Dog and cat health care topics, videos, and articles

Dog and puppy health care questions and answers, articles, videos and images

Vaccinations For Dogs And Cats
Learn about vaccine use in pets 

Vaccine use in pet dog and cat health care is an ever-evolving aspect of optimal veterinary medical care.  Guided by sound medical principles and working co-operatively with human medical research and protocols, veterinarians are continually seeking for better ways to keep pets healthy.

Call your local veterinarian if your pet is sick or if you need advice about a specific pet.
View all topics

Kitten and cat health care questions and answers, articles, videos and images

New vaccines, better manufacturing techniques, longer duration of immunity, and improved safety
for pets make today's vaccination protocols better than ever before.
The incredible good that vaccines do must be viewed in the light of the potential ill-effects that can happen to a very few individuals.

We're getting a new kitten and I keep hearing all sorts of horror stories about how bad vaccinations can be for dogs and cats.
   Even some veterinarians warn about giving too many shots and now I just don't know what to do?  What about this issue of vaccinations are they safe or not?

Answer:  vaccinations... vaccines... dogs... cats  
     There may be some truth to all the bad things you have heard.  In a small percent of any population... dog, cat, human, horse, etc... there are a few individuals that do not develop good immunity, that do develop good immunity, that have mild and transient discomfort or fever, that have mild ill effects such as an allergic reaction, or that may hyper-react and go into shock and die from anaphylactic reaction.  Interestingly, the same ill effects can be induced by peanuts (see the image of such a reaction here) and other food substances, insect venom from a sting, or medications.
     We need to weigh the risk of exposure to dangerous pathogens such as the distemper viruses of dogs and cats (same name but different diseases!) against the risk of having a serious reaction to a vaccine.  Veterinarians try to encourage pet owners to become educated about the pros and cons of vaccinating for various diseases, some of which are seldom life-threatening.

Doctor's Notes

 Read more about vaccinations
 for cats and dogs...
University of California-Davis Veterinary School's recommendations

American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners

American Animal Hospital Associatio

American Veterinary Medical Association
 Dogs and vaccinations
 Cats and vaccinations


Click on an image to view a larger version in a new window
dog_vaccination_distemper.jpg (60970 bytes) dog_vaccination_injection.jpg (90002 bytes) dog_vaccination_injection_2.jpg (87644 bytes) cat_vaccination_vaccine.jpg (82428 bytes)
This poor little dog eventually died from "distemper" virus
The veterinarian vaccinates puppies and kittens early in life Some vaccines may be  given intra-muscularly and not under the skin With some vaccines cats can be at risk for fibrosarcoma tumor at the injection site 

FYI... intelligent and credible info about pet vaccines are linked to below:
Over Vaccination Topic AAHA VACCINATION
Research by Dr. Ronald Schultz, professor and chair of pathological sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine, U of Wisconsin ASPCA VACCINATION  GUIDELINES View an animal hospital's suggested vaccine

From training sessions to bird feed to dog and cat supplies to pocket pets...

ID tags and thousands of other pet supplies including pet foods!
Amazing Amazon
1-800-PetMeds Pet Supplies Free Shipping $49
Huge selection of prescription and non-prescription medications for your pets

Does my dog need a kennel cough {the correct name is Infectious Tracheobronchitis, TJD} vaccination every year?  She is a 4 year old Miniature Schnauzer and she never goes out of our yard.  If she doesn't really need it I don't want her to get the vaccination.


Go to to see a number of photos of dogs and cats with various conditions and diseases.  View a few x-rays (radiographs), surgery images and parasites, too.


View all topics

Answer:  vaccination... kennel cough... is it needed
     With any vaccine we need to balance the benefit versus the risk and expense.  Fortunately canine infectious tracheobronchitis, often called kennel cough because it is more prevalent in any concentrated populati
on of dogs whether or not is is in a kennel environment, is seldom a dangerous disease.  Many dogs have a naturally acquired immunity but there is no handy way to measure that immune status.  Since the veterinarian can't tell if a dog is immune during a physical exam it is an obligation to mention or suggest the vaccination.  In your dog's case the potential for exposure my be lower than the dog that travels a lot or goes to shows or field trials.
     Kennel cough usually develops a few days after aerosol transmission of the virus and bacteria that cause the irritation in the lining of the trachea and bronchioles.  The dog may cough, hack, and gag on mucous for 7 to 12 days and it can get to be very annoying for the dog and humans involved.  Some dogs may develop a secondary bacterial overgrowth and need antibiotics.  Immune deficient dogs and those of advanced age or that have heart, lung, or trachea problems could really develop a crisis if infected.
     As with any vaccine the decision to vaccinate or not is determined on an individual basis based on the risk of getting the disease versus any risks and costs of the vaccine.  Learn all you can about vaccinating and then you, as the ultimate decision-maker for your dog's health care, make the call.    

Trustworthy Sources About
 Pet Health Care

Pet Food Recalls
Current and previous recalls
American Veterinary 
Medical Association
FDA Veterinary Database
 ...a wide spectrum of veterinary medical and animal health news and information
See a list of  organizations of Veterinary Specialists
American Academy Of Veterinary Nutrition
Pets and Parasites

View all topics

Tell your friends about this site!

This site including all images are copyright of T J Dunn, DVM.
You may copy only the text of questions and answers for your own non-commercial use. 
Images can be requested or purchased through