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Vaccinations FAQs

Nall Hills Animal Hospital's Pet Vaccinations FAQs

Owning a pet can sometimes seem as confusing as it is rewarding, especially with all the health and wellness steps you must follow to keep your best friend in good shape. Vaccination is one of those potentially-confusing areas, so here is a helpful pet vaccinations FAQ from our team at Nall Hills Animal Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas.

Dog getting vaccinated in Overland Park.

  • What are vaccines, and what do they actually do? Vaccines are inert, non-infectious "lookalike" substances that bear the same molecular markers as the germs we want to protect your pet against. When they're introduced into your pet's body, the immune system reacts as if it sees a genuine threat and manufactures antibodies that will be effective against the real thing.
  • Why do pets need to be vaccinated? Baby animals haven't created their own lifesaving antibodies yet; they also have whatever immunity their mother's milk has temporarily lent them. Vaccinations are a safe, effective way to build that immunity without actually exposing them to diseases.
  • What is a core vaccination? Core vaccinations are those "must-have" protections against, particularly common and dangerous infections. Dogs require core vaccinations against rabies, hepatitis, parvovirus, and distemper; cats must be vaccinated against rabies, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia.
  • What is an elective vaccination? Elective ("non-core") vaccinations are those that aren't necessary for every animal but may prove extremely beneficial in certain high-risk situations. For instance, cats and dogs who will bring into close company with other pets might need to be vaccinated against Bordetella, while animals in tick-infested areas might benefit from a Lyme disease vaccination.
  • When should puppies and kittens receive their first vaccinations? Puppies and kittens should receive their first round of core vaccinations from your Overland Park veterinarian at 6 to 8 weeks, with 3 additional rounds by the age of 16 weeks. This helps ensure a strong foundation of immunity.
  • How long do vaccines continue to work? Vaccines may vary in the duration of their protective powers, fading after anywhere from 1 to 3 years. Your Overland Park veterinarian will recommend booster shots at specific intervals to keep your pet's immunity intact.
  • Do vaccinations present side effects or risks? Most vaccinations produce minimal, if any side effects, such as slight fever or flu-like symptoms. Rarely a pet may exhibit an allergic reaction, which our Overland Park, Kansas clinic can treat with prompt attention. But it's important to bear in mind that the benefits of this form of disease protection far outweigh any risks.

Looking for an "Overland Park Vet near Me?" Contact us today!

Are you currently asking yourself, "Which Overland Park vet near me should I choose for my pet's vaccinations?" If so, we can provide the definitive answer to that question right here at Nall Hills Animal Hospital. Contact us at (913) 341-8836to set up your pet's initial core vaccinations, elective vaccinations or booster shots, and bring any other questions you may have so we can answer those as well!