Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Real Truth about vaccines, Dogs and Cats

The word is finally getting out. Vaccines last a lot longer than the manufacturers would lead you to believe. They recommend to veterinarians that they give vaccines every year but now we know their interests are financial. Studies show that even Rabies vaccines last longer than the law says they do but that will never change; it's important to have legal dogs and cats so always keep the Rabies shots up to date, even older

There are CORE vaccines and there are NON-CORE vaccines, CORE meaning required and important for the health of your pet. All the veterinary university websites and the American Animal Hospital Association have established similar CORE vaccines recommendations. Basically cats need at least two distemper/upper respiratory vaccines, one of those after 14 weeks of age, Leukemia vaccine if they go outside and Rabies vaccine after 12 weeks of age. Those vaccines will be boosted in one year. The distemper/upper resp vaccines will then be good for 3 years, leukemia and Rabies for one year (there is a 3 year vaccine for cats
but the once yearly type is most recommended). NON-CORE vaccines are not essential for every pet. For example, if you live in an area where there is no Lyme disease, you most likely will not want to vaccinate your dog for Lyme disease (cats do not get Lyme disease!!). If you are a hunter and your dogs have a history of coming home with ticks, Lyme vaccine would be important for that dog. There are now other ticks besides the deer tick carrying disease, so a history of ANY ticks is considered at risk. Other non-core vaccines are canine flu, giardia, bordatella, feline infectious peritionitis and dental disease bacterial vaccines.
Forget feline infectious peritionitis, giardia and dental bacterial disease altogether. Bordatella (only get the
nasal) is important for boarded and groomed pets and dogs who frequent dog parks. Some veterinary immunogists are saying that after the age of 8 dogs and cats need only Rabies and bordatella vaccine (if exposed as above). This is a new recommendation and I am not ready to go quite that far yet but I believe that will be the case in the near future. If your vet insists on a host of vaccines all on the same day, go somewhere else. The maximum recommended number of vaccines in one day in 3. Any further vaccines should be given at least 3 weeks later. This is especially true for small dogs. You can e-mail me for further information at Be sure to put in the line Blog question so I don't send you to spam!