I grew up on a farm. We gave our farm dogs distemper vaccine at home. For this budding veterinarian, it was fun to play doctor. And it certainly was economical. Now, as the Practical Pet Vet, I appreciate self-sufficiency and I understand the desire to save money. My goal as a preventative medicine practitioner is to help owners make the best decision for their animal's care from youth until old age. Today's blog is not meant to persuade you not to vaccinate at home. I hope to enlighten you, the reader, about aspects of vaccination you might not have considered.
|Parvovirus is highly contagious and often deadly, |
especially in young puppies.
An emerging sentiment among many clients is that pets are over-vaccinated. Based on recommendations from independent researchers on vaccine effectiveness, many veterinarians now vaccinate against rabies and distemper every three years. The canine 5- and 7-way vaccines I've seen for purchase at pet stores are labeled to be given every year. Most likely this over-the-counter vaccine is protective for longer than a year. However, because you can't be certain the vaccine was handled properly (meaning kept at the proper temperature during transport and on the loading dock) it may not be as effective as those carried by your veterinarian whose vaccine shipments are more precisely controlled. Boostering annually with the pet store distemper vaccine increases the odds your pet has received a potent dose at several points in time.
|Facial swelling may be a|
symptom of a vaccine reaction.
In the end, if it comes down to choice between not vaccinating your dog at all or vaccinating at home I'm certainly in favor of home vaccination. As with any medical treatment there are risks and benefits to consider. I hope to have made some educated consumers today.