Vaccination Should we vaccinate?Questions we are asked as vets:
- How often?
- At what age?
- Should we include everything?
- Are vaccines safe?
These are are questions we get asked by the general public as vets
The most authoritative recent answer from a conventional veterinary study is found in the
WSAVA 2015 Study '‘Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats'
You can read this document on this link
If you follow this guidance the vaccination frequency used by most vets in the UK is unnecessarily frequent but the 'data sheets' us vets are given by drug companies do not always reflect the advice the academics give us and so many vets will vaccinate excessively. Is this harmful or good sense just to make sure?
The jury is out on that question and it is a complex subject.
If vaccines never cause side affects then why not vaccinate very year just to be on the 'safe side' but undoubtedly they can cause side affects and there are definable risks each time you have a vaccine. That said if you do not vaccinate you run the risk of your companion catching parvovirus or leptospirosis or whatever. There is no risk free strategy it is a matter of assessing the risks and making an educated choice for your family.
Here is a link to what vets in the US are now recommending in dogs. It's a long complex document but if you are concerned it shows how much trouble the profession puts into their advice. A holistic vet will take all this into account before giving advice and this will change as new vaccines are produces and new diseases come to light.
I recommend you read these studies and decide what you feel best to do there is no one right answer but here is what I recommend.
Dogs and Puppies
Vaccinate for Distemper, Adenovirus and Parvovirus at 12 weeks plus of age.
Then blood test for antibodies to the viruses a month later. Repeat if necessary after this
The WSAVA does not count this as a core vaccine but it depends were you live and your dog's lifestyle. Consult your veterinary surgeon about this.
A safe vaccine but not that serious a disease. Nosodes have been shown in one study (Chris Day) to assist in preventing serious symptoms.
Boosters - Titre test first and then decide the main virus vaccine last for years in most cases. I can arrange to have this blood test taken and tested. See Vaccicheck for more details
Cats and Kittens
Again 1 dose at 3 months old should be enough they are all live virus vaccines.
There are exclusions and exceptions to all situations and you should consult with you holistic vet if for example you are a breeder.