Sheba from Xena and Majors 6.4.11 litter
DISEASES AND VACCINATIONS
The following in an example of a typical vaccination schedule. Your vet will advise you on the schedule he or she prefers. It is important to keep a record of the puppy’s vaccinations, worminings, etc., because you will need to provide that information to others at various times and it prevents you from forgetting when the puppy’s next shots are due.
First Series: 6-8 weeks.
adenovirus 2 (hepatitis)
Second Series: 9-10 weeks.
Third Series: 12-14 weeks.
Fourth Series: 17 weeks.
Highly contagious viral disease which is found wherever dogs are found. It affects the dog's respiratory and nervous system and is often fatal. Primary vaccination should begin at 6-12 weeks of age since dogs often contract the disease at an early age.
Highly contagious and can weaken dogs by causing severe diarrhea and vomiting. The disease is sometimes confused with parvovirus. The two diseases may occur simultaneously in which case symptoms are more severe.
This viral respiratory disease is often partly responsible for “kennel cough” in dogs. Infection can be severe in young puppies.
Adenovirus Type 1 and Type 2:
This infection causes infectious hepatitis which may lead to severe kidney damage. Type 2 can be a complicating factor in kennel cough.
A bacterial disease carried by many wild animals. A dog can contract the disease from infected animals or by drinking contaminated water. Yearly vaccination limits your dog’s chances of acquiring this disease.
Frequently involved in kennel cough complex, this bacterial infection may occur simultaneously with distemper, adenovirus type 2 infection, parainfluenza and other respiratory infections.
Canine Borreliosis (Lyme Disease):
An infection caused by a bacteria which is spread primarily by the painless bite of an infected tick. Symptoms of Lyme Disease in the dog include fever, lethargy, muscle stiffness, depression and lack of appetite. In more severe cases, lameness occurs as a result of severe muscular or arthritic joint pain.
Of all animal diseases, rabies is the most feared. The rabies virus attacks the brain and is always fatal. Most pets are exposed to rabies by bites from wild animals, particularly skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes. The disease can be transmitted to humans through the bite or scratch of an infected pet. Vaccination of all dogs is the most effective means of control and is usually mandatory and subject to laws and regulations of the municipality or state of residence of the dog.
Contagious viral disease usually causes gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea and vomiting in dogs of all ages but is especially deadly in puppies.
New F-Strain Parvo Virus:
Unlike the other strains of parvo (this appears to be the 7th mutation of the PARVO virus), this one may possibly be airborne. Apparently this has been brought to this country (USA) from Europe.
This strain is more deadly than the other strains of parvo and needs to be treated more aggressively. Dogs contracting this new strain will have accelerated symptoms and those dogs which are infected usually die of dehydration and shock because it commonly attacks the intestines causing severe, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Making matters worse, it prevents the absorption of nutrients and fluids. As a further complication, it can also attack a dog’s heart causing congestive heart failure. This complication can occur months or years after an apparent recovery from the intestinal form of the disease.
It is most commonly contracted by puppies because their immature immune systems can’t fight the virus off but it can be contracted by adults as well. Adults can be carriers without showing any clinical signs. Parvo is most often fatal but, if an infected puppy survives, a complete recovery can occur. Typically, however, survivors remain somewhat un-healthy and weak for life.
The canine parvovirus can be transmitted by direct contact or indirectly by contact with vomit, diarrhea or any contaminated discharges from an infected dog. It is excreted in the feces of infected dogs and if someone or something (human, dog, bird, etc.) steps in it, it can be transported to new areas. It can also be transmitted on hands, clothing and even car tires.
Because parvo attacks swiftly, time is of the essence. If you feel your dog has been exposed to parvo, or it is showing symptoms, contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital. From the time symptoms appear to the time of death can be as little as six hours. Fluids and electrolytes must be given to offset what the dog is losing. Care should be given immediately!
The symptoms of parvo include a sudden onset of vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, high temperature and sometimes sudden death. Symptoms are similar in adults, although they can be less acute. It strikes with a quick vengeance, and pet owners often make the comment that their dog was up and playing a few hours prior to the animal becoming extremely ill.
