Saturday, June 16, 2012

Your dog and cat don't need so many shots every year!!!! READ THIS!!!!

Because we are a former rescue, we know a lot of tricks to help save money with our animals. After years of reading on rescue forums and the Internet, I have learned some things that might shock you. First of all, let me say, I am not discouraging anyone from taking their animals to a vet. They do need to be looked over once a year and if your pet is sick or just " down in the chops", it's better to be safe than sorry and NEVER WAIT UNTIL THE WEEKEND to take your dog in. Emergency vets charge you $150-$200 just to SEE you, and then the costs go up from there. Better to take your pet in on a Friday and have peace of mind than to put if off and wind up with a strange vet that you don't know and a hefty vet bill.
I learned years ago that many of the shots that are recommended by some vets (not all) are absolutely unnecessary. My vets do not recommend shots that are not needed, just in case you are wondering- :) Every dog needs to be inoculated against rabies b/c it is a shot required by LAW and it is for the protection of your dog and other animals and people. This is a cheap injection but MUST be given by a vet. There are tri- annual rabies shots now, so this doesn't have to be an annual shot for your dog. Every three years, get your dog his rabies shot- not too hard. The American Veterinary School Association recently made some changes on what they are teaching their vet students about shots. They recommend that if a dog has had ALL OF ITS PUPPY SHOTS in the first year of life, there are several shots that need not be given again unless the dog is in a " high risk" category. Dr. Jean Dodd's vaccine protocols are listed on the link below. This is the protocol that is now followed by most vets and all vet schools. When you read it, you will be shocked to see that your dog or cat has probably been over vaccinated.
The vets and vets schools that helped produce this protocol b/c of an increase in vaccinosis. Basically vaccinosis is a broad term used to describe any auto immune response that a cat or dog has as a result of a vaccine. We are seeing more dogs with bizarre autoimmune diseases now as a result of over vaccinating. We had an Italian Greyhound who died a slow painful death from pemphigus, which is an auto immune disease caused by over vaccination. She had been from home to home for six years and had been given every shot known to man every year of her life. After she came here, she got nothing except her rabies vaccine. It was too late and she acquired pemphigus a few years after coming to us. This was when I started really digging for information about vaccinosis.
I am amazed at how people go to their vet and just have all these shots given to their animals when their pets NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE OR THE YARD!!!! These pets are low risk and are not exposed to distemper, parvo, etc. So why vaccinate against them, because the vaccines are usually good for 7-8 years. Think of the money you will save the the sad illnesses you will spare your babies. Vets make the majority of their income from shots and office visits, not surgeries and emergencies. Routine vaccines and labs are their bread and butter. I do not want us to rob our vets at all, but if you vets are honest, they will know about these new protocols and will NOT PRESSURE YOU TO GET UNNECESSARY SHOTS for your animal. Save that money and have your dog's teeth cleaned every two years instead- it's expensive and necessary b/c many heart and kidney diseases start with that stinky dog breath. It's not just stinky, it's a mouth filled with bacteria that can travel and wreak havoc with our pets' internal organs- and no, it's not a SCAM to get your dog's teeth cleaned- their gums get red and sore and as they age, their teeth get loose and need to be removed.
I love my vets. They adopted these new protocols ages ago and if I ever questioned a vaccine, they would tell me why they thought our dog or cat needed it or didn't. I will say that I am not a big fan of public dog parks- it is the equivalent of letting your toddler play in the McDonald's balls with unvaccinated sick kids who are pooping everywhere. YUCK!!! If you frequent dog parks or dog shows with your dogs, GET THE SHOTS!!!!!! My dogs live here at our own dog park so they need minimal vaccines but always have their teeth cleaned. Blood work? Well, if you want to know what your old dog is probably dying from, do it. If you are like us, and wouldn't do chemotherapy for a 12 year old dog, why know he has cancer? It will become apparent soon enough. Labs can be useful for diabetes and kidney issues, as well as urine tests, which are hard to do at home. :) (They get pee shy with us.)
I hope that this helps some of you who are struggling with money and trying to keep costs down but are frightened that you are harming your dog or cat by not getting certain vaccines. Read the guidelines and talk to to your vet. OH, by the way, any "vet" that has to keep your dog all day for a routine exam and vaccines is not a place I would take my dog to. One I can tell you to steer clear of is B- field. I won't spell it out, they are run by Pet Smart. There is no reason for a dog to be kept for eight hours for a couple of shots and a nail trim- COME ON!!!!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I'll comment back- you are FREE FROM CONDEMNATION about annual vaccines, but for goodness sake, get those green teeth cleaned!!! By the way, this is NOT one of my animals!!! :)

What do you want to know?

I have many friends and people who have adopted animals from me that keep my email or phone number and years later, they may contact me with questions about their animals' care.  I absolutely love helping people even though I have retired from rescue.  I can give people information about things such as:

how to treat your dogs and cats for heartworms for under $50 a year, regardless of number of pets- and YES cats do die from heartworms- the black and white cat at the bottom died from them and his name was Cookie and it was so traumatic for me.  Most people don't realize that cats can get heartworms too!!

what food will make even the sickest dog eat

how to give sub Q fluids (under the skin for dehydrated animals) this info is not breed specific-  same thing for dogs, cats, squirels etc.

the one vet manual every pet owner needs to buy and have on hand at all times

how to treat for eat mites without going to the vet

how to care for dogs after surgery of any kind, what to do and what not to do and how to avoid problems

common myths about the shots cats and dogs need/vs what your vet may tell you

how to deal with most behavior issues in dogs and cats

how to read your pet's body language for stress, fear, anger, etc.

what should NOT be in your dog or cat food

why to get your dog from a rescue or shelter and not a breeder or a pet store- VERY IMPORTANT

how to know when your animal is sick without any outward symptoms

what a fever is in a dog or cat and how to take their temps

how to pil your dog or cats easily

how to trim your animals nails without all the DRAMA

So if you ever have a question and your vet isn't available, email me at or post your question here.  I am not a vet, not a vet technician, and I will not advise if I believe the animal should see a vet, but I can answer many questions that can help you determine whether a vet visit is warranted or not.  I have had the same amazing vets for 17 years and I love them dearly- I used to see them once a week almost b/c we had so many rescues and so many issues, but as I have learned more and know how to do more, we see them much less.  I actually miss them and we all get excited when I go in- I have to catch them up on my life and vice versa.  They are listed on the side bar- Augustine Loretto Animal Clinic- (904) 262-4553.  They are hands down the BEST VETS in north Florida.  I also have a mobile vet that I love- Dr. Cheek- Animal Care on Wheels- (904)389-4826.  She helps me with animals that are too large to get into the car (I have really bad lower back issues)  or "mass vaccinations" of cats, which is very neccesary b/c getting six cats in carriers is life threatening.  :)  Enjoy the pictures and let me know if I can help you in any way- no question is too small.  :)