So ... do you vaccinate your pets? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-16-2010, 03:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Pretty sure I already know the answer to this one, but I thought I'd double check.

Do you vaccinate your pets? Why or why not?

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Old 04-16-2010, 06:29 AM
 
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Nope. If I'm not putting that stuff in my body, I'm not putting it in my cats either. They're indoor cats and much less likely to get sick with something an outdoor cat might pick up. A couple of months ago we had to give one of our kitties a new home and it still bothers me greatly knowing that she's now "all caught up" on her shots.

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Old 04-16-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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I'm very interested in hearing the responses, I've been thinking a lot about this!! My cat is an indoor cat and got shots years ago when I first got her (I wasn't anti-vax then), but nothing since then. My dog... well, I was under the impression vaxing him was mandatory. For ex., he needs a rabies certificate if we travel with him, or even just to be licensed in my town. So he is fully up-to-date. Now I'm really curious whether this is true & if there are ways around it. My DS is young & I've only been researching the vax issue for about 2-3 years so it wasn't really an issue on my mind for the dog until recently.

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Old 04-16-2010, 10:41 AM
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I give them rabies vaccines but nothing else. I spay and neuter; if I could find a vet who would perform the surgery without the rabies shot, I'd do it.

ETA: I'm more into selectively vaxing than anti-vax.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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my dog came to me as a fully vaxed adult. she had just had her 1 yr rabies, so after that year was up i gave her a 3 yr rabies and just didnt send away for her license. i got her from another county and am just hoping to keep under the radar if i decide not to do another one (that was last yr so i have 2 yrs to do more research) as for all the others, nope, not doing them, she is only 6.5 lbs, she is never around other dogs or outside alone (hawks and racoons!) and she has a weird lump on her shoulder that i cant help but think must be from a vax at somepoint b4 i got her.

the vets are like peds for animals, though. the first one i took her to when i got her was trying to sell me on a shot for a disease that she would only be exposed to if i let her drink from standing water that contained infected deer urine! i was like, man she is a freaking toy poodle, not a hunting dog! and we dont have deer around here anyway"

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Old 04-16-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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We vax our dog. Not because we believe in them, but because we don't have a choice. We travel 2-3 times a year and need to get her groomed. I can't find anyplace that will board or groom her if she is not UTD on 3 vaxes (rabies, kennel cough, and one other one). We get them for her as infrequently as possible, and if she is due for one, we don't take her in for it until a day or two before we leave town.

I make dh take her in, because I can't handle watching it. If I could find a way around it, I would.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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Only rabies for the pets that have to go to the vet b/c they won't see our pets otherwise due to state law. I refuse the others, but my dog had severe reactions to the last two non-rabies vaxes anyways, so she's exempt other than for rabies.

ETA: My cats are entirely indoor cats and my dog only goes on walks until we finally get a fence!

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Old 04-16-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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I do rabies for my dogs and cats because they are indoor/outdoor and this is the one thing that if they were to contract, is 100% deadly. I don't do it every year as the law requires, but usually every 3 years. Now that I know about titer testing, I will request it for their next visit and vaccinate for rabies if they don't have an antibody count. We do not do parvo or distemper.

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Old 04-16-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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No for the cats (they are indoor)
and we had a dog until 3 months ago and did nothing but rabies every 3 yrs(state law)

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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Old 04-16-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I vaccinate them for rabies for liability purposes. If one of my cats or dogs happened to bite one of DD's friends or something like that I would need to be able to say they are vaccinated against it, otherwise we might have to deal with the whole quarantine issue and all of that.

I feel good about my choice not to vaccinate DD, but I believe animals are different in that they don't live as long--not like a person who will suffer from a vaccine reaction for the rest of their 80 years of life. And I remind myself that even though I love my pets dearly they are animals, not people and honestly I would rather just be covered when it comes to the animal laws.

A few months ago we also vaccinated for distemper after a diseased raccoon spit on my dog. We decided the risk of the vaccine having a bad side effect was less than the risk of our six pets getting distemper and dying, though I fully acknowledge it's somewhat of a gamble how well the vaccine would work in the first place...anyway no one got distemper, or vaccine side effects that we could tell.

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Old 04-16-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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No we don't vax our animals.They are strickly indoor,with the occasional escape by Baba where he goes right under the porch and we just shoo him out and he runs back upstairs.We do nueter though.Baba was fully vaxed before he was neutered,I don't think my female has ever been to a vet(I haven't found one willing to spay her without vaxes).My other 3 are brothers from the same litter and have been neutered.I lied when they were going in for the surgery that I lost their vax records.The vet never even blinked an eye.I wish I could get the same vet to spay Princess but I lost the contact info.

