We provide vaccinations that are personalized for each pet, based on their lifestyle needs. We will talk with you about your pet’s activities to help determine the most appropriate pet vaccination protocol.
Vaccinations are personalized for each pet, based on their lifestyle, age, and medical conditions. Many pet vaccines give years of immunity and do not need to be boostered yearly. Unfortunately, we see numerous pets who have been over-vaccinated. Did you know that over-vaccinating can lead to immune-mediated diseases (where the body attacks its own system)? The immune system is “turned on” after appropriate vaccinations are given so it makes antibodies against the disease it is protecting against. These antibodies are the “soldiers” which keep watch and stop certain viruses from entering the body. Over-vaccination keeps producing more and more unneeded extra antibodies which can eventually turn against their own red blood cells or platelets and cause serious disease problems inside your pet’s body. Appropriate pet vaccination schedules help make just the right amount of antibodies for each disease.
You may wonder how we know which vaccines protect for only 1 year and which ones protect for longer! Once a year, Dr. Palma participates in a round table seminar with Dr. Steven Ford who studies the research and sets vaccine protocols for the AVMA. Our pet vaccination recommendations are based on these research studies and not on the premise that all vaccines need to be repeated yearly for the rest of your pet’s life! Let’s look at some of the most commonly required vaccines in Florida.
The Distemper/Parvo dog vaccine needs to follow a specific puppy schedule every 3 weeks until the puppy is 16-19 weeks old and, most importantly, needs to be boostered again one year after the end of the puppy series. After that, these vaccines should be given every 3 years and stopped at 6-7 years old. By this age, your dog has enough antibodies against Distemper/Parvo to last them for the rest of their life.
Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccines should be given as a nasal spray or oral solution and last 11-13 months (this is a true yearly vaccine).
Leptospirosis is a disease that is transmitted in the urine of dogs and other wild animals and causes fatal liver and kidney disease. It is contagious (zoonotic) to humans and your dog should be vaccinated yearly for this disease (again, this vaccine only lasts 11-13 months).
Rabies vaccines can bolstered every year or every 3 years, depending on where your pet is on their vaccine protocol. For example, the initial Rabies vaccine administered needs a booster the following year but that booster will last your pet 3 years. Do not vaccinate your pet every year for rabies after the first 1-year booster is given!
Pet owners who travel with their pets outside the state of Florida may have some additional concerns that we can discuss with you at the time of your pet’s vaccination.
We will speak with you at your pet’s annual wellness exam to discuss your pet’s activities, travel status, and vulnerability to certain viruses present in Florida to help determine the most appropriate pet vaccination protocol for them. We welcome your questions and concerns about vaccinating your pet and look forward to developing a vaccine protocol that is right for them and you!