More on Vaccines
Nancy McDonald, RN BSN retired
Pets today are fortunate to have healthier lives due to vaccinations developed specifically to prevent canine diseases. Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle certainly provide a strong immunity to disease, and that goes hand and hand with the proper and wise use of vaccinations. However, vaccinations are not without risk in some situations. Blood disorders are reported after vaccinations and especially when vaccinations are given more often than necessary. Certain diseases and health situations occurring in a dog’s life may add risk to being immunized. There is much debate about when core vaccinations should begin, as well as how often boosters should be given. In some states, rabies vaccinations are required by law every one to three years. Yet it is believed by many academics that the rabies vaccination protects for five years and perhaps longer. Some Bichons owners/breeders recommend titer testing to determine when a booster is needed, (https://bichonhealth.org/HealthInfo/Titers.htm).
Perhaps most important is to discuss with your veterinarian the lifestyle YOUR dog has. You may take your dog out to dog parks, daycare or obedience trials. You may need to know what vaccinations your groomer requires or kennel requires when you are on vacation. Some Bichons run in tracking competition or just walk in the woods with their owners. And, believe it or not, some Bichons never leave their homes or yards. As dogs age, their immune system becomes more fragile which may alter the need or frequency of vaccination. Information such as this will help you and your veterinarian determine what immunizations will be beneficial to your Bichon.
WHAT IS CERTAIN IS THAT RABIES VACCINATIONS SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN AT THE SAME TIME OTHER BOOSTERS ARE GIVEN. BE A GOOD PET OWNER AND HAVE CORE BOOSTERS AND RABIES BOOSTERS GIVEN AT LEAST A MONTH APART.
Bichons owners must inform themselves about vaccinations in order to discuss with their veterinarians about what is best for their pets.
Below are two websites that have beneficial information.
Dr. Dodds recommends very minimal vaccinations and boosters. Many veterinarians support her recommendations.
The American Animal Hospital Association website has much information about vaccinations and many veterinarians follow AAHA recommendations.