There has been a lot of criticism regarding vaccinations over the last few years as well as confusion about the types of vaccinations and frequency of administration. There is no denying that along with better nutrition, vaccines have led to less deaths and suffering of our pets as well as increasing life spans.
Over the years this clinic has been in existence, we have seen a reduction in pet loss and we believe this is due in part to the compliance of our pet owners to the vaccination protocols we recommend. Feline Leukemia in cats and Parvo disease in dogs are both usually fatal diseases but are rarely seen any more at our clinic. Some say “why vaccinate if we don’t see these diseases anymore?” This is precisely the reason we don’t see them and why we must keep our vaccinations regular!
It is during these times that vaccinations become lax and these diseases re-emerge, sometimes causing outbreaks or epidemics. There are concerns that yearly or regular vaccinations overstimulate or depress the immune system causing anemia, skin problems, digestive problems, etc. Despite attempts by scientists and laymen alike, these claims have never been proven.
Concerns have led to alternate or multiple year vaccines. Although alternate year vaccination protocols have been approved by many organizations, many vaccines used are not licensed for multiple year use. Despite all vaccines claiming to produce antibody titers, there is little known if those titer levels are substantial enough to protect from the disease vaccinated since few vaccines have gone through challenge testing to conclude their efficacy.
The other issue to consider with vaccines licensed and proven effective for three or multiple year use is that they have three times the stimulant effect than a yearly vaccine. Potentiating the overstimulation effect on the immune system as well as risking vaccine reactions.
It is for these reasons we feel that vaccination type and protocols should be tailored for the area, the incidence of the disease, and the activity of the pet. At the present time, we recommend yearly vaccines that offer the most effective immunity with the least number of reactions. We regularly review our vaccines and protocols and will continue to tailor them to offer what we believe to be the safest and best protection while meeting the needs of our patients.