Jan 13 2014

Low Cost Vaccinatons? What you need to know!

Vaccines for pets are marketed in a number of different ways by Kokomo Veterinarians and it can be very confusing for the pet owner to know what is best for their best friends.  I hear daily from pet owners recommendations from different veterinarians, groomers, and the internet (which we call Dr. Google) ranging from never vaccinating to vaccinating you pets every year for every vaccine.  At the Jefferson Road Animal Hospital we try hard to make our decisions on what is called by the profession as "Evidence based Medicine".  This means that before we adopt a protocol, we research the available science that is available, as well as opinions from university experts and specialists. 

There are many vaccines manufactured for pets, not all of which are needed, some of which should never be given and some that should be given only occasionally to specially selected pets based on their life styles.   Vaccines are necessary to protect the heath of your pet, but they are not harmless!  You can find veterinarians in Kokomo that vaccinate for every disease every year, or only certain vaccines at 3 year or longer intervals.  Often times low cost vaccination clinics rely on return business so they tell you the vaccines are only good for 1 year.  In Indiana Rabies vaccine has been approved to be given every third year.  State law requires every dog and cat to be vaccinated for rabies, but allows it to be done every third year after a first year booster.  Modern science also supports vaccinating dogs and cats with the usual distemper/parvovirus/hepatitis for dogs and distemper/respiratory viruses, every third year and maybe even less frequently.  New information comes regularly.  Some vaccines should only be given in special cases.  For dogs this would be things like leptospirosis, influenza, kennel cough influenza,  and for cats, feline leukemia virus, 

Some vaccines that have been manufactured probably should never be given such as coronavirus for dogs, bordetella in cats and there are many others.

At the Jefferson Road Animal Hospital we rely on the protocols recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (www.Healthypet.com), American Veterinary Medical Association(www.AVMA.org )and Association of Feline Practitioners (www.catvets.org), as well as current scientific work, and our own experience with diseases present in Kokomo, Indiana.  We only vaccinate pets for what they need and only as frequently as they may need them.   If you bring your pet if or our Annual Wellness Visit, we examine them, check them for parasites and do not charge for any of the vaccines given during these visit.

If you are considering going to a low cost clinic, or a large retail pet store or farm store for your pets vaccinations, be sure to ask what they are going to vaccinating for and how often they want you to come back.  Vist the Jefferson Road Animal Hospital website for more information. Dr. Bob

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