Pet Vaccinations: One of the Most Important Things You Can Do to Keep Your Pet Healthy

Vaccinations are one of the most important tools available to our clients to help ensure the health of their pets. Vaccines work by triggering a protective immune response that can help fight infections from a range of diseases. Vaccinations are a wonderful, cost-effective way to protect your pets. In fact, experts believe the use of vaccines has saved the lives of millions of animals while also helping to reduce the spread of disease from animal to animal.

However, as a general rule, at Crestwood Animal Hospital, we believe in administering as few vaccinations as possible—only what is really needed and effective. In fact, research in recent years has shown that earlier vaccination schedules were probably too frequent. More important, vaccines actually appear to remain effective longer than originally thought, so recommended vaccine schedules are longer. We treat pets with 3-year vaccines on alternating years to avoid compromising your pet’s immune system. That means less stress on your pet and less possibility of side effects.

We always consider your pet’s lifestyle, risk factors, and the characteristics of vaccines to help plan the best protection possible. For example, some pets live at home—sometimes mostly indoors—and may be unlikely to be exposed to certain diseases. On the other hand, other animals may travel or spend time outside in wooded areas where they are at greater risk for disease exposure. Traditional vaccines such as rabies, feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus infection, canine distemper, canine parvovirus infection, and canine hepatitis are considered first. Additional vaccines that could be useful are considered on a case-by-case basis. These include feline leukemia, canine kennel cough, Lyme disease, and canine influenza.

Our veterinarians will work with you to design a vaccination schedule that is unique to your special pet.