Most pet owners feel guilty for not vaccinating their dog or cat, but honestly, there is no need to worry unless you really want to.
Most vaccines are very expensive! An average yearly vaccine schedule costs around $100 per year (or more depending on the length of time needed between vaccinations). This cost can quickly add up if you happen to become pregnant or have a kid that needs immunizations as well.
Fortunately, most feline and canine vaccines are the same. Therefore, it does not matter what kind of animal you own, we can tell you how much each vaccination typically costs.
We will also look at some potential side effects your furry friend may suffer from after being vaccinated. If a puppy or kitten seems extremely distressed shortly after a vaccine, this could be a warning sign that they might be allergic to the product.
Cat owners often times get confused about which vaccines are required by law.
Definition of a vaccine
A vaccine is nothing more than an antigen (or substance) mixed with a carrier or medium to produce a specific response in your body. The carrier is usually water, saline, or gel, but other substances have also been used as carriers.
The antigens are typically from a disease agent- such as bacteria, virus, or parasite- that can be neutralized or attacked by your immune system. This way, your body does not need to develop full-fledged immunity to the infectious agent like it would without a vaccination.
By injecting the vaccinated individual with only parts of the infectious agent, they are able to elicit an immune response, but just enough so their bodies are still developing natural, lasting immunity. This practice is how most vaccines work!
Cat vaccinations vary depending on what type of cat you want to protect. Some cost less than others, however; there is no set price for every product. It depends on the company, where you get them, and your budget.
It is important to know the difference between puppy and kitten vaccines because they are given at different times. Puppy vaccinations typically start around six weeks old, while kitten vaccinations begin at eight weeks.
The link between vaccines and autism
Many people have heard rumors or false statements about vaccinations being linked to autism. There is just 1 study that suggests this, and it has been heavily criticized for its methodological flaws.
The first systematic review of whether there’s an association between childhood vaccination and risk of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) was published in 2010 by British researchers.
After analyzing all available studies at the time, they found no strong evidence to suggest that vaccines are associated with ASD.
Since then, many other observational studies looking at individual vaccine-autism associations have come and gone, so another updated systematic review was done in 2017. This one analyzed 10 different studies, including the previous one.
It also looked more broadly than the earlier review — not only studying each vaccine individually but also comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated children as a group.
Overall, these analyses did not find consistent evidence that any specific vaccine is related to increased risk of ASD.
What vaccines should you get
One of the biggest debates in veterinary medicine is about whether to give your dog or cat vaccinations. While some veterinarians feel that most dogs and cats are over vaccinated, there is a growing number of vets who believe that too many things depend on too many vaccines for animals to be truly protected against disease.
Some experts even go as far to say that certain vaccines can actually do more harm than good. This is due to side effects such as lethargy, diarrhea, weight loss, etc. which may interfere with normal functioning of the animal’s immune system.
Another reason why some vets recommend less vaccination protocols is because they believe that few, if any, products contain only purified antigens – the part of the vaccine that stimulates an antibody response.
Instead, these types of vaccines also contain inactive bacteria or bacterial components called endotoxins that can still stimulate an inflammatory reaction. Because inflammation is what helps fight infection, this can sometimes pose a risk in creating an overly responsive or “over-immune” state of the animal’s body.
What vaccinations you need
While there is no such thing as too many vaccines, some are more important than others. Some vaccines may be unnecessary unless you are at risk of getting certain diseases.
Some vaccine recommendations are age-related. For example, all children should get vaccinated against polio before they start school to prevent exposure in classes with unvaccinated students.
Furthermore, people who believe in natural medicine or take herbal supplements often recommend skipping certain vaccines because they think it will help your body develop its own defenses.
However, this isn’t always the case. Your doctor shouldn’t make any health decisions for you but rather use medical science to determine what is best for you.
So how much are cat vaccines? The average cost per vaccination depends on the type and number of vaccines given, whether you got them at one clinic or several, and whether you bought them online or from a store.
But general costs can give you an idea of how expensive some vaccines can be. A few years ago, rabies shots alone were around $100. Now they are closer to $150! That’s a lot more affordable, though still quite pricey.
Side effects of vaccines
One major disadvantage to not vaccinating your cat is significant vaccine side effects. Although most cats show no signs of having been vaccinated, there are times when reactions occur.
Many veterinarians report patients coming in complaining about symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea or fever just days after being exposed to vaccinations.
This is what makes it difficult to determine if their disease was actually caused by vaccination or not. More often than not, diseases found in unvaccinated animals were contributed to lack of herd immunity.
Herd immunity occurs when enough members of a population are immune to prevent infection for those that aren’t. This way, even if someone isn’t immune, they can’t be infected because there’s already a pool out there that is!
By making sure our community is well-protected, we create protective factors that help ensure the health and safety of all involved. It also helps reduce spread of infectious agents and aids in limiting exposure for individuals who might need immunizations but have adequate levels at this time.
It is important to note that although adverse events cannot always be attributed to specific vaccines, serious outcomes such as death can sometimes happen very quickly. Therefore, it is crucial to talk with your doctor about whether or not vaccines are needed for your kitty.
At The Animal Clinic, we believe that protecting pets from contagious illnesses through vaccination is an integral part of responsible pet ownership.
What about mercury in vaccines
While there are some vaccinations contraindicated during pregnancy, most vaccines do not pose much risk to your baby. Certain immunizations can be harmful however, so it is important to know which ones.
One of the biggest debates surrounding vaccination is whether or not including an ingredient called thimerosal in vaccines is safe. Thiomersal was a common vaccine preservative until early 2013 when parents started complaining that it could cause problems.
Many people believe that exposing babies to trace amounts of mercury may have adverse effects. Although studies have shown no link between thiomercil and autism, other disorders like ADHD and dyslexia, researchers agree that it should be removed from childhood vaccines due to its potential health risks.
Fortunately, new vaccines contain no thiomercial! An additional precautionary step has been taken by vaccinists: pregnant women can now ask for either none or one dose of thiomercail-free vaccines. This way they will know if their body’s immune system responds correctly to the vaccine without exposure to any mercury.
Does it matter which vaccine you get?
There are many different vaccines for cats, some more expensive than others. It is very difficult to tell how much difference it makes because there is no standard way to compare them!
Some brands of vaccines may seem better than others but this is only true if you do not look at the cost. If you do, then they all seem about the same. Because vaccinations play such an important part in protecting your cat from disease, however, it does make sense to spend the money on good quality vaccines.
Just like with any other product, bigger companies’ products usually mean their vaccines work longer and better than those made by smaller companies.
There are also online communities where you can talk about what works and doesn’t for each specific vaccination. You would have to do your own research though, as everyone has their personal experiences.
Cost of vaccines
While some say that there are free vaccinations available, this is not true for most major vaccine types. Almost every vaccination given to cats requires an up-front cost. This can include the price of the vaccine, the visit to your veterinarian to be vaccinated, or both!
Some veterinary offices offer discounts for multiple visits, so it is best to ask about such offers before coming in for your cat’s immunization.
Discounts are very common at spring time when many pet owners get their animals spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Make use of these opportunities to save money!
Avoid buying fake medical treatments or supplements – research them first and see if they have any proof for their claims. Don’t risk spending money on things that don’t work.