If there was a way you could extend your pet’s life and protect it from the possibility of contracting a painful disease, would you do it? Well, pet vaccinations provide just that opportunity and they are inexpensive and easy to obtain. At Fort Garry Veterinary Hospital we understand your companion animal is a beloved member of the family. Making sure it gets the recommended vaccinations is the simplest way to help your pet live a long, healthy life.

A pet vaccination helps the body’s immune system fight against disease-causing organisms. The antigens in vaccines mimic the disease-causing organisms without actually triggering the disease and its unwanted effects. When a pet is exposed to a disease for which it has been vaccinated, the immune system can more easily fight off the disease. In some cases, vaccines completely prevent the disease from developing and in others, the severity of the illness is decreased.

The Core Vaccinations

Core vaccinations are those determined to be the basic minimum for an animal based on its risk of exposure, transmissibility of the disease to humans, location and lifestyle. Our veterinarian in Winnipeg will advise you on which shots are considered core for your animal companion, including those which are required by law.

  • Basic dog shots include:
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Rabies
  • Basic cat shots include:
  • Feline Panleukopenia
  • Feline Calicivirus
  • Feline Rhinotracheitis
  • Rabies

Non-core vaccinations are those which are recommended if the animal is at risk for a particular disease because of their lifestyle or living situation. Examples of non-core dog vaccines include Bordetella bronchiseptica for dogs and feline leukemia for cats.

Recommended vaccinations are another category of shots. Some diseases are so rare and their transmissibility level is so low, the risk of the vaccine is considered greater than the protection it provides. However, for pets that are frequently exposed to those diseases, a vaccination may be highly recommended. An example is the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus for cats.

Risks of Vaccines

For most vaccines, risks include mild discomfort at the injection site or flu-like symptoms for 12 to 24 hours after the medication has been administered. Many pets have no visible reactions at all to their vaccines. To avoid more serious side effects, our veterinarian takes a complete medical history and evaluates the needs of each animal patient individually. Serious reactions may include:

  • Collapse
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Facial swelling or hives
  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain, swelling or redness at the injection site
  • Seizure

If your pet experiences any of this symptoms after a vaccination, contact the administering veterinary immediately.

For more information about vaccines or to make an appointment, call our office today at 204-452-9010.