Read these 8 Pet Vaccination Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Pet Medication tips and hundreds of other topics.
How many dog vaccines does my pet need? There is no one solid answer to this question. You should, however, keep a few guidelines in mind. A minimum of two multivalent vaccinations (including parvo and distemper) should be administered to your animal (a puppy over 3 months of age will need a minimum of 3 or 4 weeks between the shots). Your animal will also require a rabies vaccination. Some other vaccinations include Lyme Disease, coronavirus, and Bordatella—these are not required but highly recommended.
*A puppy should typically begin receiving vaccinations when he is 6 to 8 weeks old and should continue receiving them every 3 to 4 weeks until he reaches 16 weeks of age.
What shots does your kitty need? Believe it or not, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to vaccinating your cat. How should you decide what your cat needs? There are many factors to be taken into consideration before making a decision. Here are some things to ask yourself and your vet:
• Is your cat at risk to be being exposed to a disease-causing organism?
• What will be the consequences of an infection?
• Does the risk of an infected cat pose a threat to you or your family's health? (e. g., rabies)
• How effective is the vaccine?
• What is the frequency and/or severity of the reactions that the vaccine will cause?
• How old is your cat?
• Is your cat healthy?
• What types of reactions has your cat had to vaccines in the past?
Will my puppy have a reaction to vaccines? The truth is that some animals will indeed have systemic reactions, including low fever or muscle aches and pains. This reaction, however, is more likely to occur in young pups and smaller breeds of dogs (tiny terriers).
A vaccine may cause a decrease in appetite and an increase in naptime (your pup may sleep for up to 24 to 48 hours following a vaccination). Sometimes, a dog may have a more severe reaction like hives, swelling of the face, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Want to prevent a severe reaction? Give your pet an antihistamine at the time of vaccination. If your dog has a history of strong reactions, don't forfeit all future vaccinations, however, warn your vet and discuss possible options.
All pet vaccines display both strengths and weaknesses. Modified-live vaccines give longer-lasting, stronger protection, often over a quicker period of time. Additionally, they cost less and require minimal dosage. On the downside, they have the potential to become active and trigger disease, especially in an animal with a weak immune system. Careful handling and storage of the vaccine before and after use is essential in preventing the breakdown of the active ingredients.
Killed vaccines cannot become virulent and are far less likely to affect the immune system. In addition, they remain stable while being stored. However, it is more likely that Killed vaccines will trigger allergic reactions. Plus, they must be administered more frequently.
*Discuss your options with your vet and choose the vaccinations that are right for your dog.
Is it possible to pump your puppy too full of vaccines? Some researchers blame the rise of immune-mediated disease on frequent vaccinations with large numbers of modified-live viruses. They feel that over-stimulating the immune system will cause it to label everything as foreign and, as a result, cause tissue rejection. This theory, however, is not accepted by the majority of vets.
What's so important about dog vaccines? What do they do, anyway? In Laymen's terms, a vaccination is a small dose of a disease. The introduction of this small amount of the illness will boost the dog's immune system and help it to better protect itself from the disease in the future.
When the antigen or infectious agent enters the animal's body, it is recognized as foreign and potentially dangerous. Then, the body creates antibodies that will bind to it and destroy the disease. And, even though the foreign invader is eliminated, the cells that produced the antibodies will remember it and will be able to respond much more quickly the next time the same invader enters the body.
A lot of people are confused when it comes to pet vaccines. How could getting Fluffy sick now be good for her later? Well, it's not necessarily true that giving her a vaccine will make her ill.
In the past, when vaccines were first being investigated, patients were actually injected with a less severe version of the disease (or a closely related disease) under the notion that it was much better to get mildly sick in the present rather than suffer a more severe sickness later.
*Today's vaccines are drastically weakened, or only pieces of the virus are injected and don't actually transmit the disease. In other words, don't be nervous that your animal will become extremely ill as a result of a vaccine.
It's no secret to dog owners that vaccines are a necessary evil in the healthy life of a canine. The risk of canine distemper is not something that should be played with. A puppy infected with distemper virus will suffer greatly—it will start off with gastrointestinal issues, respiratory disease and neurological disease (tremors and seizures)—and that's just the beginning! Your animal could end up in serious pain and could even end up hurting you.
If an animal does develop the virus, it is possible that the dog will survive with treatment. The best treatment, however, is prevention. Talk to your vet about vaccines.
*Puppies should be vaccinated every 2 to 4 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. This medication doesn't come with a syringe.