Author Topic: Vaccinating pets at home  (Read 7769 times)

Monkey stache

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Vaccinating pets at home
« on: July 30, 2015, 11:33:27 AM »
I've been looking at ways to cut down on pet expenses without cutting back on quality of care or food. I've been reading a lot online about vaccinating your cats/dogs at home. I found plenty of articles supporting this idea but there's the occasional article saying not to (I can't help but wonder if they're written by vets). Legally I still have to get their rabies vaccine through a vet but that can be done every 3 years for $20 each through Vetco (Petco's discounted vaccine program).

There's a few reasons why I want to do this. It would save money but it would also be less hassle for everyone. I don't have a car and the cats hate the car ride and the stress of a new environment. Also all my pets have had their vaccinations previously so I know they don't have any adverse reactions to them. Any future new pets would get their initial shots at a vet in case they experience a bad reaction.

Is this a really bad idea? This definitely wouldn't replace any vet trips when they need them.

Mrs. Pomodoro

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2015, 11:43:09 AM »
I'm not sure if you can get vaccines without prescriptions. I used to give shots to one of my cats at home once a week, but the needles and medication were prescribed.

Monkey stache

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 11:52:07 AM »
I found vet supply companies online that will sell single doses without prescriptions.

TrMama

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2015, 11:55:05 AM »
I did this as a 15 year old when I had a horse. Just picked up the loaded syringes from the vet ( in the pre-ecommerce era).

If possible, I'd try to find someone to teach you how to do this the first time. There may be some things you need to watch for. Although watching a YouTube video would probably also suffice.

Monkey stache

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2015, 11:57:36 AM »
I did this as a 15 year old when I had a horse. Just picked up the loaded syringes from the vet ( in the pre-ecommerce era).

If possible, I'd try to find someone to teach you how to do this the first time. There may be some things you need to watch for. Although watching a YouTube video would probably also suffice.

I noticed it was a common practice for people with farms to go to the Tractor Supply store and pick up vaccines for their dogs, cat, horses, ect. There are many youtube videos on how to do it but I'll see if I can find someone to show me.

DeltaBond

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2015, 11:59:14 AM »
I'm not a vet, I wouldn't do it.  Having pets is one of those things, don't have one if you don't want to pay for a vet visit.  Just like, don't order a pizza if you don't also have the money to tip.

Vets do a lot more than just give shots.

Monkey stache

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2015, 12:08:01 PM »
I'm not a vet, I wouldn't do it.  Having pets is one of those things, don't have one if you don't want to pay for a vet visit.  Just like, don't order a pizza if you don't also have the money to tip.

Vets do a lot more than just give shots.

I did pizza delivery when I was younger so I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm able and willing to spend what needs to be be spent on my pets. Half of the reason would be reducing stress on all of us when it comes to hauling them to and from the vet every year.

Sibley

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2015, 12:36:11 PM »
I suspect that many of the good vets wouldn't want you as a client if you're going to do vaccines yourself like that. Maybe in rural areas they'd be ok with it. Kinda like many doctors won't take you as a patient if you won't vaccinate your kids.

Personally, I appreciate the opportunity to develop a good relationship with the vet. I want them to know me, know my cats, and they're going to be able to catch problems before they're big.

Case in point: in the course of regular checkup and questions recently, uncovered some concerns about one of my cats. One blood test later - her kidneys are losing function. This will eventually progress into kidney failure, though we're not there yet. Result is her diet is changing some to help support her kidneys, and she's really happy because it's more wet food. This way, we're hopefully buying her at least a year or so more of good quality of life.

bobechs

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2015, 01:02:04 PM »
Why not just get some little cat cars and let the cats drive themselves to the vet whenever they need to? 

Plus they could just cruise around from time to time, get to know the city better, enjoy life a little.

Or don't you love your cats that much?

Monkey stache

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2015, 01:04:45 PM »


They really do need start pulling their weight around here.