Typically, it takes 7-10 days from the time of infection for the dog to start showing clinical signs and to test positive for parvo. Once the parvo virus is introduced into an animal’s environment, it can remain active for up to 9 months for possibly even longer. It is very hardy and can withstand wide temperature fluctuations and most cleaning agents. In fact most disinfectants cannot kill the virus but chlorine bleach is the most effective and inexpensive. Any areas thought to be contaminated should be thoroughly washed with 1 ounce of bleach per quart of water.
F strain symptoms to watch for:
- Gelatin-like stool with some blood.
- Vomiting with bile and foam.
- Rapid weight loss (within a few hours after becoming ill.)
- You may or may not see a temperature rise Temperature goes up to 106 or 107 degrees
- Not drinking -- acts normal, playing but rests more often -- probably not eating
- Lethargic -- lays around, dehydration continues -- at this point the dog will DIE in LESS than 24 hours unless it is detected in the first stage (not drinking and low grade temperature)
If you've recently lost a dog to parvo, veterinarians recommend that you wait six months to a year before putting a new puppy or non-vaccinated dog in to an infected environment (even if you have disinfected it). To immediately bring an animal into a situation where one has recently died of Parvo is a virtual death sentence for the new puppy. It is strongly recommend that there be no movement of dogs in or out of a kennel until 30 days have passed since last dog either recovered or died. Do not take your puppy out of your home where it can infect or be infected until it has had the complete series of shots. By keeping it isolated you may save its life.
Just like ours, a canine's immune system fires up when a pathogen, like a virus, enters the body. The pathogen releases a protein called an antigen which calls into action the immune system's special disease-fighting cells. Called B and T lymphocytes, these cells not only destroy the virus, but they remember what it looked like so they can fend it off in the future.
There is a debate in the veterinary world concerning the need for annual vaccinations and movement away from the commonly held belief that our pets must be immunized on an annual basis. For years, it was believed that annual vaccinations for viral diseases were necessary to keep our beloved companions out of harm's way. But we have recently come to a turning point in vaccination of the canine. While we are grateful for protection from diseases such as distemper and parvovirus, there is growing realization that vaccination is not always benign. Many veterinarians are realizing that over-vaccination can actually jeopardize a dog's health and even life. Side effects can cause skin problems, allergic reactions and autoimmune disease.
In 1996, a study was published suggesting an association between vaccination and autoimmune disease, specifically autoimmune hemolytic anemia, an often fatal destruction of red blood cells. This was followed by another study that demonstrated that dogs may develop an autoimmune response after vaccination. Coupled with the knowledge that some vaccinations for viral diseases may protect for seven or more years, have caused some veterinarians and dog breeders alike to begin to ask, "Are we vaccinating too much?"
Another advance came in April 2001, when the American Veterinary Medical Association Executive Board approved the Council on Biological Therapeutics new "Principles of Vaccination." This statement was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on September 1, 2001. The principles state that "unnecessary stimulation of the immune system does not result in enhanced disease resistance and may increase the risk of adverse post-vaccination events." It recommended that veterinarians create "core" and "non-core" vaccination programs (see below for examples), and that vaccine schedules be tailored to the needs of each specific animal.
1. canine parvovirus-2 (CPV-2)
2. canine distemper virus (CDV)
3. infectious hepatitis, controlled by canine adenovirus-2
4. rabies (RV) - a priority in all but the "rabies-free"
At this time, most products intended for vaccinating for CAV-2 ,
also includes Parainfluenza (PI), so vaccination for
Parainfluenza may be included by default.
Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine
A few years ago, this school became the first veterinary college to issue a vaccination schedule that recommended against annual vaccinations. Their 1998 core recommendation is a standard three shot series at 8, 12 and 16 weeks and includes parvovirus, adenovirus 2, parinfluenza and distemper (Progaurd 5 vaccine). The first rabies vaccine was recommended after 16 weeks of age, again one year later and then every three years thereafter (Imrab 3 vaccine). Following the initial immunization series, the dogs would be boostered one year later and then every three years thereafter for the above diseases.
In their new protocol they wrote, "We are making this change after years of concern about the lack of scientific evidence to support the current practice of annual vaccination and the increasing documentation that over vaccinating has been associated with harmful side effects. Of particular note in this regard has been the association of autoimmune hemolytic anemia with vaccination in dogs which is often fatal."
