These days, it seems like everyone is short in one way or another; short on time, short on money, or short on emotional bandwidth. It can feel overwhelming to have a veterinarian tell you here is one more thing we want you to find time, money, and yes even emotional bandwidth to complete. It is our sincere hope you will find this article uplifting and motivating instead of taxing, but please understand, we would not write on this topic if we didn’t find it important. So, let’s take some time to explore the “Why and Does of Vaccines” (the don’ts are implied).
Vaccinations are an important protective and preventive measure. They are designed to either prevent entirely or at least significantly decrease the severity of disease. This is important because many of the diseases we vaccinate against are deadly diseases if contracted. For example, Rabies in all species. West Nile in some horses, distemper in dogs, tetanus in ruminants, and panleukopenia in cats. Others can have long term impacts or can even be a threat to human health. When you decide to spend time, money, and emotional reserves on vaccines you are ensuring you don’t have a much higher time, financial, and emotional toll later when treating those same diseases.
1. Have fun learning about your pets’ health! Anyone who has snuggled in to read a James Herriot story will realize that veterinary health professionals as a whole love to connect not just with their patient but with the people who go along with them and also enjoy providing those people with at least a portion of what we know.
2. Timing matters, so let’s make sure vaccines are given at the correct time. Whether that is making a booster appointment or vaccinating a few weeks before the time of year of greatest risk.
3. It is important to provide personalized preventative care – not every vaccine is right for every patient. Some animals need parasite control and weight management as part of their plan, some animals need testing done before pursuing vaccines. So, meet with a veterinary professional and create the correct plan for you and your animals.
4. There is no such thing as “one and done” for most vaccines. Part of the series is only partial protection. So, make sure your animals receive all the vaccines they need to stay up to date.
5. Assume your animal is not safe until proven otherwise. Some diseases are carried by insects, others can live in soils or on inanimate objects for months (I am talking about you Parvovirus), and some move from one whole species to another. So, until your animal is fully vaccinated against disease threats, it is important to be very mindful and careful in your care for them.
6. More is not always better: giving large volumes or a higher frequency of vaccines can do more harm than good so give the correct volume and frequency of vaccine.
Every ounce of energy expended on prevention now is an investment in their future!
Whether you raise cattle, cuddle kittens, keep goats, or ride horses, it is important to meet with a veterinary professional to make a plan for the needs of your animals.
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Note: The advice provided in this article is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian.