Vaccination is the best way to protect your pet from infectious diseases. The principle of vaccination is to administer to the animal a small dose of disease-causing organisms (viruses or bacteria) that have been either "killed" or modified. This will cause a specific reaction of the immune system, which will develop cells with a memory of the diseases against which the animal has been vaccinated. Consequently, if the animal comes into contact with one of these diseases later on, the immune system will be ready and able to fight the disease quickly and effectively. It is common for a booster vaccination to be necessary to maintain good immune memory.
Although most animals will tolerate the vaccination perfectly well, some may experience a change in their general condition. Fatigue, decreased appetite, low-grade fever or mild pain at the vaccination site may be observed. These symptoms are normal and can be relieved with cuddling and affection. However, if these symptoms persist 48 hours after vaccination, please contact your veterinarian.
Allergic reactions may sometimes occur. This type of reaction usually occurs within 6 hours of vaccination. Symptoms to watch for include vomiting, itching (especially on the face), facial swelling and redness, diarrhea and, rarely, difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. Allergic reactions must be treated with medication and fortunately, response to treatment is quick and effective in the vast majority of cases. Your veterinarian will prescribe the best treatment to cure your pet.
If your pet has had a previous allergic reaction in the past, your veterinarian will discuss with you the advisability of continuing the vaccination. A decision may be made to discontinue all or part of the vaccines. Sometimes the vaccination is continued, but medication must be given in the days leading up to the vaccination.
By vaccinating your pet, you are protecting them from serious and sometimes fatal diseases. You can rest assured that vaccination is a wise decision!