UC Davis VMTH Canine Guidelines
Canine Parvovirus, Distemper Virus, and Adenovirus-2 Vaccines
For initial puppy vaccination ( < 16 weeks), one dose of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 is recommended at 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks, and 12-16 weeks of age. For dogs older than 16 weeks of age, one dose of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 is recommended. After a booster at one year, revaccination is recommended every 3 years thereafter unless there are special circumstances that warrant more or less frequent revaccination. Note that recommendations for killed parvovirus vaccines and recombinant CDV vaccines are different from the above. These vaccines are not currently stocked by our pharmacy or routinely used at the VMTH. We do not recommend vaccination with CAV-1 vaccines, since vaccination with CAV-2 results in immunity to CAV-1, and the use of CAV-2 vaccines results in less frequent adverse events.
Canine Rabies Virus Vaccines
In accordance with California state law, we recommend that puppies receive a single dose of killed rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age. Adult dogs with unknown vaccination history should also receive a single dose of killed rabies vaccine. A booster is required one year later, and thereafter, rabies vaccination should be performed every 3 years using a vaccine approved for 3 year administration .
Canine Non-Core Vaccines
Non-core vaccines are optional vaccines that should be considered in light of the exposure risk of the animal, ie. based on geographic distribution and the lifestyle of the pet. Several of the diseases involved are often self-limiting or respond readily to treatment. Vaccines considered as non-core vaccines are canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV), distemper-measles combination vaccine, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Leptospira spp., and Borrelia burgdorferi. Vaccination with these vaccines is generally less effective in protecting against disease than vaccination with the core vaccines.
Canine Parainfluenza Virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica
These are both agents associated with kennel cough in dogs. For Bordetella bronchiseptica, intranasal vaccination with live avirulent bacteria is recommended for dogs expected to board, be shown, or to enter a kennel situation within 6 months of the time of vaccination. We currently stock the intranasal vaccine containing both B. bronchiseptica and CPiV. For puppies and previously unvaccinated dogs, only one dose of this vaccine is required (recommendations differ for the parenteral, killed form of this vaccine). Most boarding kennels require that this vaccine be given within 6 months of boarding; the vaccine should be administered at least one week prior to the anticipated boarding date for maximum effect.
Canine Distemper-Measles Combination Vaccine
This vaccine has been used between 4 and 12 weeks of age to protect dogs against distemper in the face of maternal antibodies directed at CDV. Protection occurs within 72 hours of vaccination. It is indicated only for use in households/kennels/shelters where CDV is a recognized problem. Only one dose of the vaccine should be given, after which pups are boostered with the CDV vaccine to minimize the transfer of anti-measles virus maternal antibodies to pups of the next generation.
Canine Leptospira Vaccines
Multiple leptospiral serovars are capable of causing disease in dogs, and minimal cross-protection is induced by each serovar. Currently available vaccines do not contain all serovars, efficacies against infection with the targeted serovar are between 50 and 75%, and duration of immunity is probably about 1 year. The disease can be fatal or have high morbidity. Therefore, we suggest annual vaccination of dogs living in/visiting rural areas or areas frequented by wildlife with vaccines containing all four leptospiral serovars ( grippotyphosa, pomona, canicola and icterohemorrhagiae), ideally before the rainy season, when disease incidence peaks. The initial vaccination should be followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later, and the first vaccine be given no earlier than 12 weeks of age. In general, leptospiral vaccines have been associated with more severe postvaccinal reactions (acute anaphylaxis) than other vaccines. Vaccination of dogs in suburban areas with minimal exposure to farm animals or forested areas is not recommended. The Leptospirosis vaccine is a controversial one. Leptospirosis is an important disease because it can be transmitted to man and some other animals, and can cause severe kidney disease. Therefore, the decision to include Leptospira will have to be made on the basis of its presence in the dog's area. Anecdotally, the incidence of reactions has been greatest in puppies (< 12 weeks of age, and especially < 9 weeks of age) and small-breed dogs. A careful risk-benefit analysis is recommended before considering vaccination of small breed dogs at risk of exposure to leptospires.
