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Recent research into the duration of immunity by the vaccines we are currently recommending has shown some very interesting trends. In an age where all of us have become more conscious of the possible ill effects of properly prescribed medicines, to find that we can actually decrease the frequency of our 'core' vaccines was a welcome surprise.
The new guidelines, which we will adhere to except in situations where vaccination is requested by the owner or required for travel, boarding, or other reason, is as follows:
- initial puppy series every 3-4 weeks until 15-16 weeks, booster 1 year later, further boosters every 3 years or until titer shows unprotected.
-initial kitten series every 3-4 weeks until 12-13 weeks, booster 1 year later, further boosters every 3 years or until titer shows unprotected.
-we are in a rabies endemic area, so a booster is required at one year after the first vaccine, then every 3 years after that.
-efficacy studies still show this needs to be boostered annually. State and County laws still require all cats, even if strictly indoors, be vaccinated.
-Dogs: Lyme disease *
Bordetella (Kennel Cough)*
Influenza (Canine Flu)*
-Cats: Feline Leukemia virus *
*only for pets with likely exposure to these wildlife hazards
For the most up to date recommendations by the American Animal Hospital Association, please click here.
The only way to be certain that a pet is protected against Canine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus or Feline Distemper is to do a blood test called an antibody titer. This is a measure of specific protection against each of the above diseases.
We at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital feel that pets not receiving annual vaccinations should have antibody titers done to determine the level of protection. As in people, not all vaccines give proper immunity nor last as long in certain individuals, and titering is the only way to determine this. Current guidelines for antibody titers are at least annual, and preferably semiannual.
There are pros and cons to all of the above. Running semiannual or even annual antibody titers will increase the cost to you. While we will not be charging any office call charge to have the blood tests done, there are obviously laboratory costs involved. If you feel that the safety offered by the reduction in vaccinations offsets the increased cost, then that would be the recommended protocol.
You may elect to continue to receive annual boosters of the core vaccines. Please advise us of this decision.
You may also elect to follow the above vaccination guidelines, but decline antibody titers. While the risks are small, the number of animals we see with insufficient titers is large enough that we do not recommend this approach.
Please understand, we at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital feel that our role in your pet?s care is to provide you with the most up-to-date information in order for YOU to determine what is best for your pet. Please don't hesitate to discuss your concerns with us !!
Remember the longstanding motto at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital:
"For your pet's health, and your peace of mind!"
Dr. Green and his staff are knowledgeable and compassionate. Dr. Green is an excellent diagnostician who has, for over 35 years, given my pets the best veterinary care possible. I would not entrust the care of my companion animals to anyone else.
- Theresa P. / Sleepy Hollow, NY