You might schedule the usual vaccinations for your dog or cat without a second thought -- but what kinds of precautions should you arrange for your pet rabbit, ferret, horse, or other exotic animals? Vaccinations can prove just as vital for protecting these animals' health and wellness, even if the protocols and specific recommendations vary. Here at Anderson Exotic Veterinary Care in San Diego, your exotic pet can receive the right combination of vaccinations, on the right schedule, to help it live a healthy, happy life.
Basic Principles and Benefits of Vaccination
Vaccination primes the immune system to protect itself against potentially-deadly infectious diseases. If the animal has never encountered these diseases before, its immune system may not be able to create antibodies against them until it’s too late. A vaccine is an inactivated bacteria or virus (or sometimes a modified-live virus) that doubles as the disease in question. When it is introduced to the body, the immune system treats it as a threat and manufactures antibodies, "remembering" how to re-create those antibodies as long as the vaccine remains potent.
Core vaccinations can protect animals against many of the most common and dangerous everyday threats. Animals who run special risks of exposure (such as animals boarded in close contact with each other) may also need elective or non-core vaccinations that guard against less common diseases.
Specialized Recommendations for Special Animals
Rabies and distemper represent two of the most prevalent and deadly diseases faced by most mammals. While exotic animals don't necessarily respond to the vaccines against these diseases as readily as dogs or cats, you should still have your exotic mammal vaccinated for safety's sake. Since modified-live virus vaccines can cause health problems in some exotic pets, your exotic friend will most likely receive the inactivated variety.
Some exotic animals require vaccinations that more common pets don't. For example, horses should receive core vaccinations against West Nile Virus, encephalitis, and tetanus in addition to rabies. Rabbits should be vaccinated against myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD). Once your exotic animal has received an initial round of vaccinations, your veterinarian will give you a recommended schedule for booster shots. These booster shots keep the protection going.
Contact Our Veterinary Team
Are you ready to schedule vaccination for your exotic pet? Contact our veterinary team today at 800-462-8749 for an appointment.