Pets need medical care just like their human counterparts. While we know they need care, there has been a lot of debate lately about exactly what vaccinations they need and how often they need them. I lie somewhere in the middle of the debate. I want my pets to get vaccinated as I’ve seen first-hand from my days of working with veterinarians what things like Parvo can do. Rabies is a must if you’re going to show and I feel that Bordatella is a smart move if your dog is going to be around others. Things like Lepto and Lymes vaccinations are good if you’re out and about; hiking or camping. They may not be for all dogs so you need to think about your own situation. However, what I don’t believe in is how often vets are insisting you vaccinate.
I took Blizzard in for a checkup and to get him his last DhPP. The breeder had given him two vaccinations already and he just needed his third. I also needed more heartworm medication since the breeder already started him on it after doing his series of wormings.
Apparently veterinarians don’t trust breeders (surprise, surprise). She gave him his third DhPP and then told me I’d need to come back in 3-4 weeks for his final. I stared at her for a moment, my brain trying to remember how many DhPPs they needed when I realized a fourth was one too many. I asked her about the need for a fourth. The vet, who up to this point was condescending and spoke to me as if I was a six year old who knew nothing about dogs or their care, told me that because the breeder gave the first two, he wasn’t considered protected until I gave him 2 from a licensed vet. When I informed her that I found that silly and didn’t want to over vaccinate him with a fourth she jumped down my throat about how I wasn’t properly protecting my dog. At that point I just wanted to leave.
Remember, I also needed heartworm. She refused to give it to him without doing yet another worming! Again, she didn’t trust the breeder’s wormings, even though the dog was already on heartworm medication. I acquiesced and let her just so I could get what I needed and get out of there. I left angry and found a new vet the next day.
Yes, we need to protect our pets. I do believe one should vaccinate but I don’t think we need to over vaccinate. Rabies can be given once every three years (past the initial one year vaccination) and after the initial year DhPP that can also be given once every three years. Titer testing is also a fantastic option to see if your dog even needs any more DhPP vaccines. For me, it’s not about the cost. I have no problem paying; I just want to make sure that what I’m doing for my dog isn’t harming him in my eagerness to protect him.
We want to protect our furry friends but we also need to think before we vaccinate. Do they really need it? By wanting to help, we may be hurting our four legged family members.