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Vaccination FAQ

Pet vaccinations are an important part of preventative pet wellness care, keeping your beloved cats and dogs from contracting and spreading some very serious diseases. If your pet does become sick, they can also limit the severity of his symptoms. Here are some common questions about pet vaccinations; please call us at (770) 479-1905 for more information.

What are vaccines?

Vaccines contain antigens; these antigens are similar to the disease-causing organism, but antigens do not actually cause your pet to contract the illness. Instead, vaccination prepares your pet’s immune system to fight off invasive organisms that may be encountered in the future.

How important are vaccines to the health of my pet?

Vaccination is one of the most important things you can do for the health and well-being of your pet, your family, and your community.

What are the benefits of vaccinations?

Pet vaccinations reduce the risk your pet will contract an infectious disease from another animal, and they also diminish the severity of symptoms if your pet does contract an infectious disease. Vaccinating your pet also decreases the risk your pet will spread an infectious disease to another animal or even to a human.

What are core vaccines?

Core vaccines are vital for the health and well-being of all cats and dogs based on their risk of exposure, severity of disease, and the risk for transmission to humans.

Are any vaccines required by law?

According to Georgia law, dogs and cats must get the rabies vaccination when they are twelve weeks of age, and continue to get boosters every year after that. 

How often should my adult pet be vaccinated?

A veterinarian at Canton veterinary hospital can best determine a vaccination schedule for your animal companion. Your pet’s vaccination schedule will depend largely on the type of vaccine, as well as your pet’s age, medical history, environment, and lifestyle.

When should my puppy or kitten be vaccinated?

If the mother has a healthy immune system, your puppy or kitten will receive antibodies in his mother’s milk while nursing. Puppies and kittens should receive a series of vaccinations starting at six to eight weeks of age.

Are there any risks associated with vaccines?

Vaccinations stimulate your pet’s immune system. This stimulation sometimes causes mild symptoms that range from tenderness at the injection site to fever. Rarely, vaccination will cause your pet to become ill with an immune-related disease.

In most cases, the benefits of pet vaccines greatly outweigh the risks in the battle against canine and feline infectious diseases. Furthermore, rabies vaccinations have saved the lives of countless dogs, cats, and humans. In countries without vaccination requirements, hundreds of people die each year of rabies resulting from animal bites.

What symptoms should I look for?

Most dogs show no ill effect from vaccination, but signs of a reaction include:

  • Fever
  • Facial swelling and/or hives
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain, swelling, redness, or hair loss at the injection site
  • Lameness
  • Sluggishness
  • Collapse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite


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