Are Vaccines Dangerous?
Not usually. Unfortunately, a perfect,
risk-free vaccine does not exist. Without question, vaccines have saved
countless lives, and they continue to be indispensable weapons in the
battle against infectious disease. But as with any medical procedure,
there is a small chance that reactions may develop as a result of
vaccination. In most cases, the risks associated with vaccination are
much smaller than the risks of disease if vaccines were not given. But
to minimize the risk, before your cat is vaccinated, please inform your
veterinarian of any problems your cat is experiencing or any medication
your cat is receiving.
Following is a brief
list of reactions that may occur after vaccination. If your cat has had
any reaction in the past as a result of vaccination, be sure to inform
your veterinarian before your cat is vaccinated again.
The following reactions
are fairly common, usually start within hours to several days after
vaccination, and last no more than several days:
|discomfort at the site where
the vaccine was given - mild fever - diminished appetite and
activity - sneezing at about four to seven days after
administration of an intranasal vaccine. Development of a small,
firm, non-painful swelling under the skin at the site where the
vaccine was given. The swelling usually goes away after several
weeks, but if you notice such a swelling, you should contact your
These reactions occur very
|vomiting, diarrhea, or
difficult or labored breathing |
and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction within several
minutes to an hour after vaccination |
|a kind of
tumor called an injection site fibrosarcoma developing at the
vaccine site several weeks, months, or even years following
What should I do if
I think my cat is experiencing a problem as a result of vaccination?
By all means, consult
with your veterinarian. Even though vaccine-related adverse reactions
are uncommon, the consequences can be serious. Your veterinarian is the
individual most qualified to advise you if an untoward event does occur.
Any lump found under the skin at a vaccine site that persist more than 3
weeks should be removed ASAP and biopsied, hopefully before it becomes
To vaccinate or not
The decision to
vaccinate your cat should be based on a thorough understanding of the
benefits -- and the risks -- of the procedure. For this reason, it is
extremely important that your discuss the procedure with your
veterinarian. He or she will be more than willing to answer any
questions you may have, and will help you make the right vaccine choices
for your cat.