How many of you know people who do not get their pets vetted?  I was speaking to someone the other day who told me they lost their dog to Heartworm, and someone else I know has a rescue that he has never taken in for vaccinations.  How is this possible? 

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Remember, animals survive in the wild (yes even our dogs) without any medical care!  But they do not survive very long.  A lot of unvaccinated dogs (and people) survive off what is called herd immunity--the diseases aren't rampant in the population because everyone else is vaccinated, so an individual's risk for contracting the disease is low.  If more people left their animals unvaccinated, you would see those animals getting sick more often from preventable disease.

If Waffle were in perfect health, we'd only go once a year for blood chem panel, TBD/SNAP test, antibody titers/vaccines as needed, and general wellness... but not getting your pets vetted at all?  I don't know anyone who does that.  We got a kitten and I treated her at home for ear mites and an eye infection because we had the medication on-hand already and I knew what the problem was, but if we hadn't?  She could be blind!  If we didn't need to establish her record at the vet, we wouldn't have taken her in at all after I treated her because she was vaccinated by the rescue we got her from.  

Unfortunately, as a veterinary technician, I see WAY too many animals who aren't properly cared for. Just yesterday we had to euthanize a 12 month old german shepherd because her owners didn't bother to get her parvo vaccines and she came down with a bad case of parvo and they wouldn't treat her :-( As Rachael said, many animals avoid certain diseases (like Rabies) due to herd immunity, the responsible people vaccinate and keep those bad diseases at bay. However, since there are still SO MANY irresponsible pet owners out there we still see a huge amount of parvo in dogs (both adults and puppies) and leukemia in outdoor cats. Until everyone is educated and responsible there will always be that risk. We are currently seeing this in leptospirosis because many people have decided that the vaccine is horrible (due to misinformation from uneducated sources) and lepto is now on the rise. Lepto used to be combined with the distemper parvo vaccine and was very rare to see in clinic but now that it is a separate vaccine and people have become afraid of it we see several cases every year. Unfortunately its an all to common thing for people to not take proper care of their animals and its so sad to see the results :-(

Geez, I rely on my vet to give the vaccines Poopdeck requires.  As you said Lepto was always in the combo, I guess I need to check to make sure he is still receiving this.  Thanks for the heads up.

do you think vets over vaccinate?  What are the requirements for which vaccinations?  He is on a semi annual Bordetella, yearly rabies, 3 year DHP,  yearly heartworm and something coded as EHRLICHIA/LYME/ANAPL. (Iget the lyme part)  What do you think?

Most rescue groups spay all of their dogs and also provide vaccinations before adopting out so that rescue you mentioned had to have had at least one round of all required vaccinations before he or she was adopted out.

You know, I read that the majority of dog owners don't give their dogs heartworm meds! When I first adopted Tipper, I made sure she was fully vetted every year, but I often felt as if the care she was getting was almost "too much." I read that the new guidelines for the most common vaccinations was every three years but a lot of vets still want to vaccinate every year. I think that is too much so I decided to skip two years between vaccinations because that's what the new guidelines indicate.

I also feel as if the vets want to keep your dog on heartworm meds all year when REALLY NOW, what are the chances of my dog getting a heartworm infection during a freezing cold January in NY?
So, I think vet care is a question of common sense. I do give Tipper heartworm meds most of the year and I'm not sure how people get around avoiding vet visits because you can't get a prescription for heartworm meds unless your dog gets a heartworm test at least once a year.

I also don't give heartworm year round...after 2-3 hard frosts the bugs are gone! Same way with rabies... I get every 2 years but they have a 3 year rabies...

He doesn't have her on heartworm and we live in south Florida so it is a year 'round fight.

It is so hard to imagine people not taking their pets to the vet.  We have a great relationship with our vet, (we have used his services for 30 years).  My corgis are my babies and I want them to have the best care I can give them!

Even after getting a dog from a rescue or even a breeder I take them in to my vet.  I want my vet to check them over.  Same when we adopt a cat from a rescue.  Everybody goes once a year for a check up and whatever shots are necessary.  I do treat minor things at home if I have the stuff necessary but I don't mess around if it's beyond my range of care.  Two years ago one of my cats developed an eye infection, I had drops here but for some reason I felt I needed to take her in.  Good thing I did, at age 4 she had glaucoma.  She is on drops twice a day for it.  If I hadn't taken her in she would be blind by now.

I would never mess with eyes, the wrong drops could cause blindness as well.

Mine get the 3 year rabies plus Lyme, distemper, bordatella and whatever else is necessary.  I keep mine of heartworm year round.  We get "January thaws" and it's has been warm enough that I see skeeters out and about.  Not gonna risk mine.

ALL my animals get their shots but the 2 minute check they do to listen to their heart etc. I sometimes "waive" at least for my 8 feral cats but do get their vaccinations. All my feral cats have been spayed/neutered and 4 of them were at my expense but the other 4 came spayed/neutered and shots just for "helping" the humane society by giving them a home (they asked me). I am already wondering how I will get them into the vet in Oct.

As for my dogs...they all get whatever they need plus I've been with the same vet for 15 years and so they are willing to give me an antibiotic if I call which is seldom. I don't get into getting all the "extra" shots...just the basics along with the heartworm for the dogs.

The vets/techs sometimes comment on how "lucky" my animals are:) Not because of the vet visits but because I am willing to give unwanted animals "a home".


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