Where pets are like family

Edgewood Animal Clinic

To contact us:

Phone: 859-331-4848

E-mail: edgewoodanimalclinic@worldnet.att.net

Vaccination and your pet

             For the past several years, what to vaccinate for and how often has been a hot topic in veterinary medicine.  Concerns included possible links to autoimmune disease, and the identification of vaccine associated sarcomas in cats.  There have been many opinions and many recommendations, but when our staff looked for the solid research to back up these recommendations, it simply was not there.  For that reason, we have waited before implementing any changes.  We now have a vaccine for dogs which protects against distemper, adenovirus, and parvo virus which is approved for three years.  In accordance with our general policy, we have waited until this product was on the market at least a year so that any problems could be identified, and are now incorporating it into our vaccine protocol.  Dogs who have been vaccinated using existing protocols will be transitioned onto the new system, with their owner’s permission.  Our goal will be to rotate vaccines so that we will minimize the number of vaccines used at any one office visit.  Changing lifestyles also indicate that we should be protecting more dogs from bordetella, or kennel cough.  With the advent of dog parks, pet stores which encourage you to shop with your pets, and increased travel, training classes, and competitions, more and more dogs are at risk for this disease.  We also have been gradually eliminating leptospirosis from many of our vaccines for smaller dogs, as this vaccine is the one most likely to cause allergic reactions.  However, we are not comfortable with eliminating it totally as lepto is definitely still a health concern, and in particular because it can be transmitted to humans.  Within the past year, a dog was diagnosed that was owned by a member of Dr. Golatzki’s training club– a big concern since this disease is spread through urine.  Our decision whether your dog needs protection from this disease will be made on a case by case basis.  Both lepto and bordetella continue to be yearly vaccines. 

             For cats, we unfortunately have no three year approved product.  Our concern with cats is primarily that fibrosarcoma, an aggressive type of cancer, has been associated with the site of injections.  This type of tumor is relatively rare, with reports varying from 1 in 3000 to 1 in 10,000 cats affected compared to cats vaccinated.  For outdoor cats, the risk of disease far outweighs this potential risk and our vaccine recommendations have not changed.  For cats who are strictly indoors (NEVER go outside), live in homes with three or fewer cats, and have owners who do not generally tend to bring home stray cats, we will be offering the owners the option of going to a three year rotation.  FVRCP (feline distemper and upper respiratory complex),  Feline Leukemia, and rabies vaccine will be given on a three year rotating basis.  It is important to note that this is an off label use of the vaccines (with the exception of rabies);  but we feel it is the best compromise we can reach for our clients at this time.  Our recommendations may continue to change in the future.

             For information specific to dogs or cats, click on the links at left.  Of course, annual physical exams continue to be the MOST important thing you can do for the health of your pet and our recommendations for a physical at least once yearly (more often for pediatric and geriatric patients and those with ongoing health concerns) have not changed. 

             In addition to changes in our vaccine protocol, we also will be eliminating the every other year option on heartworm testing for dogs on year round preventative.  Our decision to do this is based on the strong recommendations of the American Heartworm Society, an increase in the number of heartworm positive dogs seen in our practice, and the fact that a relatively low percentage of our clients truly met our criteria for waiving the yearly test.  Our recommendations for year round preventative have not changed. 

             We also recommend an annual stool check to identify any intestinal parasites your pet may be harboring.  Many of these parasites can cause human health issues as well, so this is important from the standpoint of the health of your entire family.

             We realize these changes can be somewhat confusing and we are happy to answer your questions to the best of our ability.  Please be aware the answers may be different for different pets and that there is still quite a bit of controversy in the veterinary community over what the “best” answer is. Your cooperation is appreciated.  Our primary concern is the health of your pet and our protocols have been very carefully designed with that goal and with each individual pet in mind.


Wellness recommendations change to reflect current trends

More in depth info…..