Information about canine vaccines including rabies vaccines, parvovirus vaccines, influenza vaccines, kennel cough vaccines and more.
New Recommended Pet Vaccination Schedule
The recommended pet vaccination schedule has seen some changes over the past decade. Previously, it was recommended that rabies, distemper, hepatitis, adenovirus, and parvo vaccinations be updated annually. In 2011, new guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccination Task Force updated the recommendation. With the exception of the rabies vaccination (recommended at 1 year), vaccinations are now recommended at 3-year or greater intervals.
According to AAHAnet.org:
Developed in a manner consistent with best vaccination practices, the 2011 Guidelines include expert opinions supported by scientific study, published and unpublished documents, and encompass all canine vaccines currently licensed in the U.S. and Canada. The task force that developed the guidelines included experts in immunology, infectious diseases, internal medicine, law, and clinical practice.
The new recommended pet vaccination schedule concludes that “not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.”
When should vaccinations be administered?
It is recommended that puppies and kittens NOT be vaccinated prior to 6 weeks old. Since puppies and kittens receive antibodies through their mother’s milk, their “natural” protection can last 8-14 weeks. If vaccinations are given prior to 6 weeks, maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection will be produced.
CURRENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DOGS
Distemper & Parvo
"According to Dr. Schultz, AVMA, 8-15-95, when a vaccinations series given at 2, 3 & 4 months and again at 1 year with a MLV, puppies and kitten program memory cells that survive for life, providing lifelong immunity." Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against challenge at 2-10 years for canine distemper & 4 years for parvovirus. Studies for longer duration are pending.
"There are no new strains of parvovirus as one mfg. would like to suggest. Parvovirus vaccination provides cross immunity for all types." Hepatitis (Adenovirus) is one of the agents known to be a cause of kennel cough. Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as CAV-1 vaccines carry the risk of "hepatitis blue-eye" reactions & kidney damage.
Bordetella Parainfluenza: Commonly called "Kennel cough" Recommended only for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs. The intranasal vaccine provides more complete and more rapid onset of immunity with less chance of reaction. Immunity requires 72 hours and does not protect from every cause of kennel cough. Immunity is of short duration (4 to 6 months).
VACCINATIONS NOT RECOMMENDED Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction. Canine Corona Virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell & Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs.
Leptospirosis vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs. Most of the clinical cases of lepto reported in dogs in the US are caused by serovaars (or types) grippotyphosa and bratsilvia. The vaccines contain different serovaars eanicola and ictohemorrhagica. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived. Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks.
How frequently should vaccinations be given?
Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. 3 week intervals are recommended.
My pet never goes outside. Do I still need to vaccinate?
Research has found that vaccinating dogs and cats protects them from infections and disease. But what if your pet is and “indoor” pet? Even if your pet is kept mostly indoors, many contagious diseases are airborne and can be contracted through an open window, a trip to the dog park, or even a visit to the vet. Timely vaccinations protect both indoor and outdoor pets.