Monday, November 24, 2008

Pet Vaccinations: Too much of a Good Thing?

Though increasingly a necessity for our four-legged friends living in an environment optimized for humans. Are we vaccinating our pets more than is absolutely necessary?

By: Vanessa Uy

Pet vaccinations – especially for one’s beloved dog or cat – are there to protect them from viral infections which could easily spread in the confines of an increasingly urbanized environment that is optimized for humans than canines and felines. But recent studies have shown that pet owners had been inadvertently endangering their pets by either giving them duplicate vaccinations due to lax record keeping. Or by not sufficiently spacing their shots.

Studies also show that poorly managed vaccination schedules that can lead to duplicate doses and / or insufficient spacing schedule of vaccination can cause a range of problems like your dog or cat suffering from allergies. In some cases, cancerous growths can develop in the area between the shoulders were the vaccination shots are given.

Majority of vaccine doses usually lasts three years and giving them too often will certainly cause reactions, even the possibility of your pets going into an anaphylactic shock. At present, most veterinarians have already cut back their vaccination schedules to once every three years for the de rigeur or standard vaccines like the dog staple rabies, distemper, parvovirus; While for cats it’s a vaccination against panleukopenia.

To me, this serves as good news, given that our pets are not very fond of needles. Just as well because imagine your dog or cat acquiring a 40 dollar-a-day heroin habit. This could be a less of a problem if your dog or cat has a lucrative – preferably seven figures worth in American currency - recording contract from a major label executive. But seriously, less frequent vaccination jabs does translate to a less traumatic impression of your pet to your friendly neighborhood veterinarian. This also spells as good news if you are mindful about maintaining the size of your carbon footprint to the most sensible minimum if you live fairly far away from your veterinarian and must take the family car to commute.