Saturday, July 14, 2012

Leptospirosis: Do You Vaccinate Your Pup?

The other day, I got into a discussion about vaccinations with some friends of mine who are also sharing their lives with beings of the canine variety. It quickly evolved into four different takes on the subject, some of which were at near-complete opposition.

The debate over what vaccinations a puppy or adult dog should be getting, and how often, still rages on the regular far outside my little group chat.

Every website, every book, every vet, every trainer, every behaviorist, every dog person (professionals, amateurs, and all those in between) has his or her own strongly held opinions on the topic. Municipalities and their often out-of-date policies don't help matters in the least. Most studies don't seem to be definitive. Fanatics on the extreme sides of the issue often do more harm than good. No one appears to be fully on the same page as anyone else.

Should we all just agree to disagree? Is this too personal of a choice? Should we all butt out of each other's business? Or are our pets at enough of a risk, one way or the other, that this is something that really does need to be hashed out and decided upon for the dog community as a whole?

I honestly have no clue--my own ideas about vaccines have changed about three times since bringing Desmond into my home. I can't even win an argument with myself about vaccinations!

Part of me wishes there were hard & fast rules for each vaccination, but part of me worries I wouldn't like some of the rules.

The only thing I do know is that, regardless of everything else, we will continue to get Desmond vaccinated against leptospirosis every year, because he is a dog at risk. He's at risk because of where he lives and how he leads his life of luxury. And because he's at risk, we're at risk.

That does not sit well with me. We share pillows. This cannot be good for business.

Any bets on whose mom is more grossed out right now, mine or Joey's?

For a primer on leptospirosis, I invite you to take a look at my Examiner.com post Your dog may be at risk for Leptospirosis.

And tell me: Is your furry friend getting this vaccine? If he's not, did anything in that article make you think he should be? Or do you think this falls into the over-vaccination category?
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