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Yearly vaccines necessary?

3366 Views 48 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  marsha=whitie
I brought my one year 3 month Beagle mix to the vet for her annual heartworm test and refill of meds and also for the Frontline supply.

The test, the year supply of Heartworm tablets, and 7 months worth of Frontline was about $225...and on top of that they told me that she is due for her yearly vaccines which need to be done each and every year.

I thought vaccines were only required during the dog's first year?

And does that sound a lot for medications?

The Heartworm was about $120 (one year) and the Frontline was about $75 for 7 months...and they said you need to test yearly for Heartworm even though she's on the meds..
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There was a thread about just this on the Health forum recently. I posted several good sources talking about the modern recommended vaccine protocols there. =)
We have A TON of ticks out where I live, so it's a huge concern for me. As I previously posted, a friend of mine has a dog that was vaccinated against Lymes and used Frontline faithfully and the dog STILL got Lymes. :(
One thing to know, is that an infected tick has to be attached to a dog for 12-24 hours minimum in order to transmit the disease. Also, most dogs with Lyme are not even negatively affected by it (asymptomatic). Regular checking/removal of ticks is the number one precaution to take. Lyme vaccines are known to have common negative side effects, as well.

I don't know who Dr. Dodd is and what his/her vaccine "protocol" is, but my Sofe isn't getting anymore jabs.
Look up her minimal vaccine protocol. I think you'd approve of it.
Here is an incidence map for Lyme in the U.S. (created by Idexx, a major maker of lyme and heartworm test kits). The data shown is the total number of cases from 7 years worth of surveys, not the number of annual cases (which would be much lower). The total number of dogs per state is in the millions as well, so that adds some more perspective. For instance, my state (WA) has around 3.6 million dogs, but had only 16 cases of Lyme over 7 years. So the vaccine would not be a worthwhile thing for me.

Some regions don't see the disease at all, or only seasonally. So there are many factors to take into account when you're figuring out your pets ideal healthcare program with your vet. =)
Do you vaccinate yourself every year with the same boosters you received as a child? If not, why not?
The immune system works the same in dogs as in humans.

Of course, for dogs with unknown vaccination history, it isn't a bad idea to give them their initial shots.

You should read some of the articles linked in this thread, and how the practice of yearly vet vaccines was never even proven by science before they started doing it.
I am actually a little surprised by this. Vaccinations, chemical flea and tick preventative...okay..I get it. But no heartworm preventative? I'm a little surprised by that. How DO you protect against heartworms?
Even I, who has a pet peeve against overmedication for heartworm, do it seasonally. It's very rare in my area, but better safe than sorry. I use a seasonal, minimal dosing schedule.

Even if all you do is annual testing without ever using preventative, if the dog comes up positive you'll have to put them on monthly medication for a full year (at least) to clear it up. So that sort of defeats the purpose of not wanting to overmedicate for it!
I dunno about those, I don't use any. It probably varies depending on the product and how it's applied (oral vs topical, for instance).
Thank-You for the link for the lyme disease.....:)
No prob. I thought it was a cool resource. =) (if you click your state, it even breaks down each disease's statistics by county!)
Really my dogs go more often than annually as things crop up that aren't serious but need vet attention, like a mysterious limp or whatnot.
Annual health checks are a great thing... it's unfortunate that many people will only do them for shots, and stop going if they change over to the minimal vaccine protocols. Being able to catch early things like cancer is invaluable. I think increased pet-owner education could improve that fact. But that goes for a lot of things, really.
Oops, I forgot about this thread. I honestly wasn't trying to skip out on answering.

Googling "natural heartworm prevention" can give you more information than I can posting:


In short, I feed my active dogs a quality diet, supplemented with BugOff Garlic, Diatomaceous Earth, etc. and also take many other preventative measures.
Hm, that geranium oil sounds interesting, but I'm always worried about using anything on Ice's skin (for obvious reasons). I don't mean because of toxicity, but because of pore-clogging potential. That's the main reason I use oral Ivermectin-based preventative. Ivermectin is supposed to be safer than the other chemical preventatives, though it's still a toxin. She only gets it 3 or so times a year, though.
I checked out the link, and am extremely confused. According to the maps, I should START Heartworm preventative in AUGUST and end in November. August???? I KNOW that there are mosquitoes here before August. I'll probably start in June (most people around here start in May).
If it doesn't stay at least 57F for more than two weeks straight (day and night), the larva in the mosquito cannot molt into the phase that is transmittable to dogs. If it drops below that for even a few hours, they all die. So you need certain temperatures for a specific amount of time PLUS mosquitoes, not just mosquitoes.

If the temperature is consistantly 80F, it takes two weeks for the larva to become transmittable to dogs. But the closer to 60F it is, the longer it takes (up to six weeks).

Those maps are built from temperature data across 30 years, so they basically are showing what months are generally stable enough in temperature for the proper amount of time to allow the larva to be transmittable to dogs in each region. It's an average though, some years are warmer/colder than others of course.
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