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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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Message 1 of 11

In Response to RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by slee15

Something to look into re the high cost of pet shots is to see if there is a school - trade school - college/university - ROP program - that has Veterinary Technician training classes. The students are under the instruction of a certified/licensed Vet Tech or Vet Dr and they are always looking for cats and dogs for practice in giving shots - and they will vacinate your pets at cost or less and the shots will be administered properly. Additionally, some animal shelters have references for people who conduct first aid and CPR classes for small pets and they are good references for who can help with cost of shots, etc.

I decided that it was important enough for me to be able to care for my babies (4 dogs and 1 cat) that I took a Veterinary Assistant course and learned how to administer shots, perform CPR, rescue breathing and first aid for pets so I now feel a lot more prepared for my babies' health and wellness.

 

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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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In Response to RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by slee15

I must say again - never, never have your cat given the 3 year vaccination - IT IS NOT SAFE. Please see the site:   http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline_VAS_Support/

As I mentioned before Merill's PurVax without adjuncts is the best at this point.( not completely without risk) because of not having the adjuncts.

I lost my cat due to this on October 8.  It is not nice as most cancers are not.  The reason that injections are now being given low on the leg is so that if the cancer occurs, then the leg can be amputated.  I am trying my best to keep this from happening to someone else's cat.  If you love your cat, please, please follow this advice.

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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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In Response to RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by CLS9

Unfortunately, many states still do not recognize the 3 yr vaccination schedule for rabies and require rabies vaccination for all cats and dogs even indoor ones.  In our state they have a rabies inspector that makes the rounds and asks for proof of vaccination.  Not having it results in a big fine and a limited period of time to have them vaccinated or they wil be removed and probably euthanized.

Since our neighboring state where they give 3 yr certificates is where my daughter lives it is more convenient sometimes if I am visiting her and have to board my animals to board them at the clinic where she works and get their rabies vaccinations at that time,  They graciously give me a discount on the boarding and do not charge for the office visit, just for the shots themselves as she works there and I have taken several of their unadoptable animals for them. However; even though I had the certificate, when the inspector came around I was required to vaccinate my animals again plus pay a fine.  He gave me the benefit of my ignorance and only fined me for one animal when he could have fined me for all 11.

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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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In Response to RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by cpuckett

The 3-yr rabies vaccines are the same as the 1-yr. It’s the same dose but they simply last 3 years (probably more). it’s just that we have been required by law in most states to vaccinate against rabies every year. THAT was over-vaccinating! Where I live, they now recognize the 3-yr program for rabies vacs. Still, I don’t vaccinate my elderly dogs and cats at all—not with rabies vacs or anything else. Generally, vaccinations last their entire lives. If there is any question, do a titer. I lost a cat to vaccinosis. It only takes one horrible experience like that....

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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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In Response to RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by drmartybecker

Never, Never use the 3 year vaccinations.  In many cases it can lead to VAS (vaccine associated sarcoma).  Merril has a one year  purvax rabies  vaccine that is not  completely  safe, but is better than the 3 year verrsions.  This is most important for cats and small dogs. I just lost my 7 year old cat to the VAS monster and the statistics that get quoted most times are way too high.  Most people never know of this possibility when  they have their pets vaccinated.  The word needs to be out there for people to make an informed decision.

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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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In Response to RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by drmartybecker

Thank you for your information on the vaccinations. Since the vet I use believes in vaccinating yearly I really haven't been able to talk to her about what the alternative scheduling might be. I tried once and she seemed rather insulted like I was questioning her judgement.  Since she has been so good about giving me other information, coming to the clinic to treat injuries, and recommendations about heartworm doses etc. I just have not brought the subject up again. 

I realize that you cannot give specific advice but you can be assured I will be doing some reading about "core vaccines" and their dosing schedules. I appreciate your willingness to come on here and talk to us.

As an RN I realize that it is difficult for all of us including doctors to alter the habits of a lifetime practice.  I also would suspect that the insistance on the need for yearly vaccinations may be one method of getting people to bring their animals in for a needed yearly check up.

Believe me anything that will cut down on their costs while keeping my "babies" heathy is a win/win as far as I am concerned.

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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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In Response to RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by slee15

The vaccine frequency issue hasn't been "controversial" for years now. Vaccine guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association, all the top veterinary schools in the country and the American Academy of Feline Practitioners have all come out with guidelines that do not call for routine annual vaccinations.

Giving "core" vaccines on an every-three-year schedule is good medicine, and a money-saver. Smiley Happy 

I can sure tell you're a wonderful, caring pet-lover. Keep up the good work!

