There is a quiet debate going around the pet word in regards to vaccinations for your pet. Do I or don't I? There are reports of issues when a dog receives their yearly shots. These issues have been skin eruptions, ear disease, chronic diarrhea associated with inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid disease, emotional and behavorial disorders and seizures to name a few.
There are many human vaccinations that need boosters only about every ten years, and there is no reason to believe that some dog vaccines might last just as long.
Revaccinating a dog that is already protected by a previous vaccination stimulates the immune system unnecessarily, does nothing to improve resistance to the disease, and may increase the risk of adverse reactions mentioned above.
As an example, there has been reports of dogs exhibiting rabies like symptoms after receiving a rabies shot. Most vets seem to agree that some chronic illness can be induced by vaccination, although an accurate assessment of vaccine related problems is difficult because most vets do not report adverse reactions to the United States Department of Agriculture or to the manufacturers of the vaccine.
There are blood tests called titers you can have done. The test measures whether the immune system has produced the needed antibodies for protecting against the diseases dogs receive vaccinations for, such as parvo and distemper. With that being said, the test can't always reliably predict a dog's immune status for every disease.
If a vaccine related problem occurs, the most important thing to do is not to revaccinate!
Here are a few guidelines to think about when vaccination time comes around for your dog.
- Young animals are most likely to pick up infectious disease, so vaccinate puppies for parvo and distemper.
- Instead of the four or more doses before the dog become "of age," give parvo and distemper vaccines at 9 weeks of age, followed by a booster at 12 weeks.
- Be sure your puppy's abbreviated vaccines are complete before taking him or her to public places or interact with other dogs you do not know their vaccination history.
- Rabies shots are subject to state and county laws, but if your dog is in poor health, has a serious illness or is a senior, you vet can contact local Animal Control to either postpone the vaccination or eliminate it all together.