Canine Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) Vaccine
The incidence of Lyme disease in California is currently considered extremely low. Furthermore, use of the vaccine even in endemic areas (such as the east coast of the US) has been controversial because of anecdotal reports of vaccine-associated adverse events. Most infected dogs show no clinical signs, and the majority of dogs contracting Lyme disease respond to treatment with antimicrobials. Furthermore, prophylaxis may be effectively achieved by preventing exposure to the tick vector. If travel to endemic areas (ie the east coast) is anticipated, vaccination with the Lyme subunit vaccine could be considered followed by boosters at intervals in line with risk of exposure. The UC Davis VMTH does not recommend it for use in dogs residing solely in Northern California.
Other Canine Vaccines
Several other canine vaccines are currently available on the market. These are vaccines for canine coronavirus, Giardia spp., canine adenovirus-1, and rattlesnake envenomation. The reports of the AVMA and the AAHA canine vaccine task force have listed the first three vaccines as not generally recommended, because ‘the diseases are either of little clinical significance or respond readily to treatment’, evidence for efficacy of these vaccines is minimal, and they may ‘produce adverse events with limited benefit’. Currently, information regarding the efficacy of the canine rattlesnake vaccine is insufficient. The UC Davis VMTH does not routinely recommend use of these four vaccines.
Canine Coronavirus Vaccine
Infection with canine coronavirus alone has been associated with mild disease only, and only in dogs < 6 weeks of age. It has not been possible to reproduce the infection experimentally, unless immunosuppressive doses of glucocorticoids are administered. Serum antibodies do not correlate with resistance to infection, and duration of immunity is unknown. Vaccination against CPV protects puppies against challenge with both CCV and CPV. Therefore, the UC Davis VMTH does not routinely recommend vaccination against CCV.
Canine Giardia spp. Vaccine
Around 90% of dogs respond to treatment for Giardia infection, most infected dogs are asymptomatic, and the disease is not usually life-threatening. The vaccine does not prevent infection but may reduce shedding and clinical signs. The zoonotic potential of Giardia remains unclear. Based on existing evidence, the UC Davis VMTH does not currently recommend routine vaccination of dogs for Giardia spp.
Canine Rattlesnake Vaccine
The canine rattlesnake vaccine comprises venom components from Crotalus atrox (western diamondback). Although a rattlesnake vaccine may be potentially useful for dogs that frequently encounter rattlesnakes, currently we are unable to recommend this vaccine because of insufficient information regarding the efficacy of the vaccine in dogs. Dogs develop neutralizing antibody titers to C. atrox venom, and may also develop antibody titers to components of other rattlesnake venoms, but research in this area is ongoing. Owners of vaccinated dogs must still seek veterinary care immediately in the event of a bite, because 1) the type of snake is often unknown; 2) antibody titers may be overwhelmed in the face of severe envenomation, and 3) an individual dog may lack sufficient protection depending on its response to the vaccine and the time elapsed since vaccination. According to the manufacturer, to date, rare vaccinated dogs have died following a bite when there were substantial delays (12-24 hours) in seeking treatment. Recommendations for booster vaccination are still under development, but it appears that adequate titers do not persist beyond one year after vaccination. Adverse reactions appear to be low and consistent with those resulting from vaccination with other products available on the market. Based on existing evidence, the UC Davis VMTH does not currently recommend routine vaccination of dogs for rattlesnake envenomation.
Resistance by veterinarians to these studies can arise from the fact that annual vaccinations are a source of income for vets and that without the vaccines to draw pet owners in for annual veterinary visits, life-threatening conditions may go unnoticed.
The minimalist approach is risky. Knowing that the parvovirus vaccine is over 90% effective is not much comfort if you are in the small percentage whose dog is unprotected and that dog brings it home to your puppies. Then there is always the worry that some puppies will contract disease between the ages of 6-12 weeks, when protection by maternal antibodies begins to wane. There is concern that the initial vaccines may not be effective due to poor handling or other reasons, and that extra vaccines are necessary for "insurance". And there are some breeds which don't appear to "immunize easily" and which are especially susceptible to the parvovirus (Dobermans, Rottweilers).
For all of you breeders out there, please make a special note. It is best to avoid vaccination 30 days prior to the onset of estrus, during the estrus cycle, during pregnancy and during lactation!! (Note: Remember that if you are still using a Modified Live vaccine—it can shed. So the above advice applies to your entire household, not just your bitch!!) For young puppies, vaccinations usually start at six to eight weeks and are given every three to four weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks of age. Recent information regarding parvovirus may extend this recommendation to 18 or even 20 weeks, especially for Rotweillers and Dobes.
