While many people think it is a necessity, is the pet vaccination schedule too much for some pets?
When you have a pet, you take them to the vet, and the first thing that happens are the many vaccinations the pet will receive. People are convinced the pets need these vaccines to keep their pet healthy. While some vaccines are vital to the pet’s healthy survival, not all are an absolute necessity.
Parvo is a deadly virus that can kill a dog quickly. Very few survive it, and yet a mere vaccination with the parvovirus will keep the pet healthy. In this case, the parvo vaccine is worth it. However, are the others?
Some pet vaccines cause more harm than good in the long run as in the case of feline leukemia vaccines. There is a lack of effectiveness of these vaccines where the effects of the vaccine itself can bring on greater problems later in the cat’s life. The cat owner needs to determine if it is worth the risk.
The rabies vaccine, while very necessary, has a lasting effectiveness beyond that which is the recommendations of the state laws. Some experts agree that the rabies vaccination is good for three years, yet the state law requires a licensed vet administer it on a yearly basis.
A standard reference for many vets called Current Veterinary Therapy XI, states that the practice of annual vaccinations of pets is unnecessary. The text agrees that many vaccines last for years as most vaccines (diphtheria, MMR, Polio) do in humans.
The recommendations by some experts are to withhold any vaccines until the pets are at least six weeks of age. The same goes not to vaccinate pets who have chronic conditions. In other words, vaccines for pets should be given to those who are mature enough and healthy enough to withstand it. Another line of thought is to vaccinate female dogs after their heat period and avoid administering shots within thirty days of their heat cycle.
Older pets should be considered as well because as the pet ages, like humans, their immune systems lose effectiveness. They stand a larger chance of having issues from the vaccines. Some of worse reactions to the vaccines include convulsions, anaphylactic, and possibly cancer. Minor reactions include skin irritations and lethargy. Consider the risks to your older pet before you subject them to the possibilities of such reactions.
Chronic conditions in pets are on the rise over the past thirty years due in part to the reaction to vaccinations on the immune system. Pets are suffering from more allergies and autoimmune diseases. Also for cats who receive the leukemia vaccine, the incidents of injection site cancers are on the rise.
It is better for pet owners to take the vaccinations into serious consideration and weigh the risks of exposing the animal to such illnesses (leukemia, distemper, etc.) over the dangers of the long-term reactions to the vaccines. Be wise in the care of your pets, feed them healthy diets, encourage exercise, and keep them in a healthy environment to help them live longer, healthier lives.