Seven Shots A Year?
No Thanks. Let us discuss CURRENT (since 2000) vaccination recommendations.
It is common knowledge among veterinarians that all dogs and cats do not need every vaccination possible every year. Even the vaccine manufacturers, who have resisted changing their labels from a one-year recommendation have had to start marketing their vaccines to vets with longer duration of immunity labeling (same vaccine, different labeling). We have followed the science behind vaccine recommendations from the veterinary colleges since January 1st, 2000. Recently we have been seeing vaccine companies trying to compete for business by marketing their "new" recommendations. When someone is leaving our practice and moving to another state and asks how they can judge a veterinary practice in their new community, I tell them to call around to veterinary clinics in their new city near their home and ask each one if their practice recommends that every dog and cat receive every core vaccine (dog-distemper, parvovirus & rabies; cat-rabies, distemper, leukemia every year). Those that say "yes" - steer clear. We are not a "vaccine clinic" and do not push vaccines.
There are some non-core (bacterial) vaccines that do have a short duration of immunity, such as the kennel cough, lyme and leptospirosis vaccines, that have to be given yearly. Not all dogs require these vaccines. Also, until the "Purevax" feline rabies vaccine is labeled for 3 years, this non-adjuvanted vaccine is the preferable rabies vaccine for cats in my opinion, and is given yearly. We are hopeful that the USDA will grant 3-year status soon.
ALL DOGS SHOULD BE INNOCULATED FOR RABIES, PARVOVIRUS AND DISTEMPER. MOST DOGS SHOULD BE INNOCULATED AGAINST LEPTOSPIROSIS. SELECTED DOGS SHOULD BE VACCINATED AGAINST LYME DISEASE. ALL cats should be vaccinated against rabies and distemper. SELECTED cats should be innoculated against leukemia.
For AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) vaccination guidelines, google www.healthypet.com and click on "vaccine guidelines".
Non-recommended vaccines: Coronavirus vaccine, Giardia vaccine, Feline Infectious Peritonitis vaccine (FIP).
Basically, all puppies and kittens still receive the regular series of shots at 8, 12, and 16 weeks. One year later, at 16 to 18 months, they receive the same vaccine they received at 4 months of age (Rabies, distemper, parvovirus (dogs) and leukemia (cats). Here-after, for the rest of the pet's life, he or she receives one monovalent core vaccine every year. For example at 2 1/2 years of age a dog would receive a parvovirus vaccine only. One year later he would receive a distemper vaccine, one year later a rabies vaccine, one year later a parvovirus vaccine and so on. Cats get leukemia and distemper and rabies as kittens, then again one year later, thereafter rabies once yearly, distemper (FVRCP) every third year, and no more leukemia vaccinations unless they are "at-risk" - meaning cats that go outdoors and those that come into contact with cats of unknown FeLV status. Other non-core vaccines are given on an as-needed basis.