Why Vaccination?
Vaccines control
diseases and can
protect individual
animals from illness
and death.
Outline of Presentation
 What
vaccines do
 How vaccines work
 Dog and cat vaccination
What Vaccines do:
Increase Resistance to Infection
There are many ways to improve
general health:
Proper nutrition,
Healthy lifestyle,
Healthy Lifestyle--The Best Way to
Prevent Disease!
Eating healthy food, taking
vitamins, and regular
exercise stimulates the
immune system.
Good sanitation such as
washing your hands also
limits an infectious agent’s
ability to spread to you and
Vaccinations help both you and
your best friend stay safe.
Why Is Vaccination Important
everyone who
is vaccinated
Target specific
Stop epidemics
Goals of Vaccination
Vaccinate the largest
possible number of
individuals in the
population at risk.
Vaccinate each individual
no more frequently than
Vaccinate only against infectious agents to which
individuals have a realistic risk of exposure and
subsequent development of disease.
Vaccines consist of killed or
weakened microbes that
stimulate the immune
system so it will be prepared
to defend your body against
these diseases.
How Vaccines Are Made
Microbes grown on
suitable medium
Purified to remove compounds that
could cause allergic reactions
(not always possible)
Review Quiz
What Vaccines Are
What are two main ways to improve
resistance to infection?
Why is vaccination important?
What should the goals of vaccination be?
What is a vaccine?
How are vaccines made?
How Vaccines Work
How Vaccines Work
Vaccines usually stimulate
the immune system to recognize the
infectious agent and to produce antibodies to
the disease.
If the immunized animal is later exposed to
the infectious agent, the antibody-producing
cells “remember” their earlier encounter with
the infectious agent and respond quickly to
make more antibodies.
So what’s an antibody?
An antibody is a protein (called
immunoglobulin) that can destroy infectious
microbes by making it more easy for white
blood cells to capture and destroy the
How Antibodies Work
1. Microbes such
as bacteria invade
the body
3. Antibodies send signals to attract
the White Blood Cells, the
defending cells in the body.
2. Antibodies
recognize the
invaders and
attach to the
4. White Blood Cells
come and destroy the
invading microbes
Different Types of Vaccines
Weakened (Modified Live) Vaccine
Inactivated (Killed) Vaccine
Toxoid Vaccine
Subunit Vaccine
Weakened (Modified Live) Vaccines
Produced by weakening a live vaccine or removing it’s
disease-causing ability.
- They emit a large
immune system response
so you only have to
receive the vaccine once
or twice.
- They have to be kept in
special conditions, like
- They can mutate and
might cause the disease.
Inactivated (killed) Vaccines
These vaccines are produced
by killing the infectious agent.
- They do not have to be
- They usually require
booster shots because they
only weakly stimulate the
immune system to make
- They will never come
back to life and cause the
Toxoids made by inactivating the toxin that some
infectious agents create.
Toxoids used against Tetanus and Diphtheria.
- You only have to have
the vaccine once or twice.
- They will never be
reactivated and cause the
- They have to be
Subunit Vaccines
Made by taking apart an infectious agent and only using the
antigenic part (the part that stimulates an immune
Example vaccines: Hepatitis B and Streptococcus
- They cannot cause the
- They are more difficult to
make and require new,
expensive technology.
Time to Produce Protection
Vaccines do not stimulate immunity immediately after
they are given. It takes 5-14 days for the immune
system to respond and remember the agents that are
In some instances, two or
more vaccinations several
weeks apart must be given
to achieve protection.
Review Quiz
How do vaccines work?
What are antibodies and what do they do?
What are the different types of vaccines?
Vaccination for Dogs & Cats
Vaccines are Life Saving
Vaccines have saved the
lives of millions of dogs and
cats by protecting them
against diseases.
Before the days of effective
vaccines, dogs routinely
died from distemper,
hepatitis, leptospirosis,
parvovirus and
complications of upper
respiratory infections such
as kennel cough.
Importance of Physical Exam
Pets need to be healthy to receive vaccination. Sick
animals do not respond well to vaccination.
Veterinarians provide health and
nutrition information that you can’t
get from pet stores.
Pets that visit the
veterinarian once a
year are healthier, happier,
and live longer.
Tailored Vaccination Program
Not every dog or cat
needs the same set of
Pet owners should work
with their veterinarians
to design a vaccination
schedule for each pet
based on age, health
status, reproductive
status, and
Vaccination: Balancing the Risks
Even vaccines that have been proven to be safe and
effective in most animals may cause adverse
reactions to a small group of animals.
However, vaccines have greatly reduced the
incidence of diseases in many countries, protecting
the health of many animals.
Also, by vaccinating animals against diseases that
are zoonotic (transmissible between animals and
humans), we are protecting people as well.
Vaccine Example: Rabies
Rabies vaccine causes adverse reactions in
1 out of 60,000 dogs.
In the United States, rabies in domestic
animals (like dogs, cats, and cattle) has
declined dramatically since the 1950s. This
decrease is mainly due to rabies
The benefits of giving rabies vaccines for
protection against disease far outweigh the
risks of occurrence of adverse reactions.
Adverse Reactions to Vaccines
Vaccine reactions are uncommon, but they are
important to watch out for because some of these
rare reactions can be fatal. It is recommended that
your pets be monitored for vaccine reactions for 24
hours following vaccinations.
Anaphylaxis is a rare, life-threatening, immediate
allergic reaction. The most common symptoms are
the sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, seizures,
coma, and shock. The animals' gums will be very
pale, and the limbs will feel cold.
If this occurs, take your pet to the nearest veterinary
clinic or emergency animal hospital immediately.
Adverse Reactions to Vaccines (continued)
Pain, swelling, redness, and irritation can occur at the
injection site. Mild fever, decreased appetite, and
depression may also occur. If you notice any of these
signs in your pets, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Although all these reactions sound
scary, compared to the risks of not
vaccinating dogs and cats, the risks
associated with vaccinations are very
small in comparison.
Review Quiz
Why is physical exams by veterinarians
important to your pets?
Why are we not giving the same vaccines to
every animal?
What are the risks of vaccination, and why do
we still vaccinate if there are risks?
What are some adverse reactions of
References & Further Readings
Cat Vaccines:
UC Davis VMTH Canine and Feline Vaccination Guidelines:
AAHA Vaccine Guidelines:
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