Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Caution on Vaccines

Concerns in over vaccination have risen greatly in the past years.  We know that giving boosters annually or even more frequently is recommended 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 research 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 affect 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 research 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 corona virus although seemingly beneficial vaccines prevent these viruses only for a short period on time and have questionable efficacy.


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


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