Several steps help protect animals against infection. Sometimes, antibiotics are administered to prevent an infection from developing. This preventive measure is called prophylaxis. Many healthy animals that undergo certain types of surgery, such as intestinal surgery, are given prophylactic antibiotics.
Vaccination also can prevent infections. When a vaccination is given, it stimulates or enhances the body's ability to fight off certain disease-causing bacteria or viruses. In many animal species, vaccinations against certain diseases (such as rabies) are required. The vaccines available today are highly reliable and are usually well tolerated by most animals.
Last full review/revision July 2011