VCA Animal Hospitals

Why are vaccines important for my pet?

Published: Jul 12, 2012

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When you bring your puppy to the animal hospital for the first time, the vet will explain the core vaccines for dogs, then will also discuss whether your dog would benefit from "non-core" dog vaccinations.

The "core" vaccines that are recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Task Force will protect your dog from distemper, parvovirus in dogs and the canine adenovirus, also known as hepatitis. The core treatment also includes a vaccine to protect against rabies in dogs.

"Vaccines serve a real purpose. Every dog should be evaluated for protection on an annual basis," Dr. Link Welborn, past president of the AAHA and chairperson of the committee that formulated the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines, told the Chicago Tribune.

The Canine Vaccination Guidelines recommend annual titer testing, which tests a dog's immunity to diseases and thus determines whether the dog needs to be vaccinated against that disease that year. Welborn told the news outlet that not every dog needs to be vaccinated every year, and not all require every single vaccination available.

You should talk to your veterinarian about your dog's particular needs. Depending on the canine's lifestyle, your vet may also recommend "non-core" vaccines to protect against illnesses like distemper-measles, Lyme disease, canine parainfluenza virus and kennel cough, VCA Animal Hospitals reports. 


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.