Thursday, 25 April 2019 21:22

Pets and Vaccines

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Pets and Vaccines

Pets and Vaccines

What is a vaccine? A substance used to provide immunity against one or several diseases. It essentially teaches your body how to fight off infections. I just had Jem to the vet today for his annual vaccines. Let’s talk about how both kids and pets hate to get “shots” but why they are important. I wanted to address the controversy of parents refusing vaccines for their kids and how vaccines have become questionable in recent years. It is also the case for pets. I want to address the pros and cons of vaccines for pets.

Reasons why pet parents may not want to have their pets vaccinated:

1) Pet does not go outside

• Pet might go to groomer

• Pet might go to pet store

• Pet travels to vet

• Pet can unexpectedly escape from home and be exposed to wildlife outside

• Wild animals such as bats and raccoons which carry rabies can enter home

2) My pet was vaccinated and become sick anyway

Not all vaccines provide 100% immunity. Some will help to minimize the symptoms and    shorten the course of the illness.

3) The risk of tumor formation at the vaccine site in cats

• The risk is thought to be 1/10,000

• Veterinarians now administer vaccines in distal limbs so that the problem can be identified and managed. 

• When a link was established between a substance added to vaccines called an adjuvant, non-adjuvant containing vaccines were created. 

4) Adverse Reactions

An adverse reaction is an undesirable occurrence associated with the use of a medical product. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict which pet might experience an adverse reaction to a vaccine. It is always recommended to schedule your pet for vaccines when you are able to be home and monitor it afterwards.

Reactions can vary from mild to severe. It is best to aware of what can happen and what signs to watch for.

Mild: achiness, sleepiness, local inflammation, pain

Moderate: hives, face swelling

Severe: auto-immune disorders (delayed), collapse, shock (immediate)

Puppies and kittens need to be vaccinated every 2-4 weeks from 6 to 16 weeks of age. 

Puppies and kittens receive immunity from their mothers, but over time, it this protection becomes less effective. That is why it is important for young pets to visit the vet often to receive vaccine boosters to ensure proper immunity against infectious diseases.

Not all vaccines are considered mandatory for each pet. The vaccines considered important for all pets are called “core” and those that are optional are called “non-core” vaccines. When deciding what is right for your pet, it is best to discuss this with your veterinarian. 

Canine Core Vaccines

• Rabies

• Canine distemper (affects respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems) Can be found in wildlife such as foxes, wolves, coyotes, racoons, skunks, ferrets, seals, lions, and tigers.

• Canine adenovirus (infectious canine hepatitis) also found in foxes, coyotes, wolves

• Canine parvovirus (gastrointestinal tract)

Canine Non-Core Vaccines

• Bordatella (Kennel cough)

• Lyme 

• Leptospirosis

• Parainfluenza virus (canine flu)

As to whether your dog should receive these non-core vaccines depends on its lifestyle

Hiking vs. house dog

Pet sitter vs. kennel

Where you live such as city vs. rural area

Feline Core Vaccines

• Rabies

• Feline viral rhinotracheitis (upper respiratory)

• Calicivirus (upper respiratory)

• Panleukopenia, also called feline distemper/parvo – caused by the feline parvovirus, like canine parvo, it attacks rapidly dividing cells such as those in the bone marrow and intestines

Feline Non-Core Vaccines

Feline Leukemia virus – must test cat first to ensure it is negative

Feline immunodeficiency virus – feline AIDS

Feline leukemia virus can be transmitted through close contact. It should be considered for cats going spending time outdoors or cats which test negative for leukemia which are living in homes with cats which have tested positive for the virus. 

While other non-core feline vaccines are available, they are not commonly used or highly recommended.

Vaccine Titers

Pet owners who are looking to minimize vaccines for their dogs may opt to have their vet draw blood to measure antibody levels to determine whether they still have protection against a certain disease. Titers are not offered by all veterinary offices and are still considered controversial. Some veterinarians opt to give vaccines every 3 years as opposed to yearly. 


Read 5826 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 April 2019 21:32