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To vaccinate or not vaccinate?

Whether or not to vaccinate is a common question asked by owners, and with good reason. The vaccination of dogs and cats to prevent infectious diseases has been practiced worldwide since the 1960’s. Vaccination has played a critical role in drastically decreasing the number of animals dying or becoming ill from common diseases like canine parvo virus and feline calicivirus and in the case of Bovine Rinderpest vaccination has resulted in complete elimination of the deadly disease.

So why wouldn’t you vaccinate?

Whether or not to vaccinate is a contentious public health issue. Safety is the number one concern of most people choosing not to vaccinate. It is a known fact that vaccination can incite adverse reactions in some individuals of the population. Generally these are episodes of mild transient illness but in rare instances vaccination has resulted in death. There have also been suggestions of a tenuous link between vaccination and the development immune-mediated diseases and feline cancer.

Are companion animal vaccinations safe?

No vaccination, whether it is a human or animal vaccination, can be deemed 100% safe for the individual BUT, as a product, the incidence of adverse reactions to vaccinations is low. Figures report an incidence of somewhere between 0.61 to 38 reactions per 10,000 doses of vaccine for dogs and 0.21 to 51.6 reactions per 10,000 doses for cats.

East West Vets stance on vaccination protocols:

At East West Vets we support the vaccination of all puppies and kittens for the most common diseases affecting our companion animals – these are called “core vaccines”. We have seen the terrible consequences of not vaccinating against these diseases and we would not wish them on any animal. But this does not mean we recommend vaccination against all these diseases year in year out, nor do we recommend that one protocol will suit every patient.

East West Vets is concerned with the holistic health of your pet. So while we support vaccination we would also like to work with our clients to minimize the number of vaccinations each pet gets in their lifetime. We do a number of things to achieve this: