- Dr. Jake Miller
Small Animal Vaccinations
This month, we wanted to focus a message on Small Animal vaccinations (Dogs and Cats). We do so to emphasize the seriousness of the difference between animals who have and have not been vaccinated. This month, we have been hit with one of the worst out breaks of parvo virus we have seen in the Bear Lake Valley which has sadly brought about fatalities that could have been prevented.
The following are critical bullet points to consider when it comes to vaccinating your dog or cat.
• Start young: Kittens and puppies should have their first set of vaccinations between 6-8 weeks.
• Boosters are required: There is no such thing as a one-shot prevention… no matter the species. Puppies and kittens require at least 3 separate vaccinations during their first 6 months of life, and then they should have annual/ triennial shots for the rest of the animal’s life.
• Protection: Vaccinations protect your animal and help reduce the spread of disease to other animals and people in the community.
• Financial cost: There is a cost associated with vaccinating your pet, and that cost needs to be factored into your decisions when getting a new pet or deciding to breed your pet. It’s said, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure”. Animals who are un-vaccinated can end up with extremely high hospitalization bills, and they could potentially die from the viruses we vaccinate against.
• Needed vaccinations: While working closely with your veterinarian, together you can tailor a specific vaccination protocol for your pet based on the animal’s exposures, activities, and travel. If this plan changes, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to adjust the protocol to provide the best vaccination protection.
• Vaccination side effects: While there are some animals that are very sensitive to vaccines, the majority suffer from very minor responses to the vaccine themselves.
Vaccinating is a very personal decision for you and your animals, and we encourage you to consult with your veterinarian in the process. We are deeply saddened with the passing of animals who’s lives could have been spared this month with appropriate and timely vaccinations. Please be involved in your animal’s care now, so you can stay involved with your animal(s) for years to come.