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 Titre test for antibodies to the viruses a month later. Repeat only if necessary after this
It seems to me this vaccine is not very affective even if given at the recommended 2 doses a few weeks apart unfortunately antibody titre levels are not reliable with this disease. If you are worried about lepto. then you will need both doses.
I would not do this vaccine at all but would use the nosode before kennelling or dog shows training classes etc.
Boosters - First Titre test (Vaccicheck) and then decide. The main virus vaccines last for years in most cases. I can arrange to have this blood test taken and tested.
Cats and Kittens
Again 1 dose at 3 months old should be enough they are all live virus vaccines.
Titre test at 4 months and 1 year later repeating only if necessary.
There are exclusions and exceptions to all situations and you should consult with you holistic vet if for example you are a breeder
More Information on these links
WSAVA Puppy Advice
Vaccicheck Owners Information Leaflet
Full WSAVA Document on this link
Cat recommendations AAFP