The Vaccination Controversy
Many pet-owners vaccinate their pets annually, following the advice of their vet. But in recent years there has been increasing doubt about the necessity and even the safety of annual vaccinations. Studies suggest that, whilst regular and widespread vaccinations have significantly reduced the occurrence of some pet-diseases, vaccinating our pets annually can have serious adverse effects on their health. Side-effects include cancerous tumours, fatal allergic reactions and immune-disorders. Furthermore, it has been shown that in many cases, first-time inoculations given in puppy-hood/kitten-hood can last a lifetime and do not need to be refreshed. In other cases, immunity can last for several years longer than suggested by the industry's recommendation of annual boosters. This varies from individual to individual, as well as depending on the type of vaccine used. A simple blood-test can determine whether a pet's immunity is still present, or whether a booster is necessary.
Recently, a group of British vets compiled an open letter to the veterinary industry, voicing their concerns about the health-and-safety issues linked to annual booster-vaccinations. But it is in the pharmaceutical industry's interest to continue to promote frequent vaccinations to boost profits, and veterinary-students receive an education that is, in many cases, funded by the pharmaceutical industry that produces the medications used. So whether or not you trust your vet to be earnest in his/her advice, always make sure you do your own research on any procedure/medication that is advised. This includes also the practice of frequent worming treatments. If, for instance, you have a cat who stays at home, doesn't go outside and doesn't have much contact with other animals who do, it is unlikely that he/she will need to be treated against worms as a preventative measure.
So, whilst vaccination shouldn't be foregone altogether, there are serious doubts as to whether annual boosters are in the interest of our pets' health. Many pet-owners no longer have their pets vaccinated annually and their pets live long, healthy lives. In the end, it's up to you to decide what you think is best for your pet.
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