Ask the Veterinarian/vaccinations


I got my 2 dogs their rabies shots at Petco for $10 because we are low income.  My vet also recommends the distemper vax every year.
They haven't received that this year.
I know there are some controversies in the field that pets are
vaccinated too much or unnecessaryily..and that the vaccinations
they get often last longer
THey had a distemper shot last year. Vet wants to charge $30 for the distemper shot this year.
Have you heard how long the distemper shot lasts and if it is really necessary to do it every year?

While there are debates raging on still about the efficacy and longevity of antibodies from vaccinations, there is one thing that isn't up for debate, and that is namely that parvo and distemper are both still around with distemper actually on the rise.

So it's kind of a crap shoot trying to decide whether or not to vaccinate yearly. The vets who are against say that you need to do titer testing yearly to see if the dogs immune system still has antibodies against parvo, distemper, etc. but that costs more than just vaccinating the dog!!

The bottom line is this: Most dogs live into ripe old age because they ARE vaccinated yearly as opposed to not being vaccinated and catching parvo or distemper which are both potentially fatal and cost hundreds to thousands to treat.

The choice seems simple to me. I will say one thing, $30 for a vaccine that costs them about $1.50 is overkill, notwithstanding the cost of giving the injection by a trained professional.

I would shop around to a different vet for your 7 ways vaccinations. I can't believe they cost that much everywhere.

Don't resort to feed store vaccines as they are usually not stored properly before they get to the store and thus are as potent as water. Just beware.

So call around and get it done somewhere less expensive.
You might also want to get a three year vaccination. If your dogs were vaccinated for the first time ever last year, then they really need a booster this year, but then you can go every three years with the newer vaccines that are made for that. ASK around!!  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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