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Vaccinations; Scam or not?

A common topic presented to vets regularly is vaccination; why vaccinate my puppies when stray puppies are healthy? Why does my dog need an annual after they’ve completed their puppy vaccinations? Cats get vaccinations?

From a scientific perspective I can tell you, vaccinations are no scams and they are quite necessary. The function of a vaccine is to prep the body for the eventuality that it may be infected. It mounts an immunological response by readying the fighter cells for any possible invasion; allowing them to first recognize the invader. Once the body can recognize the invader, it can respond efficiently.

Why vaccinate my puppies when stray puppies are healthy?

To answer this, we need to understand a concept known as passive immunity. Passive immunity is any form of immunization that has been passed on from mother to offspring; meaning offspring will have pre-formed antibodies in their body. How are they acquired? Through colostrum or first milk from the dam. How does the dam make these antibodies? By exposure to conditions that have “challenged” her immune system. Considering the harsh reality of a stray dogs’ life, house kept dogs have a luxury lifestyle which works as a double-edged sword. Yes, your dog may not be placed into harsh “street” environments, but these environments can invade your house via flies (a common carrier for the infamous Parvo virus), rats (carriers for leptospirosis), flooding or your dog simply got loose one night. This is why we urge owners to vaccinate.

Why does my dog need an annual after they’ve completed their puppy vaccinations?

Simply put, to maintain a state of readiness. No immunity is life long, the body changes and remodels and sometimes throws out important data just like we do when we house clean. Its why most people keep copies of important documents, receipts etc. Annual vaccinations are also a great way to check up on our patients. Most of our patients only see us at the puppy stage, or the “something is wrong’ with them stage. Because much can change from puppy life to adulthood regular check-ups are advised and coming in for your annual vaccination is a great time to have a general health check of your furry pal.

Cats get vaccinations?

Yes, yes and yes most definitely. Your house cat that “occasionally” loves to stray is at high risk for severe infections; Feline panleukopenia, Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Feline Herpes and Chlamydiosis to name a few of our likely culprits when unvaccinated cats become ill. They present with an array of clinic signs and young kittens are quite susceptible to chlamydiosis.

The health and well-being of your pets are in your hands! Give them the best quality of life possible and get your pets vaccinated!

Still have questions? Give us a visit and the vets at the clinic will be more than willing to discuss any further questions/problems/queries you may have.


For further information or appointments please call 639-2567 or 309-0219. Check out our Facebook page TTSPCA Tobago Shelter. You can also email us at with any concerns or queries.

Author: Anonymous
Last Updated: 2018-06-12T16:59:48.925Z