7 Things You Don’t Know About Vaccinating Pets
1. The only vaccine required by U.S. law is rabies. 15 states currently offer exemptions to animals with serious health problems and more are adding exemptions. Not all states require cats and ferrets to be vaccinated. Note: because laws change with little fanfare, not all veterinarians know the current regulations. Click here to see a list of U.S. state laws. Double check with your city and county Animal Control.
2. There is little or no research showing that annual revaccination for core vaccines boosts immunity. Studies do show that core vaccines shouldn’t be given any more frequently than every three years — not every three years.
3. Mature dogs and cats rarely die from vaccine-preventable infectious disease and thus may not need vaccinating.
4. A simple blood titer test can prove immunity for core vaccines. Though more expensive than vaccinating, titer tests need not be repeated often or perhaps even ever (according to many experts).
5. When cats, and small to medium-sized breed dogs, receive multiple vaccines in one visit (a common practice) they become “significantly” more likely to have a reaction. Each vaccine can increase risk by as much as 27%. A “7-way” canine vaccine plus Bordetella plus rabies means 9 vaccines at once!
6. Treatment for vaccine reactions can cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars over the pet’s lifetime and may ultimately prove ineffective. Who pays? You do! Only rarely will vaccine makers pay vet bills.
7. Groomers, trainers and boarding establishments may have vaccination requirements that have more to do with liability than pet health. Many of these caregivers haven’t been made aware of the newest vaccination recommendations. Conversely, some enlightened proprietors accept titer testing in lieu of vaccination. It pays to shop around!
Now, before you vaccinate, please read Ask These Questions BEFORE Vaccinating Your Pet
DISCLAIMER: All information and links provided here are for general information purposes only, and are not to be intended as medical or legal advice. This information should not be used to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from available research. The decision whether or not to vaccinate is an important and complex issue and should be made by you in consultation with your pet health care provider. Our goal is to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through education. We neither promote the use of any vaccine or vaccine protocol nor advise against it.