5 Tips to Ensure Effective Pet Vaccinations
5 TIPS TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE VACCINATION
BY DR. BRIAN DiGANGI
Start every animal at your shelter on the path to a long, happy life by using these 5 tips to ensure all your pets are properly vaccinated.
1. VACCINATE EVERYONE
Puppies, kittens, dogs, cats, healthy animals, sick animals, pregnant animals, nursing animals—every animal that weighs at least one pound should be vaccinated. Even the cleanest shelter is a melting pot of infectious diseases—don’t risk an outbreak!
2. VACCINATE ON INTAKE
Not the next day, or once a week, or when you have time—vaccinate every animal as soon after they arrive as possible (even better, vaccinate them a week before they are admitted). Vaccines work well, but they need time to work before an animal is exposed to a deadly virus.
3. USE MODIFIED- LIVE VIRUS PRODUCTS
Modified-live virus products are the fastest way to ensure that pet vaccinations actually leads to immunization (protection from disease). They aren’t fazed by interference from maternal antibodies, and will often provide protection after only one dose, while killed vaccine products require at least 2 doses to provide meaningful effects.
4. KEEP THEM COLD
Vaccinations are living things. Keep them refrigerated and be sure the refrigerator actually stays cold. Once mixed up, administer the vaccine within 30 minutes to be sure it stays viable.
5. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS
Don’t combine multiple products in one syringe, split a dose to give to multiple animals, give the vaccine by a different route than labeled, or mix it up with a solution not provided by the manufacturer. All these practices are the fastest way to guarantee that your vaccination is as useless as a collar without a tag!
DR. BRIAN DiGANGI, DVM, MS | Senior Director, Shelter Medicine ASPCA
Dr. Brian DiGangi is Senior Director of Shelter Medicine at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. After earning his DVM at the University of Florida in 2006, Dr. DiGangi completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine, surgery, and critical care, a residency in Shelter Animal Medicine, and received his MS in Veterinary Medical Sciences in 2010. Dr. DiGangi has published research on canine heartworm disease, veterinary field clinics, feline adoption, pregnancy detection and immunology. He is board certified in both Canine and Feline Practice and Shelter Medicine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. DiGangi is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heartworm Society and served two terms as President of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Prior to joining the ASPCA, Dr. DiGangi was a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Florida.