Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Forbes Living – Love Our Pets – Vaccination Debate Hits Pet Owners

The boisterous debate on vaccinations for kids has now moved to pet owners. Do owners of cats and dogs feel that their beloved animals need to be given a round of booster shots year after year? Forbes Living looks into it and offers suggestions for pet parents.

Is it really necessary to take the family cat or dog into the vet every year for a round of booster vaccinations? What if the pet is only an indoor pet as many cats are? What if the dog is older (not a senior)?  What if the pathogens in the vaccinations later cause illness in the pet? These are the questions some pet owners are asking of their vets.

The first round of vaccs for cats and dogs -- parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis and rabies – are given when the animals are puppies and kittens. Pet owners are also required to be sure their animals also get an annual rabies shot, plus booster shots of the above. The American Animal Hospital Association and most veterinary medicine groups recommend pets get core vaccines once every three years to maintain enough antibodies to build immunity against the diseases. Forbes Living TV also notes that when a pet gets an annual rabies shot, the humans in its life are protected from getting rabies if bitten by their own pet or by another pet.

On the flip side, if there is no occurrence of rabies in your country, why subject the animal to a stressful trip to the vet and a shot? The same can be said of annual exams for healthy pets. Why subject the animal to poking, prodding and thermometers if there is no need to? While the debate will heat up, the ultimate decision rests with the pet owner and no one else. Because no one else knows that animal better.

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