Duration of Immunity for Common Vaccines
Studies have shown that, once fully immunized, more than 90% of canines retain immunity to Parvovirus-2 and Adenovirus-2 for more than seven years. (Full immunization may not take place with vaccinations administered prior to 16 weeks, due to interference by maternal antibodies.) Immunization to Distemper may last up to 15 years, and immunization to Corona virus probably lasts a lifetime. Immunization to Rabies and Parainfluenza lasts about 3 years in about 80-85% of dogs. Note that proven duration of immunity may vary dependent on the type of vaccination used; for instance, modified live parvovirus demonstrated a longer duration of immunity than killed virus; one strain of distemper tested for a longer duration than another. New recombinant vaccines may be more efficient and produce a longer-lasting immunity.
Other vaccines, particularly the bacterial ones, are less durable. Some vaccines for Bordetella may last less than a year and are probably only effective in about 70% of dogs. Sufficient data on Leptospira, Borrelia (Lyme) and Giardia vaccine is not available
to suggest immunization lasting much longer than a year.
High Priority ("Core") Vaccines
The high-priority vaccines are those protecting against diseases that are of greatest risk to the dogs or to public health, and those that carry a large benefit-risk ratio. Possible vaccines that might be included in many core programs would include:
1. canine parvovirus-2 (CPV-2)
2. canine distemper virus (CDV)
3. infectious hepatitis, controlled by canine adenovirus-2
4. rabies (RV) - a priority in all but the "rabies-free" countries.
At this time, most products intended for vaccinating for CAV-2 , also includes Parainfluenza (PI), so vaccination for Parainfluenza may be included by default.
Ronald D. Schultz, Professor and Chair
Department of Patho-biological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Vaccines can keep people immune for a lifetime: we're usually inoculated for measles, mumps and rubella as children but never as adults. So, can dogs be vaccinated as pups and then never again?
Since the mid 1970's we have done a variety of studies with various canine vaccines to demonstrate their duration of immunity. From our studies it is apparent, at least to me, that the duration of immunity for the four most important canine vaccines (core vaccines) that the duration of immunity is considerably longer than one year. Furthermore, we have found that annual revaccination, with the vaccines that provide long term immunity, provides no demonstrable benefit and may increase the risk for adverse reactions. We have assessed duration of protective immunity primarily by two procedures; the first is held to be the "gold standard and that is to challenge the vaccinated animal with the virulent organism, the second method is to measure antibody and compare the antibody titer to that which is known to prevent infection (e.g. provide sterile immunity). The studies we report here include challenge studies as well as studies that determine antibody titers. A summary of our results show the following (Table 1).
Table 1: Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines
Minimum Duration of Immunity
Methods Used to Determine Immunity
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV
7 yrs/ 15 yrs
7 yrs / 15 yrs
challenge / serology
5 yrs / 9 yrs
challenge / serology
Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2)
7 yrs / 9 yrs
challenge-CAV-1 / serology
Canine Parvovirus-2 (CAV-2)
challenge / serology
3 yrs / 7yrs
challenge / serology
Leptospira interrogans ser. canicola
vaccinated or not
Challenge / serology
The minimum duration of immunity data does not imply that all vaccinated dogs will be immune for the period of time listed, nor does it suggest that immunity may not last longer (e.g. the life of the dog). The percentage of vaccinated animals protected from clinical disease after challenge with canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus in the present study was greater than 95%. . "The goal for the future should be to vaccinate more animals than are now vaccinated but to vaccinate those animals less often and only with the products that the animal needs," says Dr. Schultzcontroversial. As yet, there is no consensus on the usefulness of titers. Critics point out that there have been no studies to determine what levels actually confer protection from disease, or if there is even a correlation between antibody levels and susceptibility to disease. Some maintain that there is a difference between protection from infection, and protection from disease. Also somewhat suspect is the lack of standardization for tests determining antibody concentration. Dr. Richard Ford, of North Carolina State University, states, "The risk lies in the fact that a single serum sample divided three times and sent to three different laboratories is quite likely to yield three different titers, and quite possibly three different interpretations. What may be deemed 'protective' by one laboratory could well be labeled 'susceptible' by another. Furthermore, it is important to note that a vaccinated dog that does not have a significant concentration of antibody may, in fact, have excellent immunity. A 'negative' antibody titer does not necessarily correlate with susceptibility to infection. Likewise, the presence of antibody, even at high levels, does not guarantee immunity subsequent to exposure. At this point, the biggest role of the titer may be merely to convince boarding clinics or show committees that the animal doesn't require its annual vaccination. It is likely that titer testing will receive greater utilization in the future, but further studies are
Do all current vaccines for a given disease provide similar protection?
