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OVMA Position Statements August 2017

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OVMA 420 Bronte Street South, Suite 205, Milton, Ontario L9T 0H9 T. 905.875.0756 or 1.800.670.1702 (toll-free) F. 905.875.0958 or 1.877.482.5941 (toll-free) OVMA Position Statement – Vaccination The best way to combat any disease is to prevent it. Vaccination is the key to preventing many infectious diseases in our companion animals. Diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, panleukopenia and hepatitis are much easier to prevent than to treat. A disease such as rabies is fatal to all animals and it is a risk to humans. As veterinarians, it is important for us to continually question and improve upon our vaccination protocols. OVMA believes that most veterinarians and pharmaceutical companies are truly committed to providing the best vaccines and vaccination protocols to assist in preventing infectious diseases in our companion animals. To stop vaccinating, in our opinion, would put animals at risk of succumbing to a number of infectious diseases. OVMA encourages all animal owners to consider and discuss, with their veterinarian, the pros (advantages) and cons (potential side effects) of each vaccine with regard to their animal's individual needs. Consideration should be given to the animal's age, breed, sex, environment, and health status. The veterinarian should also consider the risk of exposure to the disease, the seriousness of the disease in question, and the incidence and severity of side effects associated with the vaccine. Vaccines and their protocols are currently under examination and will continue to evolve as our knowledge and experience grows. The American Association of Feline Practitioners' feline vaccination protocols and the American Animal Hospital Association's canine vaccination protocols are the most comprehensive and significant reviews to date, and OVMA encourages members to review these protocols. Vaccination carries with it both benefits and risks. It is the responsibility of each and every veterinarian to weigh the risk of each and every vaccine and try to attain the best balance in the interests of the health and protection of the animal. (February 5, 2014 Board)

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