Is the Anti-Vaccine Movement Hurting Pets?

Vaccines are health products that trigger protective immune responses in pets and prepare them to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines can lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection altogether. Today, a variety of vaccines are available for use by veterinarians. But with more and more people opposed to vaccinations, more and more pets are at risk for life threatening illnesses.

Pets should be vaccinated to protect them from many highly contagious and deadly diseases. Experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Even though some formerly common diseases have now become uncommon, vaccination is still highly recommended because these serious disease agents continue to be present in the environment.

Just because a pet stays at home and does not interact with other animals, does not necessarily mean the pet should not be vaccinated. Vaccines have protected millions of animals from illness and death caused by infectious diseases. All medical procedures, however, carry with them some risk. Fortunately, in the case of vaccination, serious adverse responses are very infrequent. Veterinarians minimize risk by carefully selecting vaccines on the basis of a pet’s individual needs and by choosing appropriate injection sites.

The bottom line is if your pet is vaccinated, he can be protected from life threatening illnesses, and more importantly, he can protect other animals he may come in contact with. As pets age, they become more vulnerable and in some cases, their immune systems can become compromised – making them more vulnerable to illnesses especially if they are not vaccinated and protected.