Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against which every pet should be protected, but the questions now relate to some of the newer vaccines, how often pets should be vaccinated, and whether it is appropriate to vaccinate all pets against all diseases.

In Healthy Pets, Dr. Karen Becker conducted an in-depth interview with Dr. Ronald Schultz from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, a pioneering expert in the field of veterinary vaccines. Dr. Schultz explains that puppies and kittens are different from human babies when it comes to the need for vaccinations. If the mother cat or dog has been vaccinated, some level of protection is passed on to the puppies or kittens for the first few weeks of their lives. Once a human baby has been vaccinated against a certain disease, the immunizations are not repeated again.

Dr. Schultz recommends a vaccination protocol that calls for pets to receive initial puppy or kitten shots. They should then be vaccinated again at one year of age. After that, he recommends booster shots every three years or so. The core vaccines which he believes every dog should receive include distemper, parvo, adenovirus, and rabies. For cats, his recommended core vaccines include panleukopenia, calici, herpes, and rabies.

The ASPCA also discusses some of the benefits and risks of dog vaccinations. Similar to Dr. Schultz, they provide a list of core vaccines and also include non-core vaccines which are based on the individual dog. These may include protection against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria. For cats, the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) also recommends that serious consideration be given to the timing and need for receiving a full battery of vaccinations.

Pets usually tolerate vaccinations quite well; however, if you should observe any unusual symptoms in your pet after an injection such as a fever, sluggishness, vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures, contact your veterinarian immediately.

What does this mean for you as a pet owner? It means that you need to become an advocate on behalf of your pet’s health. Take steps at home to keep your pet healthy, visit your veterinarian on a yearly basis, and become educated on the benefits of pet vaccinations.

Sources:
Healthy Pets
ASPCA
AAHA

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

10:00 am-1:00 pm

4:00 pm-7:00 pm

Tuesday:

10:00 am-1:00 pm

4:00 pm-7:00 pm

Wednesday:

10:00 am-1:00 pm

4:00 pm-7:00 pm

Thursday:

10:00 am-1:00 pm

4:00 pm-7:00 pm

Friday:

10:00 am-1:00 pm

4:00 pm-7:00 pm

Saturday:

10:00 am-1:00 pm

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

4:30 pm-6:00 pm

* Sunday is for pick-up and drop-off of boarders ONLY

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "I want to thank the staff at Occoquan Animal Hospital, especially Dr. Morse and Dr. Farge for the care you provided to my dog, Cocoa, for the past 13 years. From the day we brought him in for his first check up when he was only about 4 to 6 months old, until that final breath he took under the loving hands of Dr. Farge, we will always value the exceptional care he received by the staff at Occoquan Animal Hospital during these 13 years."
    Karen G.
  • "I love this place. The doctors and staff really show they care about the health of your pets. They are honest and will not try to make you pay for unnecessary treatments just to make money. I've trusted them with all my animals for as long as I can remember. I won't go anywhere else."
    Vicki S.
  • "This is the first Vet hospital that I have ever been to that really cares about the animals and the owners more than the amount of money they can charge. I love the way they treat my dogs as if they are the only animals on earth. I come from Fairfax for their good service. This will be where my little buddies will go as long as we are in VA. The best."
    Theresa B.