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Exams and Vaccinations

Gray cat getting a vaccination at the vet.
Experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals.

Pets, like people, can be protected from some diseases by vaccination. Although this resource provides basic information about vaccinations for your dog or cat, your veterinarian is your best source for advice regarding your pet's vaccination needs.

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are health products that trigger protective immune responses in pets and prepare them to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines can lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection altogether. Today, a variety of vaccines are available for use by veterinarians.

Is it important to vaccinate?

Yes! Pets should be vaccinated to protect them from many highly contagious and deadly diseases. Experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Even though some formerly common diseases have now become uncommon, vaccination is still highly recommended because these serious disease agents continue to be present in the environment.

Does vaccination ensure protection?

For most pets, vaccination is effective and will prevent future disease. Occasionally, a vaccinated pet may not develop adequate immunity and, although rare, it is possible for these pets to become ill. It is important to remember that although breakdowns in protection do occur, most successfully vaccinated pets never show signs of disease, making vaccination an important part of your pet's preventive health care.

Are there risks?

Although most pets respond well to vaccines, like any medical procedure vaccination carries some risk. The most common adverse responses are mild and short-term, including fever, sluggishness, and reduced appetite. Pets may also experience temporary pain or subtle swelling at the site of vaccination. Although most adverse responses will resolve within a day or two, excessive pain, swelling, or listlessness should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Rarely, serious adverse responses occur. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has repeated vomiting or diarrhea, whole body itching, difficulty breathing, collapse, or swelling of the face or legs. These signs may indicate an allergic reaction. In very rare instances death can occur. Visit with your veterinarian about the latest information on vaccine safety, including rare adverse responses that may develop weeks or months after vaccination. Remember that while vaccination is not without risk, failure to vaccinate leaves your pet vulnerable to fatal illnesses that are preventable.

Why do puppies and kittens require a series of vaccinations?

Very young puppies and kittens are highly susceptible to infectious diseases. This is especially true as the natural immunity provided in their mothers' milk gradually wears off. To keep gaps in protection as narrow as possible and to provide optimal protection against disease for the first few months of life, a series of vaccinations are scheduled, usually 3-4 weeks apart. For most puppies and kittens, the final vaccination in the series is administered when they are 12 to 16 weeks old.

Which vaccines should my pet receive?

Discuss with your veterinarian your pet's lifestyle, access to other animals, and travel to other geographic locations, since these factors affect your pet's risk of exposure to disease. Not all pets should be vaccinated with all vaccines just because these vaccines are available. "Core" vaccines are recommended for most pets in a particular area. "Non-core" vaccines are reserved for pets with unique needs. Your veterinarian will consider your pet's particulars, the diseases at hand, and the application of available vaccines to customize a vaccine recommendation for your pet.

How often should my pet be vaccinated?

Your veterinarian will tailor a vaccination schedule to suit your pet's needs. For many years, a set of annual vaccinations was considered normal and necessary for dogs and cats. Veterinarians have since learned more about diseases and pets' immune systems, and there is increasing evidence that immunity triggered by some vaccines provides protection beyond one year. The immunity triggered by other vaccines may fail to protect for a full year. More than one successful vaccination schedule is possible. Talk with your veterinarian about what is best for your pet.

A Final Thought

Many factors are taken into consideration when establishing a pet's vaccination plan. Your veterinarian will tailor a program of vaccinations to help your pet maintain a lifetime of infectious disease protection.

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Office Hours

If you have an after hours emergency, please contact Purdue Small Animal Emergency Services at 765-496-7911.

Creekside Animal Wellness Center

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Creekside Animal Hospital

Monday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Two convenient locations. The Vets are kind and caring. I have used them for more than 20 years. I trust them to care for my pet. We had our dog spayed and all the normal care. They are great about sending reminders for shots and other things care updates."
    Helen W.
  • "The vets and vet techs at Creekside Animal Hospital are very nice. They do what they can to make your animal feel special given the circumstances. They are transparent with their prices and make things easy by setting up appointments over the phone or in person. I will definitely be back to Creekside Animal Hospital as they truly want to see the best recovery for each animal."
    Patrick R.
  • "The staff at Creekside are AMAZING and honest and full of love!"
    Natalie F.
  • "This was our first time to visit Creekside. Do to the Corona Virus we needed to pull into the parking lot and call to let them know we were there. To my surprise the Doctor came to the car in person. I must say that I had a very good impression of her. I was very satisfied with the service we received there. After she completed the exam she called us to explain the results of the exam and answer any questions we had. At this time I would recommend them highly."
    Robert J.
  • "We have been coming to Creekside for 4 years now. I could not imagine going anywhere else! They have always been very patient with all of our questions & they were all very supportive when our dogs helped themselves to a bag of chocolate. I always know that when I have to leave our furbabies at Creekside for the day that will be well taken care of."
    Cooper, Cohen & Fatboy