Muskoka Animal Hospital offers New Approach to Canine Vaccinations
While vaccines are often an important part of your pets Preventive Care Exam, some experts tell us yearly vaccinations are not needed for most if any pets. Modern vaccines that are available to veterinarians are capable of producing longer lasting immunity in our pets than previously. This means that most pets only require vaccines based on their lifestyle and lifestage and where they fall in the rotating vaccine cycle. After receiving the intial series of puppy vaccines at 8wk , 12 wk and 16 wks many experts, recommend vaccinations every three years and that for many animals even this frequency of vaccination is excessive.
This research and its inconclusive nature leaves pet owners questioning what is best for their pet and wondering exactly what immunity level their dogs have to core diseases. Many concerned pet owners have questions about over vaccinating their pets and those with pets who react sensitively to vaccines are left apprehensive about vaccinating as well. Previously , titre testing involved expensive blood tests analyzed by a distant laboratory with results taking a long time to obtain.
Fortunately, there is a now a simple and inexpensive way to determine your pet’s immunity and Muskoka Animal Hospital is pleased to be able to offer this testing to our clients right in our clinic. Determining your pet’s immunity to a given vaccine allows our doctors to make a recommendation on how often your dog might require a vaccination. The test is called a blood antibody test, or more simply a titre test. The test measures one part of your pet’s immune system which measures antibodies. In our lab, we can measure a antibody or titer level against the three core canine diseases: canine distemper, canine parvovirus and canine hepatitis or adenovirus. The test to measure the titers against these three diseases costs about $60. Results are available within minutes and based upon the results of the test, the doctor is able to make a recommendation for or against vaccinations. The test is not valid for measuring titres against leptospirosis, which requires an annual booster . At this time we do not have a valid in clinic titre test for our feline patients but are anxiously awaiting its release soon!
When vaccinations are required, clients of Muskoka Animal Hospital can rest assured that the vaccines their pets are receiving are of the utmost quality. The vaccines we choose to use at Muskoka Animal Hospital offer excellent medicine for our patients while offering the next step in protection and comfort. This new technology allows us to give a more comfortable injection with 50% less volume than most vaccinations . The vaccine itself is purer with less cellular debris and protein than other vaccines on the market.
It is important to remember that even though our pets do not always require annual vaccinations, it is very important to continue with a visit to your veterinarian at least once a year. (twice a year for pets over 8) A comprehensive Preventive Care Exam at Muskoka Animal Hospital includes a head to tail examination checking for overall health in your pets cardiopulmonary, respiratory, musculoskeletonary, and reproductive systems, a dental examination , vision check and an important opportunity for you to discuss any physical, cognitive or nutritional concerns your pet may be experiencing . Our Wellness Plan for our patients ensures regular blood and urine screening to help determine hidden disease that when discovered early allows treatment to be more successful and less costly.
As always we strongly encourage you to have a conversation with your veterinarian regarding your concerns about vaccines and your pet at your next visit. Be assured that our doctors are up to date on the latest technology and are more than willing to discuss your questions about your pets care with you. If you would like to have your dog’s immunity tested please call us at 705-789-7979 to arrange a convenient appointment.