Things Pet Owners Should Consider With Regard to pet vaccinations

It is well known that pet vaccinations are a primary means of preventative care for companion animals. A dog or cat that has been properly vaccinated is almost certain to be immune if exposed to certain animal diseases such as distemper, parvo and rabies. Some vaccinations (namely rabies) are mandated by law, as an unvaccinated dog with rabies presents a life threat to human beings. Vaccinations are available at veterinarian offices everywhere and also at the Humane Society of Huron Valley (Hshv.org) vet clinic. While most people recognize the importance of vaccinating their pets for unwanted diseases, many fail to recognize the negative side effects and risks that often accompany vaccinations, particularly when multiple vaccinations are given simultaneously. By increasing one’s awareness of the potential negatives, pet owners can discuss these effects with their pets’ veterinarians and hopefully arrive at a vaccination schedule that protects the pet without compromising his health in the process.

Issues to consider where pet vaccinations are concerned, and which should be discussed with your veterinarian include the following:
1. The number of vaccinations to be given. When a dog or cat is administered five, six or seven vaccinations all at the same time, the possibility of overwhelming its immune system is very real. You’re asking your pet’s immune system to mount immunity to all of those diseases at once, often with irreversible consequences. Conditions such as skin allergies and epilepsy are believed to often be triggered by over-vaccinating.

2. Vaccination frequency. It’s well known within veterinary circles that one vaccination given to a dog at sixteen weeks or older that is later properly boostered generally provides immunity from that disease for many years. Rather than blindly revaccinating each year, a pet owner may wish instead to have a titer drawn, which will show whether the animal is able to mount immunity upon exposure to the disease.

3. Vaccination efficacy. Some diseases have more affecting and distinct strains than the vaccinations actually protect against. If the vaccinations don’t cover against the strains of the disease being seen in your area, what is the point in stressing your pets’ systems by giving them?

There is a publicly funded study currently underway at the University of Wisconsin that is seeking to prove that the rabies vaccine actually provides protection for a minimum of seven years. At present it is important to remember that the rabies vaccine is mandated by state law, and to comply accordingly.

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