Mrs. Pomodoro

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2015, 01:09:44 PM »
LOL! I need a like button. :)

DeltaBond

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2015, 01:13:27 PM »
I will say, vets are really expensive now, but there are usually more than one to choose from. 

bogart

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2015, 02:28:16 PM »
I suspect that many of the good vets wouldn't want you as a client if you're going to do vaccines yourself like that. Maybe in rural areas they'd be ok with it. Kinda like many doctors won't take you as a patient if you won't vaccinate your kids.


This has been my experience; most in-town vets where I live (edge of an MCOL metro area) won't take your pets as clients unless they (or another vet) certifies that the animal is vaccinated (e.g. they'd welcome a transfer without insisting on re-vaccinating, but not a pet I vaccinate myself).  My vet (rural area slightly farther out, though the vaccine issue is not why I go there) is fine with me doing my own vaccines (except rabies, state law as per the OP's state -- which is fine, I get that that is one that affects human risk as well as animals and merits more careful monitoring).  I pick the vaccines up from a farm supply store (ordering them works too, but the cost of shipping is high as they have to be overnighted to be kept cold).  For both dogs and cats, they are sub-Q and really a cinch to give.

If you (the OP) feel guilty about not spending as much on your animals, you could always donate the difference to a reputable shelter, or your vet for that matter (mine has a charity fund to cover the costs of providing care to animals who are homeless or whose owners can't pay)...

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 06:21:55 AM »
I give everything to all the animals except rabies, due to the law.

It is beyond easy: YouTube will show you how.

I've never heard of a vet saying they wouldn't want you as a client. All that would LEGALLY be required would be showing them the invoice....and even that would piss me off: if the vet doesn't trust me, why should I trust them?

It's easier on the animals and me: try getting time off work to cart 5 dogs to a vet...and then keep everyone 'polite' amongst the general public and their rowdy dogs....not worth it.

Shop around: there are places where it's less than 25% of the cost of getting it done at a vet. And you can always pick them up at a Tractor Supply or feed store. In the summer if you are shipping, I would pay for overnight due to heat, and have it shipped to work or someplace where it could be kept cold asap.

sisto

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2015, 09:14:17 AM »
I used to always do my own vaccines. It's really easy and you just need to keep the documentation so you know which animal had what and when. Of course you still have to do rabbies at the vet or clinic, but those clinics are offered super cheap all the time. The easiest method is to grab them by the scruff of the neck and then push your forefinger into the center making a triangle like pocket and that's where the needle goes in. This type of injection is called subcutaneous and is the easiest to do. By making that pocket with the scruff pulled away you insure the vaccine is injected correctly. I also like others recommend you tube videos to see exactly how to do it, but it's a piece of cake.

marcela

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2015, 10:33:26 AM »
My husband is a vet student and they recently had a case of parvo come in from someone who had vaccinated the dogs themselves. Often times the vaccines you can buy over the counter or online are not stored in the correct temperature controlled environments and will be less effective than ones you would get at a vet's office. I wouldn't take the risk with my dog, but it's up to you.

Glenstache

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2015, 10:42:10 AM »
"People do." and "It's a good idea" are not the same thing. Vaccine protocols change over time for various reasons. Beware the pitfalls of practicing medicine with a degree from Google University. It is important to note that you should *not* trust information from breeders as they often think they know more than they do and cause many medical problems as a result, especially in the area of vaccines. If you want to drive your vet crazy, tell them you got medical advice from a breeder.

startingsmall

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2015, 08:37:02 PM »
My husband is a vet student and they recently had a case of parvo come in from someone who had vaccinated the dogs themselves. Often times the vaccines you can buy over the counter or online are not stored in the correct temperature controlled environments and will be less effective than ones you would get at a vet's office. I wouldn't take the risk with my dog, but it's up to you.

Agree 100%.  As a veterinarian, I have seen a number of cases of parvovirus in dogs who were vaccinated with over-the-counter vaccines.  Additionally, the physical exam is honestly more important than the actual vaccination in keeping your pets healthy and detecting disease early. 

