In the past few years a growing controversy has developed over vaccination protocols for our pets. This concern has been initiated by the notable increase of Fibro Sarcoma; a particular cancer found in cats, which usually develops in the dorsal neck or “scruff” area. Because this area is also the main location where the majority of veterinarians give vaccine injections, it is felt there must be a cause and effect relationship. In addition, the growing interest and support for natural or holistic medicine, has sparked enthusiastic backing for the potential to decrease the use of vaccines in both dogs and cats. The holistic approach relies on the enhancement of natural immunity against disease, as opposed to vaccinations, which induce the production of “protective antibody levels” prior to exposure.
The holistic concern is that these artificial exposures may disturb the normal functioning of the immune system, thus creating more problems than it solves. The conventional approach, however, points out that many of the most serious diseases have been successfully prevented over many years with little evidence of any side effects. The debate is creating various camps of believers on both sides. Most likely, the answer is somewhere in between…using needed vaccines at appropriate intervals for the pet’s specific lifestyle.
Today, research is being conducted in order to determine the effects and side effects of vaccinations, their duration of protection, and the necessity, of each etc. The results will eventually decide the best protocols for our pets. Your veterinarian can provide the latest research information and assist you in making an informed choice for your pet.
For more information, contact Jeffrey D. Whall DVM MS at Fairland Animal Hospital.