Here are the 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Order Your Pet Vaccines
- Most vaccines for companion animals are modified live viruses (MLV). These are very stable in the powder or cake form, but both temperature extremes will shorten the shelf life of your vaccine. Best practice is to have your vaccines arrive cool – never frozen. Keeping them from freezing in the winter can be difficult and keeping them cool in the summer heat is problematic.
- For best results, order your vaccines so that they ship on Monday or Tuesday. Avoid shipping vaccines on Thursday or Friday unless it is shipped overnight to your door. Keep in mind that your vaccines are being shipped from South Alabama. Unless you live in a one-day ship zone, to ensure the efficacy of your vaccines, always choose next day air or, at the very least, second day air. You cannot reliably ground ship vaccines in the winter or summer. Communicate to your UPS or FedEx driver to always leave the vaccines in the same place, preferably not in direct sunlight.
- Refrigerate your vaccines as soon as possible. A perfect shipment of vaccines can be ruined by sitting in the sun for a few hours. It’s ideal if the ice pack is melted when your package arrives – this means it has done its job and kept the vaccines from getting too hot. And remember we never want the vaccines to freeze.
- Do not mix your vaccine until you are ready to use it. Once it’s mixed, use it as soon as possible. If you have a tray of vaccines take out only the ones that you are going to use and keep the rest in the refrigerator. Vaccine manufacturers are more concerned about the vaccines getting warm repeatedly than getting a little warm in the shipment once.
- To mix your vaccine, turn the liquid (diluent) bottle upside down and insert a sterile needle into the vial. Slowly pull back the syringe plunger to withdraw the contents into the syringe. Be sure to slowly slide the needle back (as if removing the needle from the vial), to ensure that you are getting ALL of the liquid into the syringe. Next, take the dry (desiccant or cake) bottle and insert the needle that is holding the liquid and push the plunger to release all of the liquid. Remove needle and gently shake the bottle until completely mixed.
Administer vaccine immediately.
Before you order your vaccines you may want to click here and read “How to Properly Mix Your Vaccines in 7 Easy Steps”.
The information provided here is not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions.
Renee Jones, CPDT-KSA is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for Jeffers Pet and JeffersPet.com.
Questions about this article, training, or non-emergent health concerns are welcome. Renee can be reached most weekdays (M-F) from 9 AM – 5 PM (Central Time) at 1-800-533-3377 (1-800-JEFFERS) ext. 381 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.