Why vets recommend yearly re-vaccinations. So we asked Dr. Schultz how dogs and cats develop immunity.
Dr. Schultz explained that in the 1970s there weren’t a lot of vaccines available for pets, every time a new one became available, it was added to the syringe.
By the 1980s, there were 12 or 14 different vaccines being delivered as combination products. As an immunologist, Dr. Schultz knew that was not a good idea. And vaccinated pets were beginning to develop adverse reactions, so their bodies also knew the combination vaccines were a bad idea.
In 1978, Dr. Schultz and a colleague, Dr. Fred Scott developed and published a vaccination protocol. It called for pets to receive puppy or kitten shots, be vaccinated again at a year of age, and then be re-vaccinated every three years or less frequently thereafter.
Change is often a very slow process, and it wasn’t until 1998 that the American Association of Feline Practitioners issued guidelines very similar to what Dr. Schultz and Dr. Scott published 20 years earlier.
Dogs and cats can be protected from many diseases, which can cause very serious symptoms or be fatal. These include cat leukemia and distemper in dogs.
Dogs should be routinely vaccinated against:
Canine distemper virus
Infectious canine hepatitis
Cats should be routinely vaccinated against:
Feline infectious enteritis
Feline herpes virus
Feline leukaemia virus*
*Current recommendations are that only at risk cats are given vaccine against feline leukemia virus.