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Taking a step back to consider the surroundings and lifestyle of your pet is a great rule of thumb when it comes to making a decision on whether or not a certain vaccine is necessary for your pet. After all, the reason behind all vaccines is the overall wellbeing of our pet and taking the necessary preventative measures. Pet owners should also heavily weigh the opinion of their Vet or animal hospital as well, since they are the experts who see hundreds of animals in the area each day. A vaccine that has been rising in awareness over the past few years is the rattlesnake vaccine for both cats and dogs. The debate remains consistent over whether or not the vaccine actually does aid your cat or dog, should it be bitten. However, while the vaccine may not be able to completely stop the reactions of a rattlesnake bite, there are some key reasons that having the vaccine could put a pet owner, and their animal, in a much better place had they not gotten it.
The initial component to consider before vaccinating your pet for a rattlesnake bite, is how often they may come into contact with the snake. If you do not live in an area prevalent with snakes, or take your animal on activities in snake populated areas, then this vaccine may not be necessary for you. Since the vaccine introduces diamondback rattlesnake venom into your pet’s system to produce antibodies, this is not a decision to take lightly. Also ask your vet what would need to be done to treat your animal should they be bit unvaccinated versus vaccinated. While the rattlesnake vaccine could help ease the symptoms of a bite, your pet will still need to seek medical attention immediately.
The rattlesnake vaccine is administered in two separate shots, where an amount of rattlesnake venom in introduced into your pet’s system. By introducing the venom, your pet is able to produce antibodies that should help to reduce and slow the effects should they ever be bit by a rattler. Again, this is NOT a vaccine that makes your pet immune to the venom, they will still need to immediately see a Vet. It takes about 30 days for the vaccine to reach full protection potential, and will need to be readministered every six months after. It should also be considered by pet owners that the price to treat a vaccinated dog is often significantly less than that of an unvaccinated pet.
Reaching a decision on how to give your pet the best health and preventative care is not always an easy decision. While no one wants to put their pet through unnecessary shots or examinations, it could pay off in the long term and maybe even save their life!