Progress in both human and animal medicine has recently called into question the need for annual vaccination of companion animals. Through improved technology, the pharmaceutical industry is now able to confirm that protection from vaccines may last longer than originally thought. In addition, a longer history with vaccines also indicates that there may be some risks associated with vaccines that need to be evaluated.
Your pet may still require regular vaccination against potentially fatal, highly contagious diseases. You may also choose to vaccinate regularly against diseases specific to our geographic area or to your pet’s individual exposure circumstances. The frequency of vaccinations may be a function of your pet’s individual response to tests for virus antibody levels. If your pet is boarded frequently or participates in events with other animals, you will want to discuss vaccination requirements with kennel and event managers before selecting a vaccination program for your pet.
Seattle Veterinary Associates wants you to understand that vaccination is no longer the simple, purely protective procedure it was thought to be over the last century. We therefore encourage you to discuss the pros and cons of vaccinations. Talk with your veterinarian in an effort to develop a program of immunization that is customized to your family member’s individual needs.
A choice to reduce the frequency of vaccinations or the number of vaccines given should not change your animal’s need for an annual physical examination. Regular physical examinations, increasing in frequency for geriatric animals, are still your first defense against the onset of serious diseases or health conditions.
Please ask your veterinarian to help you make informed choices in planning an immunization program suitable for your furry family member.