To Vaccinate Or Not

July 24, 2015

To Vaccinate Or Not

You love your dogs and cats like your children, and for some parents, your pets are your children. With this in mind, your pets’ health is a number one priority. You want the best for them. So, why are vaccinations–something meant to protect your loved ones–under such scrutiny, of late? Are vaccines really necessary? Some studies claim they have proved them harmful, while the mainstream opinion is that they are prudent. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Why Vaccinate Your Pets?

According to the ASPCA, vaccinating your dog or cat is an important part of the animal health routine. Vaccines against the ravages of rabies, canine distemper, and canine parvovirus are highly recommended–all of these infections are easily spread, and can be fatal. Cats, too, are at risk of similar infections–like feline panleukopenia (resembling parvo)–and preventative vaccinations are the first and best line of defense.

What About Side Effects?

Common, and recognized, side effects usually amount to little more than soreness around the injection sights. But, occasionally, pets may have more adverse reactions; a less common side effect is the development of mediated disease following a vaccination. By the numbers, this is rare.

On the other paw, not all vets and advocates of animal welfare agree about animal health, or that a stringent regiment of anti-bodies and vaccinations is necessary, and contend that it can do more harm than good. In fact, independent studies claim that epidemiological studies–which are indicators for, but not proof of, a vaccine’s safety or effectiveness–are misleading, and that many vaccines are outdated and even dangerous. Some studies claim that vaccinations even cause cancer, especially at the injection sights.

What To Do?

Animal health is a major priority, however, and you want the best for your pets. According to the ASPCA, because of the risks and vaccine controversy, more attention is now being given concerning things like timeliness and necessity of certain vaccinations. Since the final decisions are your own, taking a country vet’s view on the matter may be the best option–you may want to ask, “Should I fix it if it isn’t broken,” and, “what is best for my pet, specifically?” The needs of pets differ, and what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. Talk to your vet, ask questions, and use a little common sense when it comes to the health of your pets.

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