When deciding whether or not to vaccinate your dog, consider three things:
– What is the current state of your dog’s immune system?
– Is the disease your vaccinating against treatable or could the potential side effects of the vaccine be worse than the disease itself?
– Is your dog at high risk for contracting the disease being vaccinated against?
If your dog’s immune system is highly compromised, such as in the case of a dog with cancer or one with severe allergies, AND your dog is not at high risk for contracting a disease, then you may want to talk with your veterinarian about whether or not a vaccination is completely necessary.
Certainly, in some cases, vaccines can be a good thing, and with preventatives such as heartworm medicines, they can be vital to your dog’s health. The important thing is to be aware of the hidden dangers of vaccines and to talk with your vet about any concerns you have. See if it’s possible to get a waiver for Rabies vaccines, or to change your heartworm treatment schedule to every 45 days instead of every 30, and discuss which vaccines are essential, which you can do titer testing for, and which can be postponed. You are your dog’s advocate when it comes to healthcare, so you are responsible for asking the right questions and doing your homework about controversial subjects such as vaccines.
To help you with this research, read this great overview about the potential dangers of vaccines called the “Science of Vaccine Damage”by Catherine O’Driscoll.
These books are also must-reads for anyone who wants to know more about vaccine dangers and how to keep your dog healthy and safe.