Canine Companion: Controversy Surrounds Dog Vaccines

Hey, guys. I hope your week has gone well and you’re enjoying all of the beautiful sunshine. My boys, myself, and our pup have been visiting the beach on a fairly regular basis. Our doggy loves to swim with my kids and of course he makes sure they’re okay on a regular basis (in his doggy life jacket because he has short little leggies).

This week we are going to dive into a topic with many opinions. There’s a huge controversy in the vaccine world today. And, that’s why I decided to write this article this week.

I want to explain what a vaccination is, how it works, and why your veterinarian recommends them so highly. At the same time, I will inform of risks associated with vaccinations causing concern.

If you visit the veterinarian on a regular basis, you have likely noticed your veterinarian recommending several vaccines or following a vaccine schedule if you have a young pet.

What’s a Vaccine?

Vaccines are designed to trigger immune responses (your pet’s ‘protective’ system in their body) to prepare them for future contact (immunity). Vaccines promote the release of antibodies, which are essentially fighters destroying the bad guys, which enter the body.

What is a Core Vaccine?

Core vaccines are considered to be vital to your dog’s well-being. Core vaccinates are the ‘required’ vaccinations per say. If you don’t get any others, the veterinarian would, at minimum, like to see the core vaccinations completed. Core vaccinations include Canine Parvo, Distemper, Rabies, and Hepatitis.

Vaccines your veterinarian may recommend include Bordetella, Canine Influenza, Lyme Disease, Leptospirosis.

Should I Vaccinate?

That’s not the only reason to vaccinate your pet, though. You may also choose to vaccinate your pet for the following reasons: To avoid costly payments in the future to treat an illness, to prevent disease from spreading from your pet to you and/or your family (some illnesses can be passed– these are known as zoonotic); conditions, like rabies, will likely force you to put your pet down if unvaccinated when bite occurred; many apartment complexes, rental homes, towns, and counties are now requiring your pet remain up-to-date on vaccinations.

Do Vaccines Always Work?

In most cases, research has shown the vaccines do work. If your pet is experiencing another type of illness, like cancer, her immune system may not be able to handle the ‘fight’. But, in a healthy pet, vaccines have been known to work properly in most cases. They have been ‘doing their job.’

To ensure vaccines work to your dog’s full advantage, your veterinarian will develop some type of schedule. It’s important to him or her you follow that schedule.

Prior to your veterinarian developing a vaccination program, he or she will consider your dog’s lifestyle, any risks due to your dog’s age, conditions, etc., and discuss any side effects (if any) of the recommended vaccinations.

Side Effects?

Here’s where the controversy comes in. The benefits of vaccinations in dogs are scientifically found to outweigh the risks, but there are still many who believe results may be skewed or invalid. This is where doing your own research comes in. I am not a veterinarian, I am a Canine Behaviorist/Canine Nutritionist, so I am unable to discuss many portions of your dog’s medical history with you. But, before we go on, if you do have any questions or concerns I highly recommend you talk to your veterinarian.

According to research, adverse reactions to dog vaccines are rare. But, as with any medication, there may be some side effects. That’s why veterinarians ask you to monitor your puppy/dog following a vaccination.

If your dog does experience side effects, symptoms may include feelings of sluggishness, fever, lack of appetite, facial swelling, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, pain near the injection site, and/or difficulty breathing.

Just as when we receive a vaccine, most side effects aren’t anything to ‘hyperventilate’ over, and many symptoms can be ignored (especially since most are very short-lived), but if you feel your dog is experiencing any sort of severe reaction or you are concerned, that’s what your veterinarian is there for. Give him or her a call and check their thoughts.

Your Opinion?

This article will be posted on my Facebook page facebook.com/specialistamberdrake and I would love to hear your thoughts/opinions regarding vaccinations. Do you feel they work? Do you feel they don’t work? Are they safe? Are they dangerous? What are your concerns? What do you see as the benefits?

That’s all I have for you today.

Until next time.


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