We all know that one year in a dog or cat's life is equal to five to seven years in the life of a human. Because of this rapid aging, bi-annual exams are critical for your pet's optimal health. This allows the doctor to identify any changes in your pet's environment and health and then administer the appropriate diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines. For quite some time, our pets have routinely been given the same vaccines every year in order to protect them against the more common infectious diseases. Over the years, however, as we have become more aware of potential vaccine side effects, the scientific community has developed vaccine technologies and frequency protocols to limit these potential side effects for our pets. These new protocols vary somewhat from what has traditionally been the routine.
Vaccinations are now categorized into core and non-core vaccinations. The core vaccines have been identified by professional guidelines as those recommended for all pets. After the initial series of inoculations and first set of annual boosters have been completed, vaccines for some of these diseases can now be administered at longer intervals.
Non-core vaccines are optional ones, the use of which is based on exposure risks, geographic location, duration of vaccine efficacy, and/or pet and owner lifestyles.