Published by Dr. Zak Saleh, PhD, MVSc, DVM in Pet Vaccines · 6 December 2019
Tags: Dog, cat, Vaccines
Tags: Dog, cat, Vaccines
New Pet Vaccination. What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
Vaccinating you pet can seem like a worrisome choice. Common concerns often surround vaccine reactions, and if the benefits outweigh the risks. While some vaccines may be appropriate to opt of for your pet, there are a few that are critically important to your pet's health and enforcing effective disease prevention.
What do Vaccines do?
Vaccines contain a modified live attenuated or killed form of bacteria or virus to stimulate the animal's immune system response. That way, when your pet is later exposed to that specific virus or bacteria, the immune system with quickly and effectively respond to eradicate the disease-causing agent.
This modified form of the bacteria or virus is specially formulated for the purpose of vaccination so that it cannot actually manifest into a disease, and only creates an immune response.
Vaccines therefore are an essential tool used to prevent very serious, life threatening diseases in your pet. Not only does it provide reassurance that your pet has increased likelihood of remaining happy and healthy, but the cost of a vaccine is significantly less than the costs associated with disease treatment.
Similar to human vaccination, another key benefit of vaccinating your pet is that it helps keep other animals safe. Animals that are too young to receive vaccines or have specific health conditions that prohibit them to be vaccinated are susceptible populations that benefit from "herd immunity", meaning that the spread of disease is significantly reduced due to the high populations of vaccinated animals.
Why does my pet need to receive booster vaccinations?
Over time, the effectiveness of the vaccine gradually declines, diminishing the protection your pet has against the specified disease. Boosters are necessary to maintain effective immune responses from your pet against the virus or bacteria.
What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
The vaccines your pet will need varies depending on the species, as the vaccines are designed to protect against the disease that are the most serious and most likely to be an exposure risk.
Vaccines are categorized into two different groups: core vaccines and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are necessary vaccinations against diseases that are most likely to affect your pet. Non-core vaccines are optional, and are recommended based on the associated risk factors your pet may have. You can discuss with your veterinarian the appropriateness of your pet receiving any non-core vaccines.
Core Vaccines for Cats include:
• Feline Rhinotracheitis (Herpesvirus Type I)
• Feline Calicivirus
• Panleukopenia (Distemper)
Non-Core Vaccines for Cats include:
• Feline Leukemia
• Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
• Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
Core Vaccines for Dogs include:
• Canine Distemper
• Canine hepatitis Adenovirus-2
Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs include:
• Parainfluenza (Canine Influenza)
• Lyme Disease
• Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
• Corona Virus
*Rabies vaccines are required by law
Typically, your dog will receive vaccination for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parviovirus in one vaccine, which is often referred to as the DHPP or DA2PP vaccine. Sometimes it does not include Parainfluenza as seen in three-year distemper vaccine, referred as the DHP or DA2P.
Similarly, cats will receive vaccination for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia in one vaccine, referred commonly as FVRCP or FRCP.
Are Vaccines Safe?
Yes. For most healthy dogs and cats the risk of a bad reaction to vaccination is very rare. The risks associated with vaccinating are minute compared to the health risks associated with contracting the disease. You can discuss with your veterinarian if your pet is at an increased risk for a negative reaction, things to consider include age, vaccine history or allergies.
For some puppies, kittens, or small breeds, you veterinarian may recommend spreading out vaccines over a specified period, to avoid a negative reaction. If you are electing to perform several non-core vaccines, this might also be another reason your veterinarian may recommend spacing out the administering of vaccines.
If your pet is unwell or in the midst of a course of treatment, your veterinarian will likely suggest to delay vaccinating. This is because their immune system is compromised at the time, fighting off a different virus or bacteria, and may not be adequately able to perform accordingly to the administering of the vaccine.
There are some mild side effects that may occur in the following days, but should only last a day or two. Common mild side effects include;
• Mild fever
• Reduced appetite
• Coughing and sneezing
• Pain around the injection site (you may also notice slight redness and swelling around the area)
You should call your veterinarian immediately if you notice your pet has the following reactions;
• Trouble breathing
• Severe coughing
• Swelling around face, eyes, or nose
Overall, vaccines are an important part of keeping your furry loved one happy and healthy. If you have any further concerns or questions regarding vaccinations please give us a call and our vet in Newmarket is happy to discuss this further!
If you are looking for a veterinary clinic in Newmarket Aurora area please give us a call at 905-898-1010 and we would be happy to book an appointment for you and your pet!