. Their compassion and love of animals always shows forth and I would never take my dogs anyplace else for routine care. I even have the staff cut my dogs nails. I highly recommend Fairfax Veterinary Clinic.