Pet Week-Vaccinating Your Pets

posted: by: Dawn, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Vaccines are products designed to stimulate protective immune responses in pets and prepare them to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. They can lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection altogether. Today, a variety of vaccines are available for use by veterinarians.


Pets should be vaccinated to protect them from many highly contagious and deadly diseases. In some cases (rabies, for example), vaccinating your pet can also protect you from disease. If an unvaccinated pet develops one of these diseases, treatment can become very expensive and many of these diseases can be fatal, even if your pet received prompt and appropriate treatment. Rabies vaccination is required by law in many states and counties.


**Rabies is required for ALL dogs, cats and ferrets in Franklin County, Ohio**


Not all pets should be vaccinated with all available vaccines. "Core" vaccines are recommended for most pets in a particular area because they protect from diseases most common in that area. "Non-Core" vaccines are reserved for individual pets with unique needs. Your veterinarian will consider your pet's risk of exposure to a variety of preventable diseases in order to customize a vaccination program for optimal protection throughout your pet's life. Talk with your veterinarian about your pet's lifestyle including its expected travel to other geographic locations and/or contact with other animals (such as exposure at kennels, obedience classes, shows, and dog parks) since these factors impact your pet's risk of exposure to certain diseases. For older pets, make sure your veterinarian is aware of any previous adverse reactions to vaccines.


**At Suburban, we ask about your pet’s lifestyle and ask you to fill out a simple questionnaire to help us determine which vaccines your pet needs.  We don’t believe in giving every vaccine available to every pet.


Core Vaccines at Suburban include:

            Dogs:    Rabies

                          Distemper/Parvo/Hepatitis (DAP or DHP)

                          Bordetella/Parainfluenza (tracheobronchitis)

            Cats:     Rabies

                          Rhinotracheitis/Calicivirus/Chlamydia/Panleukopenia (RCCP)


Non-Core Vaccines at Suburban include:

            Dogs:    Leptospirosis


                          Canine Influenza

            Cats:     Feline Leukemia (all cats, once tested, should have an initial series of 2 vaccines,                       then at least one booster a year later.  After that, further vaccination depends on the                        cat’s lifestyle.)



There are risks associated with vaccination, but they are usually outweighed by the benefits. The most common adverse responses are mild and short-term, including fever, sluggishness, and reduced appetite. Pets may also experience temporary pain or subtle swelling at the site of vaccination. Although most adverse reactions will resolve within a day or two, any excessive or continued pain, swelling, or listlessness should be discussed with your veterinarian.


Rarely, more serious adverse reactions can occur. Allergic reactions appear within minutes or hours of a vaccination and may include repeated vomiting or diarrhea, whole body itching, swelling of the face or legs, difficulty breathing or collapse. Contact your veterinarian immediately if any of these symptoms are seen. In very rare instances, death could occur from an allergic reaction.


** Please note that in most vaccine reaction cases, pets can continue to receive vaccines during their lifetime.  We will give an injection prior to giving the vaccines, typically an antihistamine with a steroid, to prevent a reaction.  In very rare cases is it deemed necessary to suspend further vaccines due to a reaction.**


If you have any concerns about your pet and vaccinations, please talk to your veterinarian.  Remember, it is always safer to have your pet vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian, rather than purchasing vaccines to give yourself.  When you purchase vaccines to give at home, you don’t know if they were handled and stored properly prior to buying them, which may make them ineffective and leave your pet at risk for the very diseases you are vaccinating against.  Please take your pet to a vet for these important vaccines!!


This article courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association in honor of National Pet Week 2013, "Love Your Pet, See Your Vet."

Suburban Animal Clinic is located in West Columbus off I-70 near I-270.  Suburban Animal Clinic serves Galloway, Hilltop, West Side, Georgesville, West Jefferson, Grove CityGrandviewUpper Arlington (including OSU Campus area), Hilliard and Dublin.