Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are Zombies The Biggest Threat To Your Dog? Top (Potentially) Deadly Dog Health Sins: The Vaccination Conundrum

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That is the question.

Expert opinions range from “vaccinate annually for everything” to “never ever vaccinate, period” with a broad spectrum of opinions in between.

So what is the average dog owner to do?

I think it depends on the type of vaccine, the actual duration of provided immunity and your dog's lifestyle and health.

Rabies vaccine is required by law. There is a good reason for it, rabies is still out there and it kills both animals and humans. 

The question isn't whether to vaccinate against rabies, merely how long truly the immunity lasts. Up here we have 3-year rabies vaccine. Studies are being done whether the immunity does or does not last longer.

Distemper and parvovirus are core vaccines. 

These diseases can also be deadly, particularly to puppies, and it is important that every puppy receives their distemper and parvovirus shots.

Over the past decade it was determined that the immunity from these vaccines lasts for minimum of three years. I would not let my dogs be vaccinated annually against these diseases. To be on the safe side we run annual titers (a blood test that measures antibodies).

There is a whole bunch of optional vaccines out there. In fact, presently there are total of 14 dog vaccines to choose from!

I recommend you get educated about the vaccines available, their reliability, potential complications and consider the risk level your dog has to those respective diseases.

For example, we vaccinate annually against leptospirosis. (this vaccine does not provide immunity for any longer than one year.) We choose to do so because the level of exposure for our dogs is high and we feel that the risk of getting the disease is greater than the risks associated with the vaccine.

Here you can compare some opinions:

Bottom line? Never vaccinate or not vaccinate without educating youself!

Carefully weigh the risks and benefits for your dog and then make your decision. Do your homework before you vaccinate.

Exception? Do not vaccinate a dog who is ill. Their body has enough to contend with.

Further reading:
Vaccinations for Your Dog: A Complex Issue
Discussion and Open-Mindedness About Your Dog’s Vaccinations
Full updated AAHA vaccination guideliness report


This post is published as part of the Blogathon 2011. Help me support Eagle's Den Rescue; hope for dogs who have none.

Eagle’s Den Animal Haven and Rescue Inc. is a non profit organization dedicated to helping save the lives of animals through a variety of means:
  •     removing animals from high kill shelters
  •     placing animals in permanent homes
  •     finding foster care until the right home can be located
  •     working with animal shelters as well as other rescue
  •     advocating spay/neuter of animals
  •     the prevention of animal cruelty

We are located in Bladen County, North Carolina. We believe that every animal deserves a loving home that will provide for their basic needs and treat them with the respect they so richly deserve.

Eagle's Den Rescue's Emergency Fund for Injured and Abused Animals.

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