Monkey stache

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2015, 10:06:10 PM »
Alright I think you've got me convinced. Parvo is such a nasty disease. I was hoping it was one of those things that the professionals said was a terrible idea but is totally fine. Like when I told my hairdresser friend that I sometimes cut my own hair and she said that was a TERRIBLE idea and SO bad for your hair (uhh huhhh). And yes I realize that hair isn't comparable to preventable diseases.

startingsmall

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2015, 07:01:31 AM »
If you're looking to control costs, make sure that you find a vet who uses current, up to date vaccine protocols... ie. NOT someone who recommends vaccinating every year against every possible illness!!
 
Typically recommendations for ADULT pets include:

DOGS:
Rabies every 3 years
DAPP (distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus) every 3 years
Lepto, Lyme, Bordetella - Only recommended for at-risk pets.  If indicated, they must be given annually. 

CATS:
Rabies every 3 years
FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis [herpes], calicivirus, panleukopenia) every 3 years
Feline leukemia  - ONLY in cats that go outdoors or in homes that tend to take in strays, must be given annually. 

Hope that helps!!  A lot of the "cheap" clinics in my area may look that way on paper, but they end up costing clients more money because they recommend a lot of unnecessary vaccines.  Also, those cheap clinics often miss things on physical exam and thus end up costing clients more money in the long run.  I typically tell my friends in other towns not to choose the cheapest vet or the most expensive vet, but look for someone with average prices.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 07:03:48 AM by startingsmall »

iknowiyam

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2015, 07:32:44 PM »
Just to add, for cats there is a special consideration of knowing where to place the vaccines to deal with possible injection site sarcoma, which is a very rare condition that affects a few cats every year. (The vast majority of cats are not going to get this disease, but we can't predict which ones will.) If the vaccines are placed incorrectly, the disease is much harder to treat.

CATS:
Rabies every 3 years
FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis [herpes], calicivirus, panleukopenia) every 3 years
Feline leukemia  - ONLY in cats that go outdoors or in homes that tend to take in strays, must be given annually. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2015, 09:01:26 PM »
CATS:
Rabies every 3 years
FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis [herpes], calicivirus, panleukopenia) every 3 years
Feline leukemia  - ONLY in cats that go outdoors or in homes that tend to take in strays, must be given annually. 
Eek!  So is this too much for 6-year-old, healthy indoor cats? -- Annual wellness exam with fecal/deworm and rabies 1 year; plus every 3 years, FVRCP

startingsmall

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2015, 09:31:53 PM »
CATS:
Rabies every 3 years
FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis [herpes], calicivirus, panleukopenia) every 3 years
Feline leukemia  - ONLY in cats that go outdoors or in homes that tend to take in strays, must be given annually. 
Eek!  So is this too much for 6-year-old, healthy indoor cats? -- Annual wellness exam with fecal/deworm and rabies 1 year; plus every 3 years, FVRCP

Some veterinarians prefer to use a special Purevax rabies vaccine in cats, which is only good for one year.  That particular brand of vaccine is thought to potentially decrease the risk of vaccine-associated fibrosarcoma, though many vets aren't convinced that it's a real risk reduction when you figure that they're then getting vaccinated 3x as frequently.  So, in the case of a clinic using Purevax, a yearly rabies would be appropriate.  Also, I think there are some backwards counties out there that may still require yearly vaccination.  Unless you're dealing with one of those two scenarios, though, the rabies vaccine should be given every 3 years in adult cats who received all of their appropriate kitten vaccines.

As for yearly fecal/deworm, yes.... and also I recommend yearly bloodwork.  I was only listing vaccine schedules in my post. 

worms

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2015, 12:29:15 AM »

As for yearly fecal/deworm, yes.... and also I recommend yearly bloodwork.  I was only listing vaccine schedules in my post.

Genuine question (from a veterinary parasitologist).  Why would you recommend annual worming in adult indoor-only cats? Why would you do a faecal if you are worming them anyway?

startingsmall

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2015, 06:23:07 AM »
Genuine question (from a veterinary parasitologist).  Why would you recommend annual worming in adult indoor-only cats? Why would you do a faecal if you are worming them anyway?

