Up-to-date vaccinations are critical to protecting your pets from contagious, and often fatal, diseases. It is easy for dogs and cats to come into contact with disease be it airborne or zoonoses. Exposure also commonly occur at dog parks, at the groomer, or at boarding kennels. Here are Ample Nutrition’s top ten facts on vaccines that all animal owners need to know.
See Your Veterinarian Regularly For Individual Vaccine Recommendations based on your Pet’s Lifestyle and Disease Exposure
It is vital that you establish a relationship with a veterinarian that you trust and go with their recommendations based on lifestyle and exposure to diseases common to the area. Vaccinations are divided into “core” vaccines that every pet should have, and “non-core” vaccines that are given depending on lifestyle factors and geographical location.
Consider Vaccine Titer-testing
Immunity produced by vaccination can be long-lasting and in many cases, lifelong! For animals previously vaccinated, a titer test can provide information about whether or not the immune system is “turned on” to a particular virus.
Speak with your veterinarian about in-house or laboratory titer testing options to determine if your pet has responded to a vaccine and shows adequate protection. In many cases, it may prevent revaccination.
Available Vaccine Titers for Dogs
Distemper Virus, Parvovirus, Adenovirus-2 (Hepatitis), Bordetella, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, Rabies Virus
Available Vaccine Titers for Cats
Panleukopenia Virus, Herpes Virus (Rhinotracheitis), Calicivirus, Rabies Virus
Factors that increase the risk of an adverse vaccine reaction 3 days post-vaccination
Young adult age, Neutering (better to give at suture removal), Multiple vaccines given per visit
Premedicate pets with a history of an adverse vaccine reaction
For pets with a history of a vaccine reaction - hives and swelling of face or eyes - pretreatment with an antihistamine one hour before (i.e., Benadryl) and possibly corticosteroids is warranted. GI symptoms - vomiting and diarrhea - can be a sign of a severe reaction. Monitoring post-vaccination for at least 6-8 hours is recommended.
Vaccines can be split into multiple visits along with pre-treatment. For small breed dogs, spreading out vaccines into multiple visits is highly recommended.
Avoid revaccination when possible after a severe vaccine reaction
If a vaccine reaction was life-threatening, then future vaccination should be avoided if possible. Happily, for dogs, titer testing is available for many vaccines. Speak to your vet about titer testing in place of revaccination.
Currently, the Rabies vaccine is mandatory in the US. Now, 18 states HAVE medical exemption laws. Your veterinarian can secure a written waiver for exemption from rabies booster vaccination by a written letter justifying the medical reason. An adequate rabies titer DOES NOT meet the requirement for a medical exemption at this time.
Request a 3-year thimerosal-free (mercury-free) canine rabies vaccine (Merial IMRAB TF)
Thimerosal is a form of mercury used in many vaccines as a preservative. It is suggested that thimerosal may contribute to adverse vaccine reactions. Merial makes a thimerosal-free Rabies vaccine called IMRAB 3 TF (3-year vaccine) and IMRAB 1 TF (1-year vaccine). Find a vet that offers the thimerosal-free rabies vaccine.
Core Vaccines should be given to healthy adults pets every three years
Core vaccines for dogs: Distemper, Parvovirus, Rabies, and Adenovirus-2
Core vaccines for cats: Feline Parvovirus, Rabies, Herpesvirus, Calicivirus
Vaccinations Lead To Bodily Stress
While vaccines are critical to your pet’s health, they may also be overwhelming which will lead to certain breeds being more susceptible to stress. Giving your pet nutritional support will boost immunity before and after vaccines.
While individual vaccines are vital to keeping your pet disease-free, others are not because of a pet’s lifestyle or exposure risk. For example, if you do not live in an area with high tick activity, you may decide against the vaccine for Lyme Disease.
Ample Nutrition products promote your pet’s well-being and support many of the adverse effects your furry friends experience right after a vaccine including digestive, immune, and skin ailments.