Not all vaccines are created equal! You might think that a dead virus is a dead virus that should be that. But it isn’t quite that simple. You really need to be careful when and where you get your vaccines but let’s get to the basics.
Why do you need to vaccinate in the first place?
Vaccines help keep your dog safe. Simple as that. Just as humans have completely removed the chances of newcomer to planet earth getting smallpox, veterinary medicine has removed the chance of some diseases occurring in your dog if properly vaccines. One such example is parvovirus. While we still see some at our Fairhaven, Massachusetts clinic, almost all dogs are vaccinated. This is a big deal!
Parvo causes diarrhea and vomiting in dogs and has a very high mortality rate. But before you start getting too worried about diarrhea, know that parvo occurs primarily in young dogs (puppies) and that most older dogs (>2 years) have either been exposed and survived or have had a solid vaccination history against the disease. Make sure your dog has received the da2p vaccine and the required boosters.
For cats, you want to use the FVRCP vaccine. This prevents panleukopenia which is basically parvovirus in felines. However, the mortality rate for feline parvovirus is much higher than in canines. The symptoms are the same but by the time we see something it is typically too late.
While you can buy vaccines online at some cheaper vendor we don’t recommend you do so. If they’re not properly administered the side effects can be pretty significant. Sarcomas can develop at the injection site and grow into masses that must be surgically removed. If the injection is not done at the right location, you can end up with a major mass in a majorly bad spot.