I was surprised to discover that my local Rural King sold vaccines and pet meds, that you could administer, for a tiny fraction of the cost at a vets! If you do not have a local Rural King, then see if you have any farm suppliers or co-ops that offer the same animal supplies.
In addition, I understand that some veterinarians offer low income pet shots and certain treatments. Check with your local shelter as they probably know of just such a vet.
Let's keep our 'kids' healthy and happy, even in a bad economy. :)
By Gooby from Straughn, IN
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If you're certain you're competent to give your own vaccines, this is a great tip; I'm not the queasy type, but no doc, either.
Our gal can get a three-year rabies shot in our state; in the long run, that's more economical than the yearly vaccine for us. Also another poster mentioned $55 for the annual shot; I'd say, shop around for more bang for your buck.
Out vet charges about $65 for an annual that includes the rabies vaccination, bortadella, blood workup and fecal exam ( to ensure the dog doesn't have heartworm).
The thing of it is: we can get the blinders on by thinking that as long as the rabies shot and the license tags are done for the year. The dog is good to go. The fact is that a lot more can be going on under the surface year to year that you can't see.
Case in point: we had a rescue a few years back who looked healthy and had a history of the previous owner keeping up on the rabies shots--but not much else. By the time we had him three months, we were hit with the fact he had heartworm and cancer that had already spread to various vital organs.
What I'm getting at is that an annual once-over not just the rabies shot is crucial in finding any possible conditions as early as you can before irreversible damage is done. Frugality goes out the window then as you're trying to save a precious pet.
My town has an annual rabies clinic. You can bring your cat or dog to the local Grange hall and get your pet vaccinated for $10. We brought my cat there for her shot. It took 10 minutes to fill out the paperwork and have her vaccinated.
I order all my shots from the company that makes them. I find by ordering the vaccines myself I am saving about $30.00 per pet. Each shot comes with a detailed diagram of where to give the shot and a syringe. I find this also saves on my pets angiush about going to the vet. Any detailed internet search on "Pet Vaccines" with give you lots of choices. I personally like Omaha Vaccine company. There prices are very reasonable and they ship within a couple of days. Most states will require that you get a Rabies shot by a vet but I wait until one of the pet supply companies (Petco or Petsmart) has a Rabies clinic so that I also get a discount on it.
By Debra in Colorado
By Anne H.
I have bought cat and dog vaccinations from them for multiple pets and have found it much less expensive than numerous vet visits. You can get complete instructions and they have a complete staff on hand for any questions.
I've know many multiple pet owners that have given their own vaccinations and have never heard of a death. I think it is much more important that the animals have their early vaccinations so they stay healthy and live long lives but otherwise I consider it safe.
It is best to have an extra person handy to hold the pet and make sure you read the instructions thoroughly before beginning. If you are faint of heart or afraid of needles, I wouldn't recommend it.
By Susan (07/23/2004)
The diagram in the package may explain how to mix the vaccine and where to give it, but will you be totally sure that you are doing it right? Can you be certain that the vaccine is mixed correctly? Will you always remember to draw back on the plunger to be sure that you don't inject any air into a blood vessel?
There has, however, been a lot of research showing that vaccinations aren't needed every year, and your pet may not need all of the vaccines that your vet is trying to sell you. Cats that live strictly indoors may be able to get away with boosters every other year (just in case they escape), most dogs don't need Lyme vaccinations, etc. Ask your vet directly about this. Vaccination manufacturers recommend yearly vaccinations mostly to make money, and most vets follow those recommendations to protect themselves from lawsuits if your pet develops a disease. Lastly, research has proven that people who don't take their pets to the vet, are the group most likely to dump their pet at the animal shelter. (07/23/2004)
By Anne H.
By ScottEditor's Note: I also have given all but rabies vaccines myself. We don't have parvo or heartworms here so don't know about those.
As far as the horrible reactions they allude to, yes anything can happen. But how many times does it really happen compared to how many times it doesn't. Horrible stories abound concerning everything just read the papers. Your pet has a higher chance of being hit by a car then dying from the vaccine. The same thing applies to you. You have a higher chance of dying getting to your doctor's appointment then from the shot itself. Please, think about it. (08/14/2008)
By Dan B.
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