How do I decide how best to have my dogs vaccinated? And what vaccinations are really necessary? And possibly going against my vet’s wishes. Detailed snowflake inside.
So here is the deal MeFites, my dogs Watson
are both coming up on the time for their annual vaccinations. For other reasons, which have since been remedied, both dogs have been to the vet within the past few months and been both physically examined and had blood work done (all healthy results). So this whole quest began with me looking for more cost effective vaccinations, instead of taking them to the vet and paying double plus the examination fee(s) that they don’t require at this time. I noticed that some places offered a 7-in-1 shot, and others a 5-in-1, and some prepackaged with the bordatella vaccination, and others not. So I began researching what was best for my dogs. This has led me epic quest for truth, and I need your help to finish it!
I found that what I had always heard from my vets differs from that which is recommended by both the American Veterinary Medical Association
and the American Animal Hospital Association
. According to the vaccination guidelines for both Associations, for a healthy adult dog, these are the recommendations: For the core vaccinations (DHPP: distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvo) every 3 years, for the non-core vaccinations (lyme, bordatella, corona, lepto) only recommended for dogs at high risk for those diseases, and only then annually. Our dogs are both healthy adults at very low risk for all of these things (they aren’t kenneled or show dogs, or otherwise frequently around lots of other dogs, lyme disease is extremely rare in our region, they aren’t hunting dogs etc) So I presented my concerns to the vet, expressing that I did not want to over-vaccinate my dogs, but I also do not want to leave them at a risk unnecessarily. I want to do what it right for them, but I am also not going to blindly follow along with everything I am told. Needless to say, my vets office pretty much dismissed my worries, and reinforced that all vaccinations should be yearly.
I am left feeling very frustrated. I cannot get a straight answer from a vet that I doesn’t feel muddled by alternative motives (i.e. getting me in and racking up a bill). I am not usually a very “alternative” person with my dog’s health care or mine, but the more research I have done, the more I realize that the dangers of over vaccinating and potential adverse reactions are very real, and I do not want to put my dogs at risk. I have almost definitely decided against any of the non-core vaccinations because of their lack of effectiveness combined with the risks, but I really want to honestly know if I am being a neglectful by choosing to only vaccinate every 3 years instead of annually. I don’t want my vet or other dog owners to think that I am choosing this route because of monetary reasons instead of health reasons.
So the question is: has anyone else had this dilemma? What did you decide on in the end? Have you had any complications? If you vaccinate triennially have you had any issues with your vet or other animal specialists giving grieve? What about animal rescues, we are thinking of getting a third soon, will they see us as unfit because of this? Horror stories of either method are welcome. Just overall advice on how to make a decision about something this important to my pets health, and choosing to go against the advice of the “professional” in this case.
(Note: I did not mention the rabies vaccination because it is required annually in my state so is therefore not a part of said dilemma)
(Other note: My issues regarding “what people will think” may stem from the fact that I recently had a friend, who used to be a vet tech, lecture me about my potential choosing to use a low cost vaccination clinic as opposed to visiting the vet, in a rather demeaning fashion I might add)