I don't think there are any vaxes for the gerbils and rats so we're all set there.

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Old 04-16-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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I just got a puppy and yes I am doing her puppy shots. Because not to would probably kill her. Where I live parvo and distemper take the lives of many puppies. Once they get it they have only around a 50% chance of surviving it even with expensive treatment.

I am always scared when I take her in for them because I know she could react badly but if she where to get either one I would have to have her put down because I could not afford the treatment that has a very low chance of working. The vax have a 95% or higher success rate. I will also do every 3 year boosters on parvo and distemper. I cant stress enough how deadly these are nothing like the s supposed deadly VPD's that kids are vaxed for.

Unlike vax for humans I do believe that the parvo and distemper vax work.

She has to have rabies by law every 3 years and since she is a Boxer she would be much more likely to be put down even if she just accidentally bit someone in play.

My cat who is an indoor cat did get rabies but that was only because when I had her fixed the vet does the rabies at that time.

That was 16 years ago though so I would probably do things differently now.

I would say for my kids I am anti vax but for my pets I am selective vax according to the type of pet and their chances of catching a deadly illness. For my indoor only cat the risk is near zero for my dog who goes out to use the bathroom in an unfenced yard and who I will be taking with me everywhere I can the risk is extremely high.

Parvo can stay on the ground for close to a year after an infected animal has came through. Distemper is killed by sunlight so dosnt stay around very long at all. So even if your dog never sees other dogs just walking on a sidewalk where a dog with parvo has been in the last few months could make them sick.

 
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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Do you guys do heartworm pills?

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Old 04-16-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Hello, November.

In my jurisdiction, all pet owners have to spay or neuter their dogs in addition to vaxing, or one does not own a dog nor do they have a license. Only breeders do not have to spay or neuter their dogs.

If I lived elsewhere, I would not vaccinate my dogs.

Cats and other pets do not have to be vaxed, afaik.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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We didn't vax our cat when he was an indoor cat, but he's genuinely happier and healthier when he's an indoor/outdoor cat, so we keep him up-to-date on both the necessary vax for an outdoor pet in our area (rabies) and the few that I feel protect him against diseases that are common in this area and that could kill him. A big part of my reason for not vaxing the kids is my medical history of vax reactions. Since the cat's never had an adverse reaction to vaxes and since our vet is happy to give them one per visit so we would know if he did react to something, I'm ok with that.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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Yes and it breaks my heart to do so. My kids aren't vaccinated, but dh insisted with the dog. AND we can't keep the pet if we refuse to vaccinate in our county. Which is so silly to me.

We also do heartworm, flea and tick pills. We have a major tick population here, to the point dh had diseminated lyme disease 4.5 years ago. So we do the best we can to protect our pets from ticks with the pills.

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Old 04-16-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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We vax our dog. Not because we believe in them, but because we don't have a choice. We travel 2-3 times a year and need to get her groomed. I can't find anyplace that will board or groom her if she is not UTD on 3 vaxes (rabies, kennel cough, and one other one). We get them for her as infrequently as possible, and if she is due for one, we don't take her in for it until a day or two before we leave town.

I make dh take her in, because I can't handle watching it. If I could find a way around it, I would.

this. we travel several times a year and, as much as we'd like to, we cannot bring the dogs; they HAVE to be boarded. And any boarding kennel around here that is legitimate requires certain vaxes.

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Old 04-16-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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We vaccinate our dogs, not everything under the sun so I guess its selectively vaxxed due to our region/local health "issues" and what our animals are exposed to or possibly could be exposed to.

We have german shepherds and for liability reasons (homeowners and local laws/licensing) we abide by the schedule for rabies vaccinations but luckily our vet is not a every yr vacc. type vet. We do the puppy series (when we have puppies and do do distemper/parvo/bordetello as well as heartworm meds. But we live in an area where these things are literally rampant. We have also have had a puppy die from parvo (before they could get immunized to it completely) and literally thousands of dollars later we had to put her down. It was devasting.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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I dont intend to do heart worm since I have done a lot of reading and I feel that I can prevent her from getting them with more natural methods. Here is a great article on that Heart Worm prevention. It turns out that heart worms are not all that difficult to prevent and it isnt that easy for them to live in a dog if certain conditions are met.