Modified Live Vaccines (MLV) - this type of vaccine induces rapid active specific
immunity due to exposure to the actual disease agent. They provide a greater immune
response with longer duration of immunity. They have a potential to become active and cause disease, especially in a dog with a weakened immune system. Careful storage and handling are required to prevent breakdown of the active ingredients. Some researchers blame the rise of immune-mediated disease on frequent vaccinations large numbers of Modified-live viruses. They feel this over-stimulates the immune system causing it to recognize everything as foreign and leading to tissue rejections. This theory is not widely accepted by most veterinary practitioners.
Inactivated Vaccines (Killed) - this type of vaccine requires more than a single dose to
induce active specific immunity and have a shorter duration of immunity. Killed vaccines cannot become virulent are less likely to be immunosuppressive or cause abortions. They remain stable during storage but are more likely to cause allergic reactions, require more initial injections and more frequent booster shots.
Bacterial Vaccines - more likely to cause immune-mediated reactions than do
viral vaccines. Killed vaccines, especially those which contain adjuvants, are more
likely to cause adverse reactions than do modified live vaccines. Because immune
mediated reactions are genetically determined, some breeds, especially certain
families of dogs, are at much greater risk of developing adverse reactions than the
canine population as a whole.
Schultz indicated in “Considerations InDesigning Effective and Safe Vaccination Programs for Dogs”, that:
Canine vaccines which are considered essential, and should be given to every dog, are
termed "core vaccines". All other vaccines are regarded as "non-core" and should be used in dogs considered at high risk on an as needed basis. Core vaccines are considered essential because they are designed to prevent important diseases that pose serious health threats to susceptible dogs, irrespective of geographic location or the life style of a dog. Some "non-core" vaccines also may be considered "core" because they are designed to prevent a disease that is a potential public health threat. The "core" vaccines (with common abbreviations):
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
Canine Parvovirus-2 (CPV-2)
Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2)
Rabies Virus (RV)
The "non-core" vaccines are divided into viral, bacterial and parasite groupings. Vaccinations against non-core disease are based upon the owner’s needs and the veterinarian’s advice. In general, leptospiral vaccines have been associated with more severe post-vaccination reactions (acute anaphylaxis) than other vaccines.
Key: MLV=Modified Live Vaccine K=Killed Vaccine KR=Killed Recombinant Vaccine
Canine Coronovirus (MLV, K)
Canine Parainfluenza (MLV, K)
Bordetella bronchiseptica (MLV, K)
Leptospira canicola (K)
Leptospira pomona (K)
Leptospira grippotyphosa (K)
Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae (K)
Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
Schultz recommends that dogs receive rabies shots every three years (as is required by law in most states) and the other core vaccines no more frequently than every three years. Some non-core vaccines, on the other hand, have a much shorter duration of immunity, lasting around one year. But he points out that not every dog should get these types of vaccines because not every dog is at risk of exposure. Giving a vaccine which isn’t needed, he explains, creates an unnecessary risk to the animal. Additionally, he states that vets who have switched to the three-year, instead of annual, vaccination program have found no increase in the number of dogs with vaccine-preventable diseases.
“My dog was vaccinated against these diseases and got one of them anyway. WHY?”
Vaccine breaks occur for many reasons. Fever, steroids, disease and maternal antibodies will block the dogs ability to make antibodies. If given too close together, vaccines can be blocked by earlier shots: Given too far apart, the memory response of the immune system is not properly stimulated. Given too close together, vaccines can be blocked by earlier shots. Viruses can also mutate and previously effective vaccines may no longer protect the dog against the mutated form. Vaccines given to very young puppies (under 6 weeks of age) or to sick or immunosuppressed dogs may be ineffective. And, of course, vaccines are not always 100% effective in every animal.