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Caring for a pet is a great joy, but it also requires thoroughness and attention to detail. Some of the most deadly threats to your beloved animal are less than obvious -- and in the case of disease organisms, they're also both completely invisible and disturbingly commonplace. If you want to safeguard your best friend against these serious, pervasive dangers, you need to make sure s/he's been properly immunized. Here at Sherbrook Animal Hospital, we're happy to provide vaccinations for Winnipeg pets.
You may have had several vaccinations yourself over the years without actually knowing how these shots boost your disease resistance. The immune systems of both humans and pets manufacture antibodies to destroy specific germs, but only after they've first encountered those germs in some form. Vaccinations are a way of simulating that first encounter without actually infecting your pet. A vaccine is a killed or inert version of the disease organism we wish to defend against. When it enters your pet's bloodstream, its molecular markers cause the immune system to see it as the real thing and create antibodies as a defense. Your pet is now protected as long as the vaccine remains potent -- which is why periodic booster shots are needed to update that potency.
Your pet's vaccination schedule may vary according to species, age, and lifestyle. One immunization that every vaccination schedule includes, however, is rabies. This fatal neurological disease can easily be transferred by an infected animal's bite, making the rabies shot an essential or "core" vaccination. Your pet will first receive this vaccination as a puppy or kitten, with another shot administered after one year and additional boosters administered at 3-year intervals. Your puppy or kitten will also receive combination vaccine that protects against distemper and other common diseases (including parvovirus and canine hepatitis in dogs, and calicivirus and rhinotracheitis in cats). This combination vaccine needs to be updated every year.
Outdoor animals may also benefit from certain elective or "non-core" vaccinations to steer clear of the additional disease threats they may face in their environment. An outdoor cat, for instance, or a feline who makes use of boarding facilities may need to receive a yearly vaccination against feline leukemia. An outdoor dog who frequents wooded or overgrown areas should probably get a vaccination against the tick-borne Lyme disease or dogs that frequent dog parks, doggy daycares, groomers or kennels should have a Bordetella (a kennel cough) Vaccine.
Our veterinarians in Winnipeg can advise you on your pet's particular vaccination needs and the necessary vaccination schedule. Ultimately, however, it's still your responsibility to honor that schedule so your furry friend can receive the necessary disease protection to help ensure a longer, happier, healthier life. Call Sherbrook Animal Hospital at (204) 774-3544 to schedule your pet's appointment!
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For after hours emergency care please call the Winnipeg Emergency Clinic 204 452-9427.