Why it's a good idea to consider vaccinations for senior pets senior dog

These are the rules that we, the veterinarians at Care Pet Wellness Group, follow when deciding whether to vaccinate. 

  1. We only vaccinate an animal against infectious agents to which it has a realistic risk of exposure.
  2. We vaccinate against infectious agents that cause significant disease.
  3. We vaccinate an animal only when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.
  4. We vaccinate each animal no more frequently than necessary.
  5. We try to vaccinate the greatest number of animals possible in the population at risk
  6. We will always vaccinate appropriately to protect human and public health.

Many pet owners express concern about vaccinations for older pets.Our philosophy for vaccinations is to follow the path that promotes health. However, as pets age, there are some questions that we need to consider.

Q: Is vaccinating a senior, aged pet unnecessary? Will it compromise his immune system?

Our group reduces the chance of this compromise occurring by vaccinating only every 3 years for certain vaccines. An alternative to vaccinating regularly is the measure antibody titres - this indicates your pet's level of immunity towards some of the diseases he has been vaccinated against. However this test is not completely accurate, but does give some support for immunity levels.  


Q: Can I vaccinate if my pet is ill?

Your pet should not be vaccinated during times of acute illness. Vaccinating chronically ill pets is usually advisable, as these pets may be more likely to succumb to an infectious disease if exposed.   Of course the decision to vaccinate should always be made jointly between the client and the veterinarian and the final decision always rests with you, the client.

Q: What vaccinations are recommended for senior pets?

We recommend vaccinating only for those diseases for which your pet is at risk. We do not vaccinate for unimportant diseases or those diseases for which we do not have a safe or effective vaccine (e.g. Lyme disease, FIP, FIV, Chlamydia, Corona Virus and Giardia). We follow current AAHA and AAFP guidelines in recommending adult canine distemper / parvo, canine rabies, feline distemper/respiratory virus’ and feline leukemia vaccines every 3 years.

Q: How many vaccines can be given to a pet at one time?

We vaccinate with no more than 2 injectable vaccines at one time

Q: I've heard that even though my dog is older, is still needs to get the Kennel cough vaccine. Is this true?

Kennel cough and Leptospirosis vaccines are appropriate for many dogs, depending on their lifestyle. We will discuss these options with you on an individual basis

Special Feline Issues with Vaccinations

  1. Some cats have been shown to be genetically predisposed to convert inflammation into a type of skin cancer called ‘Fibro sarcoma.’ Incidence is approximately 2-3 out of every 10,000 cats. Risk may be associated with the adjuvant portion of the vaccine. (We do NOT use adjuvant vaccines in cats.)
  2. We vaccinate adult cats every 3 years for distemper/respiratory virus
  3. We vaccinate only at risk adult cats for feline leukemia.
  4. Rabies vaccines are federally regulated, and non-adjuvant Rabies vaccines must be given annually.

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