Vaccinations

Puppy Shots – Understand Vaccinations

Modern-day dog owners enjoy the comforting certainty that their puppies can and will be given a series of vaccinations, so-called “puppy shots,” to protect them from life-threatening canine diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. Most of us were indoctrinated in early childhood to schlep Shep to the vet once a year for his annual booster shots in order to extend that vital protection year after year. We accepted without question that a failure to do so was the height of dog owner irresponsibility.

Reduced Vaccination Schedule

An annual booster using distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, killed or modified-live virus parvovirus is given at one year of age. Thereafter, boosters are given every three years until old age. Beyond 10 years of age, booster vaccinations are generally not needed, and may be unwise if aging or other diseases are present. For animals at high exposure risk to parvovirus disease, an additional parvovirus vaccination can be given at the six-month point, if killed parvovirus is used. This extra booster is typically not needed if MLV parvovirus is used.

Defining Over-Vaccination

Let’s be clear: In most cases, vaccines are miraculous, life-saving agents. The diseases they (usually) prevent in our dogs range from always fatal (such as rabies) to serious and sometimes fatal (such as distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis) to the rarely fatal (such as bordetella and coronavirus). And even diseases that are not fatal can cause all sorts of grief for both the dog in question and his owner (and the owner’s pocketbook). Dog lovers the world over are eternally grateful for the gifts that modern vaccines have conferred upon our canine companions.

Holistic Veterinarians Take on The Annual Vaccination Schedule

Holistic veterinarians have long decried the annual vaccination schedule recommended by many conventionally trained veterinarians for all dogs. Many holistic veterinarians suspect that many of the complex ailments that plague our modern dogs – from allergies to digestive problems to aggressive behavior and so on – have their roots in immune system problems brought on by excessive and unnecessary vaccination. However, many of us are convinced by our veterinarians that our dogs won’t be safe unless they receive these boosters every year. Fortunately, a recent study indicates that most dogs retain humoral antibody protection from past vaccinations for longer than previously thought.

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