 
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:04 AM
 
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I did vaccinate my dog (this was about 18 years ago when I was clueless about the effects of vaccines). They had me vaccinate him every year for the rabies vaccine. After his last rabies vaccine- a few weeks or months later ( I can't recall), he had a seizure. I did not know what was going on and why. The vet told me it was common in older dogs. But at that time I did notice the seizure was shortly after his rabies vaccination. After researching I heard rabies vaccine can be toxic especially if they have high titer antibodies to it =( My poor dog suffered alot... I wish I had the knowledge back then like I do now.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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I'm a certified veterinary technician, and I selectively vaccinate. For instance, Rabies is endemic where i live, many wild animals carry it. We've even had two cases where rabid animals entered a person's home and attacked, once the person, one case their pet. So heck yeah, I'm vaccinating for that, but only every 3 years for my dogs, and yearly using a nonadjuvanted vaccine for my cats. I don't worry about distemper vaccines for the cats, they are indoors and the vaccine doesn't work that well anyway. My dogs get a distemper vaccine about every 5 years. However, i DO vaccinate new puppies for distemper and parvo, because puppies are at the age they are most vulnerable and again, it's VERY common. I see several cases a year of both diseases. We had a client that was very anti vaccine, and was doing rescue, and I watched the puppies die one by one of horrible muscle tremors and seizures...from distemper. Vaccines make sense when the risk of the disease is higher than the risk of the vaccine. It's just a matter of figuring out what those risks are in your area.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:50 AM
 
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I have to say, about the heartworm disease, depending on where you are it is VERY easy for dogs to get it. We diagnose at least one case a month where I live. And the treatment for it is VERY toxic compared to the monthly prevention. As for natural remedies, the ones mentioned in that article are not really any better for the dog than the chemical prevention, if you ask me. Pennyroyal is considered toxic, and black walnut is hard on the system for sure, particularly that often. Heartworm prevention is chemical, but considering a dog can eat 10 times their dose and not show a single side effect, I'm fairly comfortable with one pill once a month.

More importantly, those products also have ingredients to worm the dog for hookworm and roundworm, both of which can be transmitted to people. Children are particularly vulnerable to roundworms, and in children they can cause brain damage or blindness. That's not a risk I will take with my kids, when the wormer is so safe.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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this. we travel several times a year and, as much as we'd like to, we cannot bring the dogs; they HAVE to be boarded. And any boarding kennel around here that is legitimate requires certain vaxes.
Same deal with us. What really frosts my malt is the bordetella vaccine. Good grief. It's. A. Cold. Nothing more. My dog had it when we adopted him from the shelter. Antiobiotics and time were all it took to cure him.

I guess I can understand requiring the vax so that the kennel cough doesn't spread to dogs in more vulnerable health. But there's no way we'll ever get this as a routine vaccination. We just get it at the eleventh hour before we travel.

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Old 04-17-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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OTOH, I have relatives who live on the edge of the wilderness, outside of any jurisdiction; they do not vaccinate their animals, including their dogs.

Their dogs are fine, after many years. IF any animal would get rabies, it would be their dogs since they live so close to many wild animals, and yet, they do not - why?
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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We only vax our dogs for rabies because if something were to happen and they would bite someone and we don't have proof of rabies vax, they destroy the animal.

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Old 04-17-2010, 12:25 PM
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OTOH, I have relatives who live on the edge of the wilderness, outside of any jurisdiction; they do not vaccinate their animals, including their dogs.

Their dogs are fine, after many years. IF any animal would get rabies, it would be their dogs since they live so close to many wild animals, and yet, they do not - why?
Rabid animals who have lots of "wilderness" to claim as territory are less likely to come into contact with your pet.

I live in a densely populated area....Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the country. We also have tons of skunks, raccoons, coyotes (even in the streets of Providence), black bears, and possums. If any were rabid, they would be much more likely to come into contact with domestic creatures than if they were out in the boonies.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:28 PM
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Also...just a PSA....

If you live in an area where heartworm is prevalent, just be aware that cats can be infected, too. There is no cure for heartworm in cats. You basically treat the inflammation and wait for the worms to die, which can take years. And yes, indoor cats can get heartworm, since it's transmitted by mosquitoes.

My 14yo kitty is a heartworm survivor. She will likely be on Prednisone for the rest of her life.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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My dogs had the core vaccines (parvo/distemper/adeno) as puppies before I had them.
As adults, rabies vax only every three years.
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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It angers me that every county is different. I wish we could only do the rabies every 3 years. But our county mandates every year or you lose your dog's license and they take the pet (which again, makes NO sense to me. Lets take pets to an overpopulated shelter and then kill them). Gah. Makes my head want to explode.

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Old 04-17-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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No vax and no heartworm meds here.

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