For many years we have accepted the traditional standard that our pets should have a series of vaccines to protect against parvovirus, distemper, adenovirus and rabies. These are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are bordatella and parainfluenza (kennel cough), borrelia burgdorferi (lyme disease) giardia,hepatitis,measles,leptospirosis,coronavirus and more. Puppies have been given the core series at six weeks, nine weeks, twelve weeks and fifteen weeks and then annually thereafter. Rabies is given between 16-20 weeks and annually thereafter. Recently many states have adopted a three year rabies vaccine, so that your pet doesn't have to be vaccinated annually as before. The only vaccine that is required by law is the rabies. You must always vaccinate for rabies according to the law of the state in which you live. If you do not, and your dog nips someone, there could be severe repercussions such as your dog being quarantined for a period of time and the person bitten having to undergo the rabies series. Whether or not your dog actually had rabies would not be a factor.
There is currently a debate regarding the necessity and safety of such vaccination procedures. Short term reactions may be fever, diahrrea,vomiting, itching and breathing problems.Studieshave linked vaccinations to many long term health problems including cancer,cronic allergies,hip displasia,liver,kidney and heart disease,arthritis, and more. Even though any vaccine carries risks it is believed that pets have been over vaccinated throughout many generations. Some veterinarians and beeders believe that certain vaccinations are dangerous and unnecessary. And many of those veterinarians and breeders who believe in the need for vaccines are questioning the frequency , number and type of vaccines needed.
Vaccines should be administered only when the dog is in healthy condition and not under stress from other factors, such as surgeries, kenneling etc. Each dog is an individual case and the owners must look at the factors that the dog is (or will be exposed to) in determining which vaccines the dog should receive. It is believed by many that a minimum of vaccines should be given and as infrequently as circumstances will allow. Research has shown that most vaccines are effective up to seven years and some last for the dog's life. You can have your vet do a titer test to determine if your dog still has the necessary antibodies and if so eliminate the necessity for the vaccine. Many vets are adamant about the long held vaccination practices and aren't willing to do titer testing. This is a situation where you must take responsibility for your dogs health in your own hands. Whether to follow long held procedures or to take a more conservative approach is a decision only you as the dog's owner can make.
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