My pet is an adult, do I still need to have her vaccinated?

Most people know that puppies and kittens need a series of vaccines, but what about when your pet is an adult? This is becoming a very common concern among pet owners who fear over-vaccinating their pets. While there is no textbook definition for over-vaccinating, some vaccines are labeled for use every three years versus every year to address this issue.

If you are concerned about vaccinating your pet unnecessarily, there is solution; vaccine titers. Your veterinarian can take a blood sample from your pet and have it tested to see if your pet has adequate titers from previous vaccinations to continue to protect them from disease. There is a downside though. Titers are not available for every vaccine, and they are usually much more expensive than the cost of the vaccine. Titers are normally available for Canine Distemper, Rabies, Canine Parvovirus, and Feline Panleukopenia. For other vaccines such as Lyme Disease or Canine Influenza, it is generally agreed that protection does not extend beyond 1 year, or in the case of Bordetella, 6 months.

In summary, if you are concerned about over-vaccination and have some extra money to spend, ask your veterinarian about vaccine titers. With the assistance of your veterinarian, you can keep your pet protected from disease and help your pet live a long healthy life.

Star Gregory, DVM

Zutilla Veterinary Housecalls, Inc.