I have been practicing veterinary medicine for over 20 years and I see sicker animals at a younger age now than when I began. It is becoming more common to see cancer in dogs and cats under 5 years of age. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise as well. Our companions are suffering from generations of over-vaccination, which combined with inadequate nutrition, poor breeding practices and environmental stresses are leaving each generation more susceptible to congenital disorders and chronic disease.
Vaccinations represent a major stress to the immune system of any animal. They can not only cause side-effects and allergic reactions, they also contribute significantly to long term chronic disease. Chronic health problems that often appear following vaccination include:
- Skin allergies
- Upper respiratory infections
- Irritable bowel syndromes
- Auto-immune diseases
- Neurological conditions including aggressive behavior and epilepsy
Vaccinations do help prevent serious illnesses, but they should be used wisely. Before vaccinating, consider the risk. If your cat is indoor-only and will never be exposed to unvaccinated animals, the risk of infection is low. The decision about vaccinations is very individual and should be guided by your own research on the subject before you go to the veterinarian.
Puppies and kittens should not be vaccinated until at least 12 weeks of age. Their developing immune systems are especially vulnerable to the stress of vaccines.
- Request individual vaccines and vaccinate at least three weeks apart if possible.
- Prior to 12 weeks of age keep your companion safe by avoiding exposure to public areas such as parks and pet stores.
- For puppies consider parvovirus and distemper at 12-15 weeks.
- For kittens consider one Panleukopenia combination (FRCP) at 12-15 weeks.
- Wait until after 6 months of age to vaccinate for rabies. *Legal requirements vary from state to state.
- Feline leukemia and FIP vaccines may not be necessary for your cat; consider its lifestyle and environment.
Vaccinations do not need “boosting”. Studies have shown that a single vaccination for parvovirus, distemper and panleukopenia results in long-term protection from disease. Simple blood tests, called titers, can determine if your companion’s antibody levels for parvovirus and distemper remain high enough to resist infection. Next time your veterinarian suggests a booster shot, request the blood test first.
I do not recommend vaccinations for Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme’s unless these diseases are endemic locally or at a specific kennel.
Never vaccinate a sick or weakened animal. If your puppy or kitten is showing signs of allergies or skin problems, WAIT. Vaccinating an already compromised immune system is almost sure to compound the problem!
Educate yourself. Your veterinarian cannot make this decision for you, nor should they. Researching and carefully weighing your decisions about your companion’s healthcare is a worthwhile investment in their long-term health.
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Skin Allergies, Arthritis, Immune Support (FIV, FeLV, Upper Respiratory), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS, IBD), Auto-Immune Diseases, Cancer, Neurological conditions including Aggressive Behavior and Epilepsy