|Why do we vaccinate?
Pets are vaccinated to help protect them from disease. Vaccines help the
body's immune system recognize and fight diseases. Having your pets vaccines
routinely boasted, as directed by your Veterinarian, keeps the immune system
in top shape and insures your pet will have ample protection.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to recognize a disease.
They contain a dead or modified version of a virus or bacteria, which
is still similar enough to the original disease that the body recognizes
it as a disease. When this "invader" centers the body, immune
system is cued to fight the "invader". Each time the body encounters
a vaccine or disease it develops a unique "plan" (immune response)
to fight the disease. The more the body encounters the vaccine or disease
the better the plan, response and memory of the immune system will be.
This means better protection for your pet. However, the immune system
is not perfect
it can forget. If a pet is not vaccinated regularly,
the immune system will forget how to fight a particular disease and your
pet will be at risk.
What are the Risks Associated with Vaccination?
The most common side effect to vaccinations are mild soreness at the injection
site and grogginess. A few pets may experience flu-like symptoms, nausea
and diarrhea, for 24-48 hours. Rarely, but pets may have a true allergic
reaction which is primarily indicated by facial swelling. This is similar
to a person with a bee-sting allergy. Pets with this type of reaction
should see their Veterinarian immediately and require an anti-histamine
injection. Also a very rare reaction is an abnormal growth which may develop
at the sits of injection. Most of these growths are benign, but a very
small fraction of them can become cancerous, and would require removal.
Some theories suggest that vaccines themselves, cause pets to develop
certain diseases later in life, however, there is no evidence to support
that theory. It is much more likely that your pet could contract a disease,
which could have been prevented through vaccination; than they would develop
a serious reaction.