Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Caution on Vaccinations


Concerns in overvaccination has rose greatly in the past years.  We know that giving boosters annually or even more frequently  is reccomended by most veterinarians.  However when these frequent boosters are not needed to the companion animal they are costing the owner greatly for a service that is not needed and create a false sense of protection from these infectious diseases.  You as the owner should be aware of your pet's health and be sure to do the reaserch as to what vaccines and boosters will benefit your animal and in what time frames the boosters should be administered.  Since not all vaccines are required depending on the area you live in be sure that your pet is not being vaccinated for a disease that most likely will not effect your pet.  This is the same when it comes to prevention. Why spend the extra money on heartworm, flea and/or parasite prevention if you live in an area where these issues are rare and uncommon.  


As an example I spent five years in Tampa, Florida taking care of Coal and Cheyenne. Coal and Cheyenne are half Bullmastiff and half Rhodesian Ridgeback. They weighed a good 90 to 110 pounds each. On total I spent $90 on heartworm/parasite prevention and $70 on flea prevention each, every six months.  This comes out to $640 annually and does not include the cost of a heartworm test and a fecal annually for each dog.  I currently reside in Northern Nevada where fleas, parasites and heartworm cases are uncommon if not rare. If I had not done my reaserch correctly I would still be spending that much a month on prevention when it is not needed.  Now I can save that money for more important things for my pets.  


Through my research I've come to see there are a few vaccines that come highly recommended no matter where you live.  These are vaccines that protect against the canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus and of course the rabies virus.  Start vaccines 8 weeks, 14 weeks and than finally 16 weeks where the rabies vaccine is administered.  Receive boosters annually for these vaccines.  Bordetella and coronavirus although seemingly benefical vaccines prevents these viruses only for a short period on time and have questionable efficasy.


As I always say "Information is the key. The more you have, the more you know."

11 comments:

Gina said...

I have always thought that heart-worm was a national thing. I didn't realize that heart-worm is not a big concern in every state.

Gina said...

Following your blog

Vivian Deliz said...

This was interesting. I live in Virginia and I do not think that I need all those vaccinations for my dog. I never board him so why does he need the vaccine against kernel cough. I have already stopped using the stuff agains ticks and turned to natural solutions that for now work much better.

Sher said...

VERY Good article!!!

amgstellar said...

Helpful post. Thank you for the information.

lilbabypug said...

this is scarey because it's a law in my county to vaccinate against rabies and distemper. what am I to do if I don't trust the vaccines?

Lauren said...

You raise some great points in your post. No one vaccination protocol is perfect or appropriate for every pet- it is a decision that should be made by your family working with your veterinarian. There is conflicting research about the efficacy and safety of vaccines and titers, but the bottom line is that you need to protect your pets. If you are concerned about over vaccinating your pets- talk to your veterinarian about your options. Drawing blood samples annually for vaccine titers can be an alternative. Flea/tick and heartworm medications are another thing to discuss with your veterinarian. While true that these parasites are not endemic in every area, your animals are still at risk. Example- heartworm disease is transmitted via mosquitoes which can hitch a ride on transport vehicles and cause disease in areas not considered at high risk of heartworm disease (HWD). The same goes with ticks, which can carry such devastating diseases as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, and Lyme disease. And remember- just because your pet may be strictly indoors only- you still open windows and doors in your home, and a second is all it takes for a mosquito to enter. HWD is an easily preventable disease that costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars to treat and can often be fatal.

So the bottom line... talk to your veterinarian, do your research, and come up with a plan together for the optimal health of your pet.

Lauren

Feral_Akodon said...

Excellent post. I was actually expecting the equivalent of the dog version of vaccination links with autism - btw, there is a huge increase in nearly eradicated childhood diseases such as measles because so many parents are opting out of vaccinations. While I agree that owners need to be aware of what vaccines are needed where they live - too many pet owners don't vaccinate (or use heartworm preventative - I live in OK where heartworms are a year around concern and if dogs are off preventative, they are going to get heartworms) or they simply buy a multi at the feed store and call it good (regardless whether that multi includes what is needed in their area). I am a rescue volunteer and we see so many dogs come in with heartworms, ehrlichia, lyme disease - all things that are easily preventable. Many applicants have not vaccinated there dogs since their first round of puppy shots and many claim they have no idea that didn't cover them for life. In my opinion, more problems are caused by a lack of vaccinations than by vaccinating too much.

SharonAnne said...

Excellent post! You have me thinking about the yearly vaccinations my two little ones get. I'll be discussing this with my vet...thank you.

Amy said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post getting this info out to a lot of dog caretakers who aren't aware of this info.

nsord33 said...

I am fortunate to have a friend who is an animal research scientist who has been kind enough to guide me through the vaccination process. Thanks for sharing the info with us.