Click to see our guidelines on Feline Vaccination and Canine Vaccination.
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VACCINATIONS: Does one size fit all??
Have you noticed the trend? More and more veterinary clinics are offering vaccination packages. We see advertisements that boast about cookie cutter vaccination protocols that offer pricing incentives and subtly suggest that the "Best Package" is the one with the most vaccines. Often these packages are offered without any examination or consultation to discuss the needs, risks, and health status of the pet. If you love your pet should you be getting as many vaccines as possible? Should we be selecting a vaccine package for our pets the way we select a car wash for our car? Is more always better?
Do dogs really need a vaccine for Giardia or Corona virus, does my cat need to be vaccinated for Feline Leukmia Virus? Do pets need every vaccine every year? Why should my dog get a Leptospirosis Vaccine? Are there any risks to vaccination? Why do some vaccines cost more than others, aren't they all the same, is there a difference in technology or safety?
Does anyone explain all this to the pet owning population? What are the benefits, what are the risks? Should every cat or dog, get every vaccine? Why does every veterinary clinic have a different approach, which approach is the right approach? How does a pet owner decide? Is the Cookie Cutter Package approach right for your pet?
The tremendous benefits that vaccines have brought to veterinary care is not debatable. The ability to prevent infectious diseases has been one of our greatest achievements. We must not loose sight of these wonderful benefits.
Risks of vaccination: In general, any vaccine may cause localized pain or swelling at the injection site, mild lethargy, and low grade transient fever. These types of reactions are usually mild, self limiting, and resolve without any treatment in 24-48 hrs. In some individuals true allergic reactions may happen with symptoms such as hives, swelling of lips and eyelids, and vomiting and diarrhea. In rare cases a more severe systemic form of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis (a potentially fatal severe hypersensitivity reaction) may occur. While there is no direct cause and effect relationship proven between vaccinations and certain immune-mediated diseases, this continues to be investigated. Overall, the risk of any reaction is quite small compared to the risk of the diseases the vaccines protect against.
AVMA Info On What To Expect After Your Pet's Vaccinations
At Deer Run Animal Hospital we base our vaccine recommendations on the individual patient. We assess the patient's need based on age, health status, lifestyle, and risk. Due to the building controversy over vaccine protocols, we have also looked to leading national associations to help outline guidelines for us to use in our practice. We follow the Vaccine Guidelines provided by The American Association of Feline Practioners (AAFP) for cats and The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) for dogs. With these guidelines in mind, we tailor our vaccine recommendations for the individual pet.
Click here for our recommendations on Feline Vaccination.
Click here for our recommendations on Canine Vaccination.
Click here for our recommendations about Leptospirosis Vaccination.