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Thoughts on yearly boosters!

(19 Posts)
lisad123 Tue 14-Jun-11 23:26:30

Just had letter to say our boy is due his yearly boosters. Any thoughts on this or do I just give him them?

Scuttlebutter Tue 14-Jun-11 23:38:04

Why would you not vaccinate?

midori1999 Tue 14-Jun-11 23:50:35

We don't vaccinate routinely after the puppy vaccs, but instead have a titre test done each year before deciding whether to get the boosters done. So far we have never needed to booster and our dogs are immune. However, we do not titre or vaccinate against lepto.

lisad123 Tue 14-Jun-11 23:50:48

Not saying I won't but wondered if it's just another way of vets getting more pennies from you. I guess I thought once he had his two sets as a puppy he would be immune, bit like babies. blush

midori1999 Wed 15-Jun-11 00:03:46

You aren't exactly wrong. Some boosters don't need to be done every year and there is also some evidence that over vaccinating can be harmful. Admittedly, only in a handful of cases, but where it's happened it's serious. Plus, of course, vaccination doesn't always mean your dog is immune, a small number of dogs will not become immune after vaccination.

That said, titre testing doesn't work out any cheaper than vaccination. I pay around £45 per dog and a booster would cost me £30 per dog. Then, if we did need to booster as well, that cost would be on top of the titre test, so it would be much more expensive. However, it's how I prefer to do things.

Some vaccine manufacturers have admitted that in an ideal world, people would titre test and only vaccinate when needed and more vets seem to be coming round to this idea too. However, in reality, most people want the cheaper option and if people are aware a dog can be immune without yearly vaccination then you do get people who would just choose not to vaccinate or to test for immunity, which is clearly irresponsible and a problem.

Scuttlebutter Wed 15-Jun-11 00:05:34

I'm old enough to remember serious outbreaks of parvovirus in the 1980s. It still happens to unvaccinated dogs, especially in kennels and pounds. It is the most horrible, painful, miserable way for a dog to die (and die they usually do when they get it).

I do vaccinate for the same reasons that I believe vaccination is a brilliant step forward for human health care. There is also the issue of herd immunity which helps to reduce outbreaks of disease.

You should also be aware that if you wanted to put your dog into kennels, they will want to see an up to date vaccination card, and during the summer months particularly will also insist on kennel cough vaccinations.

Our vet also provides an annual health check alongside the vaccinations, so it's a good opportunity to discuss and review your dog's health, weight, any changes, any health issues etc. It seems very sad, and quite insulting to your vet, to regard them as just a profiteer, and out for a quick buck.

Perhaps some of the vets on here could give a more detailed response?

dilemma247 Wed 15-Jun-11 00:10:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

midori1999 Wed 15-Jun-11 00:12:57

Scuttle, there is a high incidence of parvo here in Ireland, uptake of vaccinations is still very low. (as is uptake of neutering)

However, immune is immune and whether a dog has it's booster and is immune or whether the dog is tested and found to be immune without needing a booster, it is still immune.

Lots of kennels (and their insurance) now accept evidence of immunity instead of up to date vaccination cards too.

Scuttlebutter Wed 15-Jun-11 00:43:35

Midori, that's awful about the high incidence of parvo. It's a horrible illness.

Agree about titres and having it done, if you feel strongly about having boosters, but suspect that was not OP's reason for asking as she seemed more concerned about cost. I guess it's similar to your stance on neutering in the sense that if all owners were like you, it would probably be OK not to neuter, but sadly lots aren't. Is that making any sense?

midori1999 Wed 15-Jun-11 00:56:42

Yes, it does make sense and the vets I have discussed it with have had a similar stance. Their worry would be that people simply wouldn't vaccinate or test for immunity, which would obviously be a huge problem.

