Make Your Pet’s Health and Lifespan a Priority with Vaccinations
We recommend vaccinating your pets against infectious agents that cause a significant disease risk for your pet. From our perspective as health care professionals and pet owners, we compiled guidelines to follow that help us decide when it’s time for vaccines.
GUIDELINES FOR VACCINATIONS
- 1. Vaccinate each animal only against infectious agents to which it has a realistic risk of exposure. An example of this is heartworm. This risk for developing heartworm in Vancouver, or the lower mainland is very low, almost non-existant. Therefore unless you and your pet are travelling to the Okanogan area or eastern Canada, where heartworm risk is higher, we do not highly recommend this vaccination.
- 2. Vaccinate against infectious agents that cause significant disease
- 3. Vaccinate an animal only when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. Pets with compromised immune systems, e.g. those receiving chemotherapy, are not good candidates for vaccinations.
- 4. Vaccinate each animal no more frequently than necessary
Please talk to us if you have concerns and questions about vaccinations – we recognize that the decision to vaccinate is a personal choice and that each pet owner gets to make their own decision. Vaccinations can make a significant difference to the health and lifespan of your pet.
Make your pet’s health a priority by calling to schedule their vaccine appointment today!
If you have questions about whether vaccinations are right for your pet, then please contact us so that we can talk about your options.
More about vaccinations
Strategies for Using Vaccines and Keeping PetsHealthy
These are the rules that we, the veterinarians at Care Pet Wellness Group, follow when deciding whether to vaccinate.
1. We only vaccinate an animal against infectious agents to which it has a realistic risk of exposure.
2. We vaccinate against infectious agents that cause significant disease.
3. We vaccinate an animal only when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.
4, We vaccinate each animal no more frequently than necessary.
5. We try to vaccinate the greatest number of animals possible in the population at risk
6. We will always vaccinate appropriately to protect human and public health.
Many pet owners express concern about vaccinations for older pets.Our philosophy for vaccinations is to follow the path that promotes health. However, as pets age, there are some questions that we need to consider.
Q: IS VACCINATING A SENIOR, AGED PET
UNNECESSARY? WILL IT COMPROMISE HIS IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Our group reduces the chance of this compromise occurring by vaccinating only every 3 years for certain vaccines. An alternative to vaccinating regularly is the measure antibody titres – this indicates your pet’s level of immunity towards some of the diseases he has been vaccinated against. However this test is not completely accurate, but does give some support for immunity levels.
Q: CAN I VACCINATE IF MY PET IS ILL?
Your pet should not be vaccinated during times of acute illness. Vaccinating chronically ill pets is usually advisable, as these pets may be more likely to succumb to an infectious disease if exposed. Of course the decision to vaccinate should always be made jointly between the client and the veterinarian and the final decision always rests with you, the client.
Q: WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED FOR SENIOR PETS?
We recommend vaccinating only for those diseases for which your pet is at risk. We do not vaccinate for unimportant diseases or those diseases for which we do not have a safe or effective vaccine (e.g. Lyme disease, FIP, FIV, Chlamydia, Corona Virus and Giardia). We follow current AAHA and AAFP guidelines in recommending adult canine distemper / parvo, canine rabies, feline distemper/respiratory virus’ and feline leukemia vaccines every 3 years.
Q: HOW MANY VACCINES CAN BE GIVEN TO A PET AT ONE TIME?
We vaccinate with no more than 2 injectable vaccines at one time
Q: I’VE HEARD THAT EVEN THOUGH MY DOG IS OLDER,
IS STILL NEEDS TO GET THE KENNEL COUGH VACCINE.
IS THIS TRUE?
Kennel cough and Leptospirosis vaccines are appropriate for many dogs, depending on their lifestyle. We will discuss these options with you on an individual basis
Special Feline Issues with Vaccinations
Some cats have been shown to be genetically predisposed to convert inflammation into a type of skin cancer called ‘fibrosarcoma.’ The incidence of fibrosarcoma is approximately 2-3 out of every 10,000 cats. The risk may be associated with the adjuvant (the immune stimulant) portion of the vaccine. For your pet’s safety, we do NOT use adjuvant vaccines in cats. In addition, we follow these guidelines:
- We vaccinate adult cats every 3 years for distemper/respiratory virus
- We vaccinate only at risk adult cats for feline leukemia.
- Rabies vaccines are federally regulated, and non-adjuvant Rabies vaccines must be given annually.
How do I know if my cat infected?
You won’t. At least not if you are looking for symptoms. Symptoms for both viruses are non-specific and may be non-existent for months or even years.
That’s why it is important for your pet to have specific blood tests regularly to ensure that you cat is virus free, and to prevent the spread of infection from infected cats.
These are two distinct viruses that uniquely affect all CATS – large & wild or small & domesticated. Both are “slow” viruses that can take a l-o-n-g time to show up as a health issue. They attack the immune system.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TEST MY CAT FOR INFECTION?
There are some standard times to test cats:
- All new kittens and cats entering homes with resident cats should be tested for FeLV in advance of first contact.
- Ideally the resident cat should already be known to be FeLV negative and immunized against it.
- New cats older than 6 months should be tested for FIV as well.
- All sick cats should be tested and any cat suffering fight wounds whether they abscess or not should be tested 6-8weeks after the fact.
WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR THE TEST?
We need to obtain a few drops of blood from your cat – that’s all!
Preventing FeLV and FIV
FeLV can be spread through saliva, urine or feces, so bite wounds, mutual grooming or the sharing of food/water dishes or litter boxes are the most common means of transmission. FIV transfer among cats is a little more difficult and generally occurs with fight wounds.
CAN I PROTECT MY CAT?
Thankfully, FeLV is preventable with immunization. Although a vaccine is available for FIV, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits so we do not recommend it at this time. If you have questions about this, please share your concerns with your Vet.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR VACCINATION
We strongly recommend that all kittens be vaccinated for FeLV, regardless of whether you anticipate that they will go outdoors. Kittens are very susceptible to infection at this stage and it is not uncommon for them to end up outside unexpectedly! After their first vaccinations, cats need to be vaccinated annually until the age of 3, then every 3 years until the age of 10-12 years if they are indeed going outdoors. Vaccination does not interfere with blood testing and cats that roam or fight or are just highly social should be tested REGULARLY!