Top 5 Myths For Pet Vaccines

pet vaccinesSome individuals are unwilling to vaccinate their pets because they don’t believe in pet vaccines.  Vaccines are a vital part of keeping your pet healthy.  Dr. Anna Coffin will dispel the most common myths and help educate you about the need for preventative healthcare.

Top 5 pet vaccines myths:

1. My pet doesn’t go outside, so pet vaccines are not necessary:  Here at Guthrie Pet Hospital, we base what vaccines your pet needs on each  We access the risk of exposure, the area that you live in and your pet’s lifestyle before making recommendations.  We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all vaccine protocol.

          Here are a few more reasons you need to vaccinate your indoor-only pet:

   a.  Some vaccines are required by law (Rabies).

   b.  Some pet vaccines protect your pet against a disease that you can get from your pet (Rabies and Leptospirosis).

   c.  Some diseases are highly contagious and can cause death if your pet is exposed (Parvovirus).

2.  Veterinarians just want to make money from vaccines:  Guthrie Pet Hospital bases pet vaccines and protocols on scientific data about duration of immunity and vaccine guidelines from industry leaders.  Vaccination recommendations are based on individual risk factors and not for financial gain.  An annual comprehensive physical exam is just as important to your pet’s health as the vaccines.  This allows us to detect health problems before you may notice them and before they affect your pet.

3.  My puppy was vaccinated and then Parvovirus. The vaccine made my pet sick:  Pet vaccines are imperative in young animals because they are more susceptible to infection and some of these diseases can be life-threatening.  The modified live vaccines that we use rarely revert to their pathogenic form and cause disease.

        Then why did my pet get sick?

a.  Maternal antibody inference is the most common culprit for vaccine failure.    Puppies and kittens acquire protection from their mother’s milk.  The maternal antibodies need to fall below a certain level before the vaccination is effective.  These maternal antibodies normally fall between 8 and 16 weeks of age.  Maternal antibodies can be high enough to block the pet vaccines but not high enough to protect from the disease.  Therefore, veterinarians recommend a series of three vaccines about one month apart from 8 to 16 weeks of age.

b.  Inadequate vaccine schedule. All puppies and kittens should have three sets of vaccines at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

c.  Improper vaccine storage. Vaccines must be refrigerated, and if they get too hot, the vaccine will not be effective.  Temperature changes can occur during shipping or after they arrive at their end destination.

d.  Improper dosing. Vaccines manufactures have recommended routes of administration, such as subcutaneous, oral, intranasal or intra-muscular.  A vaccine given by improper route of administration will not be effective.

  4.  My pet was vaccinated last year and got sick anyway; vaccines don’t work.   True vaccine failure is very rare.  However, nothing in life is 100 percent!  Some pet vaccines may not prevent the disease but will lessen the severity of the disease.  Canine respiratory disease complex is the most common culprit because it includes a wide variety of pathogens, some of which we have vaccines for and some are not available.

  5.  My cat got cancer from vaccines. Feline injection-site-sarcomas (FISS) are rare but serious complications to vaccines.  In fact, only 1 in every 10,000 cat vaccines cause  FISS can be minimized by using a non-adjuvanted vaccine and giving the vaccine in the lower limbs.  Vaccinating in the lower limbs will help in the treatment after a sarcoma has formed.

If you have concerns about pet vaccines, talk with your veterinarian.  Here at Guthrie Pet Hospital, we want to work with you to help keep your pet healthy.  Every pet should receive at least one full comprehensive examination yearly whether you and your veterinarian decide to vaccinate or not.


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