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Vaccination In Pets - What Are Vaccines?

Vaccination is the best way to protect pet cats and dogs from specific medical conditions, many of which are serious and life-threatening. Vaccines contain viruses or bacteria that have been altered (attenuated) or killed which makes them incapable of causing disease. Newer types of vaccines may have components that are genetically engineered disease agents. When a vaccine is administered to an animal, it works by stimulating the immune system of the body to form cells that fight disease and circulating proteins known as antibodies that work work to protect against that particular disease the vaccine is for. Most animals that are fully vaccinated will be resistant to the disease that they have been vaccinated for. In young puppies and kittens, protection from vaccines may not be 100% because of the interference of maternal antibodies. There is also a significant reduction in the protective response of pets in certain circumstances such as when an animal is in poor health when vaccinated, incomplete vaccination or lack of boosters, or when the animal is taking immuno-suppressive medications.

If you have questions and/or concerns about vaccines and vaccination, ask your vet Columbia, MD.

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