Which vaccines should pets receive?
When designing a vaccination program, veterinarians consider the pet’s lifestyle, related disease risks, and the characteristics of available vaccines. “Core vaccines” (e.g., rabies, feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus infection, canine distemper, canine parvovirus infection, and canine hepatitis) are recommended for most pets. Additional “non-core vaccines” (e.g., feline leukemia, canine kennel cough and other vaccines) may be appropriate based on the pet’s particular needs.
What should I expect after my pet’s vaccination?
It’s common for pets to experience some mild side effects after receiving a vaccine. You should talk with your veterinarian about what to expect after vaccination, and be sure to inform him or her if your pet has had prior reactions to any vaccine or medication. More serious, but less common side effects, such as allergic reactions, can be life-threatening and are medical emergencies. Seek veterinary care immediately if any of these signs develop:
▶️ Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
▶️ Itchy skin that may seem bumpy (“hives”)
▶️ Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
▶️ Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
Are there risks associated with vaccination?
Vaccines have protected millions of animals from illness and death caused by infectious diseases. All medical procedures, however, carry with them some risk. Fortunately, in the case of vaccination, serious adverse responses are very infrequent. Veterinarians minimize risk by carefully selecting vaccines on the basis of a pet’s individual needs and by choosing appropriate injection sites. In an effort to find ways to prevent even these limited numbers of adverse responses from occurring, the AVMA is working with government and industry to redefine how information regarding adverse responses is gathered, analyzed, and disseminated.