Dr. Marty Becker
"America's Veterinarian"

 

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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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In Response to RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by drmartybecker

I agree with you that having an annual Vet check up is ideal.  I would take them if I could.  I know in some cities there are programs that provide lower cost clinics for low income people and believe me I would be first in line to take advantage of them, but in my area nothing like that exists. The choice then becomes between do it yourself and no prevention at all.  I feel like the risk to my animals is less from me doing it myself than the risk of them going unvaccinated.  Catching Parvo or some other disease would be a death sentence as I would have to have them put to sleep as I could not possibly afford the sometimes $1000.00 or more per animal it would cost to have them treated and I know many seniors are in the same boat I am in.

10 of my 11 animals were either thrown out on the side of the road or scheduled to be euthanized if a home could not be found for them so while their situation may not be ideal it seems better than their alternative.  They are loved and cared for to the best of my ability. I take them to the vet for serious injuries or illness but I simply cannot afford the $2200.00/yr it would cost to have annual vet vaccinations.

I also know that whether or not to vaccinate annually is something that is controversial even among vets. My vet still vaccinates annually but I am inclined to agree with you that it probably not necessary or even desirable however I have no way of judging and can't afford $200 per animal to debate it with her.

As for the reactions, the vet is going to vaccinate them and send them out the door in 15minutes so recognizing signs of a reaction is going to be up to me in any case whether she gives the shot or I do.

As for handling the vaccines, they are shipped air express with cold packs and kept in the refrigerator until they are used.  I order fresh vaccines annually from a reputable supplier  and give them within days of their arrival so they are not allowed to go out of date or be stored at room temp.

  

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RE: Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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In Response to Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income by slee15

Some of your advice is very good an practical, but I do have to disagree with the do-it-yourself shots, for a couple reasons: First, some pets have reactions, and also many people don't handle the vaccines properly.

Are you aware, also, that vaccines are no longer an "annual" affair? You may be overvaccinating, or giving unneeded vaccines.

I also firmly believe that the best money-saving measure is working with your veterinarian on preventive care. It needed be expensive, but what you can prevent or catch early is far less expensive in the long run.

Thanks for your contribution!

Dr. Marty Becker
"America's Veterinarian"

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Keeping Pets Healthy on a Limited Income

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My pets receive the best care I can afford for them but it is a struggle with a limited income to give them everything they need. I cut costs as much as possible and give them an extra measure of love. These are some of the measures I take, some of which I know some vets would not agree with. 

I feed ordinary dry food only - my pets seem to remain very healthy without all the gourmet meals, pouches, and science diets that are the popular fad. My 18 yr old is active, has a shiney coat, and her teeth are in decent shape and she has eaten plain dog chow or whatever brand is on sale all of her life.

I use Frontline plus for both my cats and dogs for flea control.  I buy it on line in the biggest size available and measure the exact dose needed by wt. in a syringe to apply it. - it costs me about 1/2 what it does to buy all the different sizes for each animal at the vets office

I vaccinate my own animals, I can get the medication on line for approximately $7.00 per animal except for their rabies vaccinations which are given by the vets at the local rabies clinics. I had all of my cats tested for leukemia before starting them on the vaccine.

I use liquid Ivermectin by mouth for heartworm prevention but only after having my dogs tested and the doses double checked with my vet prior to starting them on it.

I have all my animals male and female                       spayed/neutered through low cost programs sponsered by the local animal  lovers/spca clinic,it costs $35.00 as opposed to $125.00 + lab work at the vets office. The world does not need any more unwanted animals and it prevents a lot of problems and injuries caused by animals fighting over females in heat

I use mineral oil to treat and prevent ear mites rather than expensive meds.  A little prevention and cleaning of the ears saves a whole lot of money in the long run.

I bathe my animals with dawn dishwashing liquid which does a very good job of killing fleas rather than expensive flea shampoos

I bought an inexpensive pair of oster clippers at a yard sale and clip my long haired dogs at the beginning of hot weather. They might not have the latest AKC approved clip but they are comfortable and matt free. I also keep their rear clean and matt free with a "hygiene"clip every few weeks.

I brush my long haired dogs once a week.  It takes a little time but it is certainly preferable to having their hair matted or paying a fortune for professional grooming. I know daily brushing would be better but I do not have the time or energy but I find that weekly brushing might not keep them looking show ready but it does keep the hard matts out of their hair lets me spot skin problems before they become serious issues. 

I clip their nails once a month with ordinary heavy duty human nail clippers.  If you do not let them get long and curled it is easy, quick, and painless. I find mine tolerate a quick clip,clip much better than all the latest pedipaws and other expensive clippers.

I wash any scratches or wounds I find at least twice daily with an ordinary antibacterial hand soap like dial and find that I rarely have one get badly infected and have to make an expensive vet visit for antibiotics.  Of course it goes without saying that any large wounds needing stitches, etc are taken to the vet immediately.  It is a lot cheaper to have them treated at the time it happens than it is to spend days and weeks treating massive infections and certainly better for the animal.

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