Does my pet really need all of these vaccinations? What about all the side effects? Determine your pet's risk:
Does your dog get boarded or groomed?
If so, your pet will be exposed to a lot of other pets, and potentially diseases such as kennel cough or parvovirus. This may be true even of a very well kept kennel or groomer just due to the large numbers of pets coming in and going out.
Does your dog frequent dog parks, pet stores, or other places frequented by large numbers of dogs?
These areas are similar to boarding and grooming facilities as far as risk of exposure to diseases.
Does your dog go camping or otherwise get exposed to ponds or streams?
Drinking out of ponds or streams may potentially expose your dog (and yourself) to Giardia, a protozoan which causes diarrhea and vomiting. Giardia is also communicable to people and other pets.
Do you interact with cats you meet on walks, then come home to pet and greet your kitty?
Does your cat go outside?
Do you open your windows to let in fresh air for your indoor cat?
Are there any stray cats in your area?
Outside cats have a much higher risk of exposure to disease due to their potential interaction with other cats. Respiratory viruses can be passed by sneezing or sharing water or food bowls. Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) are passed through saliva, mucus, urine, feces, or blood (bites or spitting at each other most commonly).
Does your pet have a good immune system?
Older pets or those with chronic health problems such as liver or kidney disease, diabetes or cancer, are not able to fight bacteria and viruses as well as a healthy pet and may get very sick from even minor infections.
Do you plan on bringing a new puppy or kitten into the household in the next year?
Many puppies and kittens are perfectly healthy when they make their way to their new home, but some are not. It is best to make sure your other pets' immune systems are prepared to deal with whatever the new puppy or kitten may bring into the home.
Has your pet ever had a vaccination reaction? How severe was it?
Occasionally, we have a dog or cat that will have a minor transient fever or lethargy for up to 24 hours following vaccination. This is considered a very mild reaction and should not keep you from vaccination your pet.
Moderate reactions may cause hives or a swollen face, and occasionally vomiting. These cases should be discussed with your Veterinarian to assess risk before deciding whether to vaccinate for a given disease in the future.
Anaphylactic reactions, or those which cause shock or collapse and are life-threatening (extremely rare), where your pet vomits and defecates then has trouble breathing are cause to seek Immediate veterinary care! You would need to discontinue future vaccinations for that particular disease.
Many of your pets will develop a lump at the site of the vaccination, This reaction is considered normal. If the lump continues to grow or hasn't decreased in size in 4 weeks you need to contact us.
A vaccine does have some risk. However in most circumstances, the chance of disease exposure is much greater than the chance of a serious vaccine reaction. There have been some recent studies which may show a rare correlation between vaccinations and immune mediated diseases such as immune mediated anemia. Other factors also appear to play a part in the development of such diseases and the role of vaccine in this illness is still not understood.
What is the risk of serious vaccination complication?
There are rare cases in which pets have died either directly or indirectly due to a vaccine (one in 10,000 or more). The risk of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats (a serious cancer) is estimated to be around 1 in 20,000. Many thousands of pets die every year from the diseases themselves because they were not adequately vaccinated. Again, you must assess the risk for your particular pet.
Determine the frequency of vaccination that is best for your pet.
The American Veterinary Association leaves the frequency of vaccinations up to the Veterinarian's discression. At the Mobile Small Animal Clinic we believe in preventive medicine. The 1st Rabies is given to puppies and kittens at 12 or16 weeks of age. The first year a one year vaccine is given. After the first year a 3 year Rabies vaccine is usually given. We do recommend that all dogs be vaccinated at 6, 9, 12 and 16 weeks the first year, then yearly for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus and the Para influenza virus. Most of these are air born viruses; they are also carried by flies and passed in the feces, urine and saliva of infected animals. Bordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccine is administered by injection. It is a 2 injection series the 1st year, and then is given once a year. Giardia is a two injection series the 1st year then is given once yearly.
Felines should receive FVRCP yearly as they too are air born, and even indoor cats need to be protected. For cats that go outside even on rare occasion, we offer Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccine (FeLV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis Vaccine (FIP), and Feline Immune Deficiency Virus Vaccine (FIV) which should be discussed with Dr. Jinny Lin. These are yearly vaccinations.
Dr. Deckert saves the day...AGAIN!! I woke to find my cat bleeding from somewhere and freaked out. I called Dr. Jinny Lin and within 5 hours he was knocking at my door to provide top notch care for my beloved pet! After a thorough cat inspection and the administering of antibiotics, Smelly is feeling better than ever and up to his old shenanigans! Thanks again Dr. Jinny Lin, even my own doctor isn't this awesome!!