Monday, August 15, 2016

Vaccinating your JRT--Yes or No?

You have had your JRT puppy for a few months now, and it is now time to start thinking of vaccinating them.  Or maybe you have an older rescue that you are not sure of their vaccination history, so you are thinking maybe you should be getting their shots as well. 

                 Terra Ceia, FL - Rat Terrier/Jack Russell Terrier Mix. Meet MILO, a dog for adoption.…:

Vaccinating your JRT is a big decision, right up there with whether or not to spay or neuter them.  

There are those on both sides of this issue that feel that is it either absolutely necessary, while others feel that it is the last thing you should do. Keep in mind that you need to check the codes and requirements for where you live.  Some cities require vaccination of JRT’s as part of legal ownership.  In this case, the decision is pretty much out of your hands.

                Decatur, GA - Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua Mix. Meet Kip, a dog for adoption.

If you live where vaccinations are not a legal mandate and you are not sure whether to vaccinate, and want a little more information before making a decision, check out the information on vaccinating below.  There a many factors that must be looked at in the decision making process, and hopefully you will get a better idea of which decision is the right one for you and your JRT.

Think of the currently recommended vaccines in three categories:  Rabies, Core, and Non-core. 

                 Max - Jack Russell Terrier:

                Rabies—in most states, rabies vaccinations are required no matter what.  If you do not have your JRT vaccinating against rabies, if it were to bite someone, it could be legally required to be placed in quarantine, or worse, put down.

                Core—these types of vaccinations used to be given each year, but now in most states the recommendation is every three years.  Why the change?  Because the original protocols were set in the 40’s and 50’s and more has been learned and come to light on the time frame. 

                Non-core—these are vaccinations that are not recommended or required to be given unless the need arises.  One example of a non-core vaccination would be the Bordetella, or ‘kennel cough’, vaccination.  This is usually only given when the JRT is going to be kenneled with other canines, to prevent the possible transmission of Bordetella disease. 

Some other possible problems to keep in mind, if you are still considering vaccinating your JRT are:

                Jack Russell by eileenfrater, via Flickr.....this little guy is absolutely Beautiful.:

                Long term health problems—there are those that claim that vaccinations can in fact cause long-term health problems.  Scientists have found that there are various illnesses in JRT’s that can be linked to vaccinations including asthma, allergies, anemia, digestive problems, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, organ failure, seizures and neurological disorders.   If your JRT currently suffers from one or more of these ailments already, it is generally rule of thumb not to vaccinate them. 

                Tumors—each time your JRT gets an injection, there is scar tissue left behind.  Scientific evidence shows that the very scar tissue left behind can develop into cancerous tumors called sarcomas. 

                Auto-immune issues—over time evidence has shown that constant exposure to all those vaccinations can eventually compromise your JRT’s immune system leading to long-term health problems. 

                Unnecessary vaccinations in general—there are many opponents of vaccines that raise the issue that the very diseases that JRT’s are vaccinated against are unnecessary because of their rarity.  If you are in doubt, there is a test that your veterinarian can perform that checks the levels of antibodies in your JRT’s system, so as to know what they do and do not need to be vaccinated for. 

                Smug Jack Russell Terrier:

The best thing to do is to gather all the information you can, even discussing it with your  JRT’s veterinarian, and weighing the good against the bad.  Only you can make this decision, and the whole point is keeping your JRT happy, healthy, and with you for a long, long time. 

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