Vaccine Responses in Pets: Busting the Myths

Vaccinating your dog is an essential first line of defense against potentially lethal infections. A dog’s immune system can be better prepared to fight off any disease-causing organisms that might attack it if it receives vaccinations. Antigens in vaccines mimic disease-causing organisms, activating the dogs’ immune system but don’t cause disease.

Vaccines for puppies and dogs provide a moderate level of stimulation to the immune system by instructing it to detect the antigens that are present. In this manner, the dog’s immune system will be prepared and ready to fight off or at least minimize the effects of the actual sickness if and when it is exposed to it.

Truth About Pet Vaccine Reactions

After a trip to the vet for vaccines, most pet owners anticipate that their canine companion will be drained and possibly in pain. There is much misinformation out there regarding the dangers and advantages of vaccinating your pet. Get the facts about vaccine reactions and bust the most popular myths here.

1. Vaccine reactions only occur on the first dose of the vaccine. 

Vaccine reactions can occur at any dose and age in a dog’s life. However, vaccine-related adverse events are most common in canines younger than three years old.

Small dogs are said to have more reactions than the overall population. However, very few adverse reactions were observed among the vaccinated dogs, with an overall prevalence of only 0.38 percent. You can type in “dog vaccinations near me” if you ought to vaccinate your pet.

2. Just give a half dose to small dogs to prevent reactions.

Vaccines are typically sold to veterinarians in single-use vials that have already been metered out. Each container of vaccine contains enough medicine to immunize a single dog. However, some veterinarians only use half of the bottle for tiny dogs. They probably reasoned this way since practically all drugs given to animals are dosed according to their weight.

However, no proof administering a smaller dose of vaccination reduces the occurrence of adverse responses. That means your dog’s immunity may be diminished to whatever sickness the shot was meant to prevent. You can read more articles online for more info.

3. Not vaccinating your dog is the best way to prevent reactions.

It’s true that if you don’t vaccinate your dog, he won’t react. However, consider the dangers of not vaccinating your dog against diseases that can be fatal. Distemper and parvovirus cause mortality in unvaccinated young dogs. Leptospirosis is very contagious and can cause severe illness in both you and your dog. And rabies is 100% fatal and can be passed on to people.

Your dog requires a vaccination plan tailored to his specific health and risk factors. Discuss spreading vaccines across numerous visits with a veterinary diagnostic laboratory to reduce the possibility of an adverse reaction. 

4. Vaccine reactions occur within an hour of vaccination. 

Reactions to vaccines typically manifest themselves within the first 48 hours following vaccination. If you are worried that your dog may have an adverse reaction to a vaccine, it is best to plan the visit during the day, when you will be home and can keep an eye on your pet.

A second option is leaving your dog at the vet’s office for observation after administering the vaccination. It’s best to space out your immunizations, as having numerous shots at once can raise your pet’s risk of developing an adverse reaction to the vaccines.

5. A pet with a previous vaccination reaction should not be vaccinated again. 

Some pets have modest responses to vaccines, including a little stomach distress (vomiting and diarrhea) and maybe some facial or head swelling. They can also be fatally severe, triggering conditions like anaphylactic shock or autoimmune illness. Reactions to vaccines are uncommon, and major, even fatal, reactions are much more uncommon.

If your dog has a moderate vaccine reaction, talk to your vet about providing antihistamines or corticosteroids a few minutes before immunization. Avoid vaccination again if your dog has a severe vaccine reaction. Make this decision with your vet and discuss measures to limit your dog’s infectious disease exposure.