Posted on June 12, 2015

Vaccinations are important to help trigger a protective immune response to lessen or prevent common, widespread diseases.  Your veterinarian is an important source regarding your pet’s specific vaccination needs. It is important to vaccinate to protect pets from highly contagious and deadly diseases.  It is generally agreed among veterinarians that vaccines have an excellent safety record.  Yet, vaccines are biologic products and have been documented to cause unpredictable adverse reactions in some animals up to 3 days after administration.  Commonly observed side effects include the following: reduced or loss of appetite, pain at the injection site, lethargy (lack of activity), and/or mild fever.  Please contact your veterinarian or an emergency clinic if your pet develops any of these more serious side effects: Any physical and/or behavioral manifestations that progressively worsen or continue beyond 2-3 days, or signs of systemic illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, facial swelling, collapse, and/or difficulty breathing, develop.   In very rare instances, these more serious side effects have been a cause of death.

“Core” vaccines are those recommended for all pets, whereas “non-core” vaccines are generally not recommended, unless your pet is at a higher risk of obtaining a certain disease.  There is also a group of vaccinations that fall under the category called “not recommended,” which is due to the inability for veterinary researchers to find a justification for their use.  Your veterinarian will formulate a tailored vaccination protocol specific to your pet’s individual needs to best protect them from contracting disease, and ensure a long, healthy life.