What are the arguments against vaccinating every three years?
1. The current recommendations work so well and we have almost no side effects. Why change?
It is true. The rate of side effects to vaccination is extremely low. However, vets have an obligation to make sure their recommendations reflect the most efficient and safest approach supported by peer reviewed scientific research. If there is a way to achieve the same degree of disease control with less intervention, we should adopt that approach.
2. We will see more parvovirus infections in puppies
This assertion is not supported by any scientific evidence or by the experience of any countries that have adopted these recommendations. The biggest risk for parvovirus infection remains if puppies are left unvaccinated.
3. Will preventative health care for pets be diminished due to fewer people having their pets seen every year?
The recommendation by the AVA is still to have your pet examined annually. We will be sending letters annually to remind owners of key health considerations regarding their pet’s health.
Our clinic policy is different to the AVA policy in that we recommend annual health checks in animals less than seven years of age to be optional. We came to this decision in consultation with our vets who felt that seven years of age was about the time that we started to detect silent health problems. This is a generalisation and there will be exceptions. For example, very large breed dogs can get health problems earlier than seven years and pets with ongoing medical conditions (such as diabetes or epilepsy) will need more frequent examination. Owners may still choose to come every year to have their pet checked up.
4. Will my cattery and/or kennel accept 3 yearly vaccination?
For dogs there is no justification for not accepting three yearly vaccination as the product we use is registered for three yearly administration. At the Boronia Veterinary Clinic we use a vaccine that is registered to be given triennially (every 3 years).
The kennel cough vaccine MUST be given annually though.
It is reasonable for kennels to insist on an up to date kennel cough vaccination.
As discussed earlier, in the absence of a consensus on feline flu vaccination and without a registered vaccine in Australia that will certify 3 yearly duration of effect for animals in high risk environments, almost all cat boarding facilities require cats to have received a vaccination booster within the 12 months prior to admission to the facility.
For both dogs and cats, every boarding establishment will have a policy on required vaccinations. Please check the vaccination requirements of your boarding facility at the time of booking