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Optimal Vaccination Protocol For Optimal Health

It is my opinion as a holistic veterinarian that you should modify your pet’s vaccination schedule to fit your pet’s unique physiology & potential for exposure. Over vaccination can be a serious health threat, but, you do not want your loved companion to succumb to a preventable contagious disease either! A healthy immune system is the best protection!

The 3 year Rabies vaccine is accepted in all 50 states now. Also available is a 3 year Distemper, Parvo and Hepatitis (aka Adenovirus) for dogs, and for cats a 3 year Distemper (Panleukopenia), Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus. These are the ‘core’ diseases that are the most threatening to your pet’s life. Most pet’s vaccinations should be limited to these core vaccines, unless your pet will have significant exposure to the other diseases. Vaccination duration of immunity studies, (aka Titer studies), indicate that after the 'puppy' or ‘kitten' series is done, with the last vaccination being given between the age of 15 and 16 weeks of age, and especially after a booster is given one year later (as is required for rabies) immunity lasts for 3 to 7+ years,* The exception to this is immune compromised individuals, then the vaccine may NOT protect them. Also, the feline upper respiratory virus’s immunity tends to fade 2 to 3 years after vaccination. There are vaccinations available for these feline upper respiratory viruses without the distemper fraction.

The new canine influenza vaccine should only be given if your dog will be in a high exposure situation. A series of two vaccinations should be given and the latest information suggests that adequate protection does not occur until 10 days after the second vaccination in the series.

Vaccines often have preservatives, antibiotics, antifungals, and protein particles (albumin); and killed virus vaccines have adjuvants that may trigger auto immune reactions or promote chronic allergy problems. These triggers can break the ' weak link ' in susceptible individuals - then the cascade into serious disease may be initiated. The vaccine inserts state, “only vaccinate healthy pets”. Do not vaccinate if your pet is suffering from common illnesses such as bladder, ear or skin infections; at the same time that a dental or surgical procedure is done; or during stressful events. If your pet suffers from allergies or has chronic health problems she/he should NOT be subjected to unnecessary vaccinations. So – what can you do ?

#1 Separate the Rabies vaccination away from the others by at least one month. Do not do all the vaccinations at the same time. Have your veterinarian give the approved 3 year duration of immunity vaccinations against the core diseases – Canine Distemper, Parvo, Adenovirus or Feline Distemper, Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus, and then, at a later time Rabies.

Or give recombinant vaccines. Unfortunately, these are only ‘licensed’ as one year vaccines. #2 Do titers, (blood antibody levels) to determine when your pet has dropped to an antibody level that indicates a booster vaccination may be of benefit. (Titer levels are not legally accepted in lieu of rabies vaccination.) Vaccination before the immunity has dropped often only removes what active immunity your pet already has and does not necessarily give them more protection, i.e. they may end up less protected ! Vaccinate your pet only with that specific virus vaccination that is indicated to be of benefit for your pet’s health and well being.

For a healthy full life minimize exposure to viruses, either via vaccines or by natural exposure, give high quality nutrition, toxin free air & water, encourage exercise and provide a loving home. Remember, a healthy immune system is the best protection!

Submitted by Dr. Anne Lampru, DVM, CVA - Advocate for those who can not talk in human words. Visit: www.RabiesChallengeFund.org, www.AHVMA.org & www.AnimalAlternatives.org

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