When we first came to Ireland I think the vets thought we were bonkers, they are still trying to get clients to vaccinate, let alone anything else. (in fact, the vets here are the only ones I have known not to discuss microchipping or neutering at puppy vaccination appointments, presumably as they don't want to put people off coming back at all) Obviously not everyone here is the same, lots of people do look after their dogs very well indeed, but overall dog welfare is about 20 years behind England and it's not at all uncommon for dogs to be kept outside still with no proper kennelling or to be allowed to roam free. sad Sorry, gone off on a tangent... blush

vjg13 Wed 15-Jun-11 06:48:09

A friend was told by the vet that there has been some very recent studies to show that two yearly vaccinations are sufficient. Does anyone know anymore about this?

I'll carry on doing the yearly because we do use kennels when we're on holiday.

dilemma247 Wed 15-Jun-11 07:09:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LtEveDallas Wed 15-Jun-11 07:23:58

You know, when we got MuttDog I thought that her puppy jabs were all she needed. It took a chance remark from my boss (dog mad) about getting her 4 their boosters that made me go "what? Boosters? What do you mean?" blush

we always had dogs when I was growing up and I couldn't ever remember them having boosters. I actually asked my dad and he said they hadn't, and as far as he was concerned he was never told they needed them!

I was really surprised, and when we got the letter from the vets a few months later DH was as well. His childhood dogs also never had boosters.

Is it a new thing? DH is 45, I'm nearly <cough> 40. How long has this been the norm?

(oh we did get MuttDog the boosters, but wondered if they were really necessary)

ellangirl Wed 15-Jun-11 08:33:07

They are necessary if you need to put your dogs into kennels.
Interesting that you don't vaccinate against lepto midori as that's the only one where I live that is really important. My point is that where you live and the lifestyle of your dog can affect the incidence of/exposure to dog diseases greatly.

ellangirl Wed 15-Jun-11 08:33:55

Just realised loads of people have already said about kennels blush

midori1999 Wed 15-Jun-11 09:07:48

The reason I don't vaccinate against lepto is that the vaccine doesn't protect against all strains of lepto that affect dogs and only lasts around 6-8 months, so most dogs aren't protected for at least 1/3 of the yearly vaccination period anyway. Also, having spoken to vets in a few different areas the number of cases of lepto seen are few and far between. Plus, it is the vaccine most likely to produce an adverse reaction and Goldens can be more prone to adverse vaccine reactions than some other breeds.

I would imagine my dogs are least at as much, if not more risk of lepto than most pet dogs as they also work and are in water a lot. It's not a decision I take lightly, not least as lepto can be transferred to humans.

lisad123 Wed 15-Jun-11 09:21:56

Cost isn't an issue, if he needs them he will have them.
I too don't remember my childhood dog needing boosters. He has a health check at same time.
Thanks for all the advice, he does alot of field/stream walking and due to go to kenels in July, so will book him in grin

Lizcat Wed 15-Jun-11 10:55:17

WSAVA recommend that as vets our efforts should be to 'Vaccinate more dogs less'. By this we should be using vaccines that have longer duration of immunity for example Nobivac and Durammune have at least 2 year immunity for Distemper, hepatitis and parvo. We should be indetifying core vaccinations for all dogs and regional variations - there are problems with this approach as WSAVA as a world wide organisation recommend Rabies as a core vaccine, but in the UK that currently is not necessary.
Discussing your vet the options is the best thing to do as they will know the regional issues - we are in a Lepto hotspot and see it quite regularly. We also have some farms that are Tetanus hotspots and we vaccinate the dogs on these farms for tetanus.

MotherJack Wed 15-Jun-11 12:45:41

Can I just leap on the back of this and ask about something my vet said when I queried getting my dog vacced.... he shrugged and said probably no point given she is old now and then he said something having very little benefit to her. He's not a man of many words, it has to be said and we were discussing a more pressing issue at the time so was distracted from asking further and I think after reading this thread I will get her titre tested (never heard of this before now) tomorrow as she is having pre-anaesthetic bloods done before going under to sort her teeth out.

Can I ask what people think about what I was advised? I've been meaning to ask you lot about it for ages.

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