Before I begin, I need to preface I respect the Pet Healthcare Professionals such as Veterinarians, R & D , and pharmaceuticals company for all the advancement in medical prevention and treatment that help save our pet kids’ lives as well as improve the quality of their lives. This issue , however,has become a controversial one in recent years.
Speaking as a pet parent with multiple pets, these vaccinations can and do become expensive. And as a pet professional, my clients are required to have updated medical records of their pet kids .
What I will present are the vaccinations and their purposes. And I would love to hear from my readers and clients their opinions on the issue.
I have 5 pets. So you can imagine what yearly vet medical bills I have. And YES, it’s expensive. Think about it. We have yearly vaccinations, heartworm prevention , dental health and not to mention the unexpected illnesses and accidents. I don’t complain because I love them with everything I have and will go to the end of the earth to make sure they are healthy and happy. But one can’t help wonder if we are doing more harm than good with our protective strategies.
What many pet owners are not aware of is the increase in information that says yearly vaccinations are a waste of time, money and may put your pets’ health at risk. Recent Research says that veterinarians are charging owners $36 million for vaccinations that are unnecessary. And owners may want to adopt a reduced vaccinations schedule.
Reduced Vaccination Schedules are based on the belief that just as humans don’t need measles shot every year, neither do dogs or cats need annual injections for illnesses such as parvo, distemper or kennel cough. Even rabies shots are effective for at least three years.
The news has been slow to reach consumers, partly because few veterinarians outside academic settings are embracing the concept. Vaccine makers haven’t done the studies needed to change vaccine labels. Vets, who charge $30 to $60 for yearly shots, are loath to defy vaccine label instructions and lose an important source of revenue. In addition, they worry their patients won’t fare as well without yearly exams.
Logically, some may conclude that some vets would feel threatened because they may think, `People won’t come back to my office if I don’t have the vaccine as a carrot,’ Realistically, a yearly exam is very important . So I don’t feel they would see a reduction in clientele as long as their ethics are high and customer service is tremendous .
The reasons vaccinations became top priority for pets is because 1) rabies shots became common for pets in the 1950s, no one questioned the value of annual vaccination. 2) Distemper, which kills 50 percent of victims, could be warded off with a shot. 3) Parvovirus, which kills swiftly and gruesomely by causing a toxic proliferation of bacteria in the digestive system, was vanquished with a vaccine. Then eventually over the years, more and more shots were added to the schedule, preventing costly and potentially deadly disease in furry family members.
Lets breakdown the vaccinations for dogs and cats .
Rabies is a mandatory vaccine in most areas of North America because it not only protects the pet, but also the people in the pet’s environment. The most likely source for people to contract rabies is through their pet.
Leptospirosis can also be transferred from pet to human. In fact, people are more likely to get leptospirosis from a pet than any other source. It can cause chronic kidney disease and death.
Here are the protocols for felines and canines.
With a kitten there are three stages to the vaccination process:
A) At 6 to 8 weeks they are vaccinated for feline viral rhinotrachetitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and chlamydia.
B) At 12 to 14 weeks they are given a booster for the vaccine given above, as well as a vaccine for leukemia.
C) At 16 to 20 weeks a booster is given for set 1 and set 2 as well as a rabies vaccination.
D) 1 year from the last set of vaccines, and yearly for the rest of the cat’s life, it should be given the full set of vaccinations.
If a full grown cat is adopted, and its medical history is unknown, then the following process is followed:
1) The cat is vaccinated for feline viral rhinotrachetitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, chlamydia, leukemia and rabies.
2) 1 month after step 1 the cat is given a booster for all the vaccinations except rabies.
3) 1 year from the last set of vaccines, and yearly for the rest of the cat’s life, it should be given the full set of vaccinations.
With a puppy there are four stages to the vaccination process:
1) At 8 weeks they are vaccinated for distemper, adenovirus 2 (hepatitis), parainfluenza and parvo virus.
2) At week 12 they are given a booster for the vaccines given in stage 1 as well as the vaccines for leptospirosis.
3) At week 16 they are given a booster for stage 1 vaccines and the vaccine for lyme disease.
4) At week 20 they are given a booster for leptospirosis, lyme and the rabies vaccine.
5) 1 year from the last set of vaccines, and yearly for the rest of the dog’s life, it should be given the full set of vaccinations. NOTE: Rabies is supposed to be only given every other year after the first year vaccinations as it is a two year vaccine. But I do know some veterinarian offices will require it yearly , if your pets are their patients. So that in itself is a debatable issue.
If a full grown dog is adopted and its medical history is unknown then the following process is followed:
1) The dog is vaccinated for distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, leptospirosis, lyme and rabies.
2) 1 month after step 1 the dog is given a booster for all the vaccinations except rabies.
3) 1 year from the last set of vaccines, and yearly for the rest of the dog’s life, it should be given the full set of vaccinations. NOTE: Rabies is only given every other year after the first year vaccinations as it is a two year vaccine. But I do know some veterinarian offices will require it yearly , if your pets are their patients. So that in itself is a debatable issue.
Bordetella, better known as the “kennel cough” vaccine, some experts believe it should be given to all dogs who are in close contact with other dogs. If you take your dog to any of the below places they should be given the bordetella vaccine:
Dog boarding kennels
And in regards to Bordetella, this is one of the vaccinations many holistic vets believe is not necessary yearly. Holistic veterinarians adopt the reduced vaccination schedule.
The movement to extend vaccine intervals is gaining ground because of growing evidence that vaccines themselves can trigger a fatal cancer in cats and a deadly blood disorder in dogs. Many zealous holistic vets conduct public seminars aggressively because they believe the vaccination schedule is ” theft by deception’ and they want the proper channels to research and inform the public on this issue.
So I ask my readers , speak up and give me your intelligent opinions on this topic. Are we causing more harm to our pets with such an aggressive schedule or do you believe the schedule stands on its own merits?