Now, the vaccine Blog was scheduled to go out, so as not to hold back any education…..so here it goes.
Many times when dog owners bring a new dog into the house, there is generally a number of vaccinations that are required. Some cities even require that a dog have certain vaccinations prior to adoption. Rabies is one example of such vaccines, because a rabid dog is a risk to public health. For people who are both old and new dog owners, it is best to understand the two different categories of vaccinations that a dog should have prior to taking your dog to the vet.
The first category of pet vaccinations are called the core vaccines. These are treatments that your pet absolutely should have and they may even be required by local laws and ordinances. In some cases, the vaccines are needed to ensure public health, but in other cases a pet vaccine is needed to prevent a disease outbreak in the neighborhood. Distemper is such a vaccine, because it is spread through an airborne virus that can cause severe brain damage to dogs. It is also highly contagious, which is why it is considered a core vaccine.
Adenovirus is another example of a core vaccine. This is known as dog hepatitis, which is spread just like the human variant. Hepatitis causes damage in the liver and is also spread through coughing and sneezing. Parvovirus is the final core vaccine and is an illness that causes bloody vomit and bloody stool. Again, this vaccine is needed, because it ensures your dog’s life and prevents the spread of illness.
However, what about the non-core vaccines? Are these vaccines that you should get for your pet even if they aren’t required? We believe that less is always best in terms of dog care. For that reason, the answer is if there is no immediate need for your dog to have such a vaccine, then no you should not have your dog vaccinated. Like any drug, a vaccine can have harmful side effects such as an infection and they can even cause your dog to have an adverse reaction. Therefore unless your dog is in a situation where a vaccine is an appropriate form of care then it is best not to expose your dog to additional vaccines.
One example of such a vaccine is Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough). Granted kennel cough is an extremely unpleasant condition for your dog to get sick with, but it is treatable with antibiotics. If your dog is in a situation where it is boarded on a regular basis, then it may not be a bad idea to have your dog vaccinated against this illness. The last thing you want to have your pet repeatedly contract kennel cough and then use antibiotics to treat the illness because the disease will start to become resistant to the antibiotic. In this example, it is better for you dog to get the vaccine. However, if your dog is only boarded once or twice in its entire lifetime, then it wouldn’t make sense to get your dog vaccinated. That is what we mean by less is best for vaccines.