e-Vet ALERT: Are you over-vaccinating your pet?

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue veterinarian, Dr. Gaylord Brown

The old advice of vaccinating your cat or dog with all vaccines available on a yearly basis has come under close scrutiny. Research has indicated there may be some health problems linked to over vaccination. Liver disorders and the development of vaccine associated sarcomas are prime examples. The duration of immunity and the need for protection against specific diseases should be the determining factors in which vaccines are given and how often.

The duration of immunity is determined by the type of vaccine and the age the vaccine is given. For puppies and kittens a series of vaccines is needed to build up a protective antibody level. Vaccines given at 8, 12, and 16 weeks generally does the trick. These pets are then given a booster at one year of age. After that boosters are needed every 3 years. This protocol appears to be effective for canine distemper, canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus, feline distemper, and feline respiratory diseases. For rabies no series is needed with one vaccine given at 16 weeks, a booster at one year, then every three years.

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