Honestly?  Because the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends regular deworming for intestinal parasites and I worry about liability if I stray from those established recommendations, especially in case of zoonoses.  I definitely have seen parasites in "indoor" cats, whether from wildlife entering the home, fecal material being tracked in on people's shoes, or from the occasional unreported/forgotten foray outdoors... and I worry about potential liability issues if a problem were to develop and I had not recommended fecal/deworming.   (I'm assuming, by your spelling of faecal, that you're in the UK.  My understanding is that people are a lot less lawsuit-happy over there.... but given the high settlements for ridiculous cases that I see in my malpractice insurance carrier's quarterly newsletter, I'm in the 'better safe than sorry' camp.  I have liability insurance up to $2 million dollars, but can't afford to lose my license to a board complaint!!)  I feel that I at least need to offer clients the option of a fecal/deworming but I will admit that if the owner hesitates at all, it's the first recommendation that I encourage them to decline in an indoor cat.   (But, I then have it documented that it was recommended and declined and therefore I'm in a better position from a liability standpoint.)

As for the fecal, our routine deworming is typically done with pyrantel.  The fecal exam sometimes lets us pick up other parasites that wouldn't be covered by the pyrantel (coccidia in cats, which I typically wouldn't treat but would trigger me to worry about underlying disease... or whipworms/giardia in dogs).

My priorities in an apparently healthy 6-yo indoor cat would be: rabies vaccine (if due), then exam, then FVRCP (if due), then bloodwork, then fecal, then deworm.  I'm in a low-income area where my clients often are on a tight budget, so I initially offer all of those recommendations, but then ask the client whether that full treatment plan works for them... usually it doesn't, so we work together on priority-setting to determine which services the cat actually receives. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 07:07:57 AM by startingsmall »

worms

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2015, 09:14:40 AM »
Thanks for the response.  Routine treatments act as an important trigger for the animal to be taken for a full check-up and the average owner's fear of parasites in the home make for a powerful incentive for that.

In terms of risk of indoor acquired infection, I would have thought that in the southern states, heartworm might be a consideration and potentially alter the advice - but perhaps with everyone on air conditioning indoor mosquito bites are rare.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2015, 09:20:51 AM »
CATS:
Rabies every 3 years
FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis [herpes], calicivirus, panleukopenia) every 3 years
Feline leukemia  - ONLY in cats that go outdoors or in homes that tend to take in strays, must be given annually. 
Eek!  So is this too much for 6-year-old, healthy indoor cats? -- Annual wellness exam with fecal/deworm and rabies 1 year; plus every 3 years, FVRCP

Some veterinarians prefer to use a special Purevax rabies vaccine in cats, which is only good for one year.  That particular brand of vaccine is thought to potentially decrease the risk of vaccine-associated fibrosarcoma, though many vets aren't convinced that it's a real risk reduction when you figure that they're then getting vaccinated 3x as frequently.  So, in the case of a clinic using Purevax, a yearly rabies would be appropriate.  Also, I think there are some backwards counties out there that may still require yearly vaccination.  Unless you're dealing with one of those two scenarios, though, the rabies vaccine should be given every 3 years in adult cats who received all of their appropriate kitten vaccines.

As for yearly fecal/deworm, yes.... and also I recommend yearly bloodwork.  I was only listing vaccine schedules in my post.

Startingsmall, thank you very much for all your responses.  Yes, my vet uses Purevax and recommends the fecal/deworm as a precaution, but doesn't push it if I'd rather not do it.

chasesfish

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2015, 06:12:37 AM »
Asked this question to my vet (who happens to double as my wife).

Look for a low-cost vaccine clinic if its a cost thing.  She wouldn't buy feed-store or mail order vaccines and do it at home for our own cats.

Mrs.LC

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Re: Vaccinating pets at home
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2015, 09:53:28 AM »
We took our cat to Petco for vaccinations. Our regular vet contracted with them and did the vaccinations for a fraction of the usual cost. Our full grown cat weighed about five pounds and was very petite. Loved going to the store to wait in line with her as she would stand up to the huge dogs and they would cower at her presence. Apparently the dogs were scared of the one claw she liked to show off.