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How Often Do You Vaccinate Your Dog

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I acquired a dog last year who was about a year old and I had no idea of his medical history. The vet told me he was a healthy one year old and he had no characteristics of having been an abused dog. He gets along well with other dogs, tolerates cats, and is well house trained.


This dog had been neutered as well. So the vet told me to bring him back after a couple of weeks and she would give him vaccinations. At that time he received the core shots, including rabies, distemper, para-influenza and hepatitus-CAV-2. He also received parvovirus and leptovax and the latter shot was boosted later.


This year on the anniversary of his shots, the vet called me to remind he was due for his shots. After receiving this message I went on the Internet to see what he required. There is some debate, it seems, about how frequently dogs should be re-vaccinated. The old school of thought, which I had followed with my previous dog over two decades ago, was annual shots. Now it seems a number of vets are saying this is too much and shots should only be readministered on a less frequent basis.


One factor to consider is the dogs environment and size. My dog is a medium to large, about 65 pounds and just over two feet tall and he is very active. His breed, a Belgian shepherd, is not known for any predisposed health issues. He goes everywhere with me which includes residences in two different cities in Canada and a country residence where he runs free. He plays with lots of dogs.


Another factor that some need to consider is any state requirement for annual vaccinations and whether the dog is to travel internationally.


So my question is, should I go with the traditional approach of annual shots or go with a less frequent schedule, recognizing that some dogs suffer from adverse reactions to multiple vaccinations?

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Isn't rabies a three-year shot? We do the six-month shots even though some say an annual shot is necessary. That's because the kennel and the groomer won't take tehm if wee do only annual shots.


We also have two of the sexiest dog-watchers imaginable. We're the envy of the desert on that one!

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Rabies vaccination may need to be done by local ordinance. Where I live, Rabies vacinnations are required once a year.

Distemper is unusual in many parts of the country and as dogs get older and less likely to get the disease, giving this one less frequently or not at all is reasonable. Puppies are the ones most likely to become very ill with distemper and dogs usually will get the infection from other dogs so if your dog does nor regularly socialize, less frequent of no vaccination after puppyhood is a consideration.

Parvo is again basically a disease of puppies and as a dog ages this may be stopped or made less frequent.

Sounds like your dog is living La Vida Canine with two homes and country get away. You are lucky to be able to spend so much time with your pet. I have three dogs now after having had as many as seven a few years ago. They are a joy in the having and in the remembering.

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Finding a good vet is easier said than done. While they are all qualified, of course, some appear to be more interested in how much money they can wring out of their clients than what is best for the pets. Vaccinations account for about 20 percent of the average vet's incomes. When the controversy about annual vaccinations arose, they saw this income being threatened.


As was pointed out, rabies is generally administered as a three year vaccine except where annual shots are mandated by regulation or law. There is evidence that other vaccinations are less required on an annual basis, particularly as dogs age. The problem is that if a dog has an adverse reaction to a vaccination it is often a serious problem and can adversly affect the dog's health and lifespan.


There was a documentary on CBC last winter on vet practices concerning selling drugs that they prescribe. There are no federal or provincial controls on what they can charge, unlike drugs for humans, and the findings revealed that vets generally in Canada sell drugs for what the market will bear, often at up to 3 times the cost if you went to a pharmacy that stocks the same drugs that are used by the vets. I asked my personal pharmacist and he confirmed this. He did say that he didn't stock all the drugs that vets administer but he did have some.


My current vet I have only known for a brief period and I haven't reached a conclusion about her yet although some of the people in the dog park I frequent complain about her costs. I did find that she wanted to administer more vaccinations than I thought were necessary and I declined a few of her suggestions. But she is the most conveniently located for me. However, I do have the option of using another vet in another city where I also have a home.

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>Finding a good vet is easier said than done.


If you're fortunate to be near a university with a VetMed college, take your guy there. It may take a little longer for exams because a senior student does it and then your pet is checked by a faculty member. No one is pushing anything and the care is great. Here in central Ohio the rabies shot is a three-year thing, while the others are once a year.

The only problem - there are not that many VetMed schools.


Oh, and those sexy dog-watchers of Lucky's? They are just that - and my dog loves them! :)

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