Why Vaccinate?

kitten-playingIt is important to have your dog vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian for the safety of the owner and the health of your dog. Vaccines provide an immunity to certain diseases such as rabies, lepto, parvo and distemper by releasing antigens into the immune system to help fight off the actual disease if they ever do come into contact with it. This will reduce the severity of the illness sometimes saving the dog’s life. Puppies should receive a series of three or four booster vaccines to protect against those puppy diseases such as parvo, distemper and hepatitis. Some animals may develop a reaction to the vaccine administered, so it is important to watch your animal after it is given. The symptoms range anywhere from lethargy all the way to fever and hives. If you notice any of these symptoms, call or go to your veterinarian for specific treatment to help counteract the reaction.

Immunizations mildly stimulate an animal’s immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This stimulation can create mild symptoms such as soreness at the injection site, low grade fever or an allergic reaction. Another less common side effect is the development of immune mediated disease following vaccination.

puppy playing with paperThat said, it is important to realize that vaccines have saved countless lives, and play a vital role in the battle against canine infectious disease. Additionally, rabies vaccinations have saved the lives of countless dogs—and many humans as well. In some developing countries, hundreds of people die each year due to rabies contracted from dog bites.  There have been a few documented cases here in Oklahoma as well so it is important to keep your pet’s up to date on their rabies vaccines.

As with any medical procedure, there is a small chance of side effects. In most cases, the risks are much smaller than the risks of disease itself. But it is important to talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s medical history before he/she is vaccinated.