Paws For Thought

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Paws For Thought

by Jed Yorkshire

Vaccinations are, no doubt, an important ingredient in keeping your dog or cat happy and healthy. But, as I found out with my prized pooch, Muppet, they?re not completely risk free. I thought I was being a good ?mom? by taking her to the vet for her scheduled shots, and I was, but you can imagine my surprise when she had an unusual reaction!

Within a few hours after her vaccinations, Muppet was moping around, looking forlorn and depressed ? wouldn?t eat, wouldn?t play. I assumed she was just a little groggy and left her alone. Then came the scary vomiting and diarrhea. Freaking out, I called my vet who reassured me that those reactions are not uncommon within a 24-hour period and to keep an eye on her. By the next morning, Muppet was back to her old self. Phew!

Still, having no idea that anything like this could happen, it was quite the wakeup call to me. I also found out that some pets can experience more severe allergic reactions to their shots ? like welts, facial swelling or shaking. If this happens, you should call your veterinarian immediately for instructions. Remember, these can start several hours or several days after getting the shots, so make sure you keep a close eye on your pet.

I know all this sounds scary, but don?t let the possibility of a reaction sway you from keeping your pet?s vaccinations up to date. Vaccines save the lives of countless pets every year. Besides, if your pet has a history of bad reactions, there are steps you can take to keep your pet safe during the next round of shots:

? Don?t get all his vaccinations done at once ? but don?t separate them by any more than two weeks. It not only cuts down on reactions, it also helps pinpoint which shot is the culprit.

? Don?t take your pet to a vaccination clinic. Clinics offer a streamlined service for healthy pets and are not meant to give individual attention to a pet with a history of vaccination reactions.

? Make sure your vet knows about your pet?s past reactions.

? Be prepared to pay for special pre-vaccination meds or observation in the hospital. Some medications can be used to stop allergic reactions before they happen, obviously, this will cost you more. Some vets also want to observe your dog or cat overnight in the hospital, just to be safe.

As long as you know that a reaction is a possibility, then you?ll be ready to deal with it if it happens. And remember, most dogs and cats are in and out of the vet?s office without any adverse reactions at all.

Make sure you talk to your vet about which vaccines are recommended annually for your dog or cat. You can find out more information about this and minimum age requirements for vaccinations on PETCO's website.

Jed Yorkshire is a retired teacher and pet enthusiast who writes about canine health topics, specialty breeds, animal training and grooming. An avid pet lover and breeder, he owns four beautiful Giant Schnauzers. Yorkshire also works as a private pet behavior consultant.

Jed Yorkshire - EzineArticles Expert Author

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