There is no doubt that vaccinations have made a huge difference in the spread of infectious disease for both people and pets. For dogs, Distemper was a major killer. Like Polio in children before Dr. Salk, no dog was safe. In the third world, Rabies is still a constant, fatal threat to people and animals because vaccines are not available.
Increasing concerns about vaccinations have caused people to question whether vaccines are safe for their dog, or even needed at all. We believe that they are safe, and that they are necessary to prevent outbreaks of life-threatening diseases such as Parvo. As well, vaccines are needed to prevent diseases which can be transmitted to humans, such as Rabies.
It has always been the goal of Blue Cross Animal Hospital to recommend only vaccines that are needed for individual dogs, rather than having a one-size-fits-all protocol.
Up-to-date Vaccine Protocols
As much as they are life savers, vastly improved vaccines and on-going research have caused us to re-visit our vaccine protocols over the years. We used to vaccinate annually for the “Core Vaccines”. Several years ago we changed to every other year. Now we have changed again to a need-based protocol based on the latest recommendations from The American Animal Hospital Association and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. These bodies follow research and disease trends to determine which vaccines should be considered Core and which should be given only for pets at risk. We also follow disease trends in the Toronto area to designate vaccines which we consider “Strongly Recommended” based on the disease risks to your dog of living in downtown Toronto.
It has always been the goal of Blue Cross Animal Hospital to recommend only vaccines that are needed for individual dogs, rather than having a one-size-fits-all protocol. For instance, we don’t use Corona virus vaccine in dogs because the disease is so mild. We recommend Lyme protection only to dogs who’s lifestyle puts them at risk of contacting the disease. As well, we have Titre Testing available, which may be an alternative to some vaccines. We don’t have one blanket protocol that fits all our patients.