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Why all those shots?

Before we dive into all of the individual vaccines your new puppy or kitten needs, lets talk about why they need them and why do they need so many?  They answer lies in the mother's milk or Colostrom.  Colostrom is secreted during the first few meals just after birth and is a substance rich in protective antibodies.  A newborn's immune system hasn't had time to mature so the mother's milk provides them with protection for the first several weeks until the babies can fend for themselves.  In most puppies, the maternal antibodies last an average of six to eight weeks.  In an ideal world, you would have your puppy's first vaccine at the age of eight weeks.  You want the maternal antibodies low enough to stimulate response but not too low that it puts your pet at risk.  To accomplish this, we vaccinate every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old.  The core vaccines are then boostered at one year of age and then every one to three years for most diseases.