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Guide to Understanding Vaccines for Dogs and Cats

We all know that vaccines can keep our pets safe from horrible diseases. But for most of us, that’s the extent of our knowledge. Today, we’re presenting a fast and easy way to get smart about vaccines. The following Guide to Understanding Vaccines for Cats and Dogs PDF download is painless to read and worth your time.

Understanding Vaccines for Dogs and Cats: Get the Basics

understanding vaccines for cats and dogs
What do you really know about vaccines for cats and dogs?

Earlier this summer Tripawds member Kerren and Mona brought this helpful article to our attention after Otis’ mom asked:

i remember a forum a while back discussing whether dogs with cancer should be vaccinated.  Otis had a three year rabies in December, before he was diagnosed, but was “due” for his other vaccines.  I was prepared for a conversation with my family vet on this topic, but he didn’t even bring the vaccines into the appointment.  When I asked, he said that he doesn’t generally recommend vaccines for his cancer patients.  What a relief to not have to advocate on this issue! (read more in Treatment, Recovery and Oncology: Vaccines)

Most of us don’t think twice about vaccines until something happens to our pets, like cancer. Don’t wait to get educated under pressure. Read this fast article and learn basic facts about pet vaccines like:

  • What are antibody titers?
  • Which vaccines are “core” and which ones depend on location and lifestyle?
  • Why giving multiple vaccines at one time is a bad idea.
  • When should rescue dogs get vaccinated?
  • Should pets with cancer receive annual vaccines?

The article is based on a presentation by immunology expert Dr. Ronald Schultz, PhD. He is a principal investigator for the Rabies Challenge Fund, which works to extend the legally required interval for rabies boosters to 5 and then 7 years. The article is written by Lisia Rodier and originally appeared in Whole Dog Journal magazine. If you want to learn more about blending conventional medicine with holistic-minded approaches to better pet health, we highly recommend a subscription to this publication.

Download “Vaccines 101” here.

More Vaccines Talk around the Tripawds Community

Tripawds Forums: Alumni / Lucian’s First Titre Testing

Tripawds News Blog: Rabies Vaccine Waiver for Cancer Dogs and Cats

Pet MD: The Truth About ‘Titering’ Instead of Vaccination

Whole Dog Journal: Vaccine titer tests: What they can and can’t do

Rabies Challenge Fund: States with Medical Exemptions in Lieu of Rabies Vaccination



4 thoughts on “Guide to Understanding Vaccines for Dogs and Cats”

  1. Hello!
    I am trying to find answers to my dog’s passing and I came across this site.

    My question is – can a 3-year rabies vaccine affect the immune system and jeopardize the chances of my dog recovering from surgery after removing a liver cancer tumor?

    It all started when I went in for my dog’s annual checkup. Vet felt a lump and decided to do X-ray. Found out he had a big mass. Since he was due in his rabies vaccine the Dr still gave him that vaccine. 2 weeks later i took my dog into surgery to remove the tumor, which turned out to be Hepatocellular carcinoma. It was just one big mass and was removed successfully. However after the surgery my dog stopped eating and got weaker. 2 weeks of trying appetite meds, antibiotics, I decided to put him to sleep. Could rabies vaccine played a role to weaken him that he wouldn’t survive surgery?

    • Erica, my heart breaks for you, I am soooo sorry about your dog. I can only imagine what heartache you’re going through, and I hope that in time all those memories you shared will help heal your soul. Honestly, I’m not a vet so I can’t tell you. As a layperson what I do know is that surgery takes a lot from a body, and all sorts of factors can weaken instead of strengthen it. Add cancer and vaccines to the mix, which are basically attacks on the immune system, and you’ve got a triple whammy. It’s a great question for a research-oriented holistic vet, who can probably give you more insight than I. My heart goes out to you. I”m so sorry. I wish I could be more help.

  2. Thank you Jerry! It’s tough for sure, but I can only trust that he is now in a better place healed, healthy and happy. I will see if I can find a holistic vet to discuss this. Thanks.


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