PROTOCOLS & SERVICES
by Dr. Michael W. Fox
inject anything into a patient you have the potential of killing them”.—Prof.
Ron Schultz, DVM.
The practice of
giving dogs several different vaccinations against various diseases all at
the same time early in life and then again every year as "boosters"
for the rest of their lives is coming to a close. This is for two primary
reasons: animals can have adverse reactions to vaccinations that can impair
their health for the rest of their lives; routine "booster" shots
are not needed since earlier vaccinations have given animals sufficient
immunity to the diseases in question.
should not be given vaccinations before 8-10 weeks of age since this can
interfere with the natural immunity in their systems conferred by the
colostrum or first milk of their mothers. But if the immune status of the
mother is unknown, as is the situation for many to-be-adopted pups in animal shelters,
vaccinations at an earlier age between 5-6 weeks is the usual protocol. Adult
animals in a compromised immune state, as for example those who are ill,
injured, or being given an anesthetic and operated on, such as being spayed
or castrated, or for any other surgical procedure, are pregnant or nursing,
or are old and infirm, should not be vaccinated.
vaccinations, unless in-field conditions make this logistically difficult,
should never be given at the same time other combined vaccinations are given.
Separate by at least 3 weeks.
For minimal basic
vaccination protocols, developed by
Dr. Jean Dodds, see Table 1.
Studies have shown
that in normal, healthy dogs at the time of vaccination, Parvovirus vaccines
are good for 7 years, Rabies vaccines for 3-7 years, Distemper vaccines for
5-15 years (depending on the strain), and Adenovirus 2 vaccines for 7-9
years. Prof. Ron Schultz recommends using Merial’s 3-way combo; parvo,
distemper and CAV2/hepatitis as the only relatively safe combination of
If your dog
received all core vaccines by
16 weeks of age, have antibody blood titers evaluated at 1 year of age if you
have reservations about re-vaccination.
Corona virus and
giardia vaccinations for dogs are not recommended.
For dogs at risk,
Leptospirosis vaccine (the four-serovar product of Fort Dodge being
preferred) should be given at 12 and 15 weeks and repeated one year later. It
only confers protection, however, for 3-4 months, so repeated vaccinations
are called for with dogs with significant exposure risk.
should be given to at-risk
dogs but the bacterium vaccine can cause immune-complex disease so Merial’s
recombinant Lyme vaccine is preferred. Again, blood serum titers should be
taken to assess dog's immune status where there is doubt, rather than simply
giving booster shots.
disease vaccinations, that give highly unreliable protection, nor
leptospirosis vaccinations should be given close to the time that any other
vaccinations are given.
No vaccine can guarantee
immunity, since different strains of infective agents may be involved, and
animals who are stressed, suffering from poor nutrition, genetic
susceptibility and concurrent disease may have impaired immune systems and
lowered resistance to disease. But this does not mean that they should never
be vaccinated or be routinely re-vaccinated just in case, because
vaccinations can cause further immune system impairment and a host of health
problems---the so called vaccinosis diseases--- that these new vaccination
protocols are aimed at minimizing.
further information, contact a holistic veterinarian in your area. A
searchable list can be found at http://www.ahvma.org. Veterinarians wishing to
learn more are encouraged to become members of the American Holistic
Veterinary Medical Association at http://www.ahvma.org.
desiring more information, Vaccine Waiver Consent Forms & Sample Rabies
contact the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Tel:
410-569-0795 or e-mail Office@AHVMA.org
MINIMAL VACCINE USE PROTOCOL – 2007
Age of Pups
9 - 10 weeks
20 weeks or older,
if allowable by law
Distemper virus +
Same as above
Distemper virus +
Parvovirus, MLV (0ptional)
Rabies, killed 3-year
product (give 3-4 weeks apart from any other vaccine)
Perform vaccine antibody
titers for distemper and parvovirus every 3 yrs, or more often, if
desired. Written waiver of rabies
booster, with justification by client veterinarian, with rabies antibody titer
recorded, may be granted. See www.rabieschallengefund.org
Jean Dodds, DVM. Hemopet, 938 Stanford Street, Santa Monica,
CA 90403; 310-828-4804; Fax 310-828-8251; e-mail email@example.com.
REASONS FOR VACCINE TITER TESTING *
To determine that animal is protected (suggested by a
positive test result)
To identify a susceptible animal (suggested by a
negative test result)
To determine whether an individual animal has responded
to a vaccine
To determine whether an individual vaccine is
effectively immunizing animals
from: Schultz, Ford, Olsen, Scott. Vet
Med, 97: 1-13, 2002 (insert)
VACCINE TITERS FOR DOGS
· Adenovirus 2
· Corona Virus [not
· Rabies Virus (RFFIT: non export)
Duration of serological response to canine
parvovirus-type 2, canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 1 and canine
parainfluenza virus in client-owned dogs in Australia.
Aust Vet J. December 2012;90(12):468-73.
S A Mitchell1; R J Zwijnenberg; J Huang; A Hodge;
M J Day
1Pfizer Animal Health, 38-42 Wharf Road, West Ryde,
New South Wales 2114, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2012 The Authors. Australian Veterinary Journal © 2012
Australian Veterinary Association.
To determine whether client-owned dogs in Australia, last vaccinated with
Canvac(®) vaccines containing canine parvovirus-type 2 (CPV-2), canine
distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) ± canine parainfluenza
virus (CPiV) at least 18 months ago, were seropositive or responded
serologically to revaccination. METHODS: A total of 235 dogs were recruited
from 23 veterinary clinics, representing a variety of breeds, ages and time
since last vaccination (TSLV: range 1.5-9 years, mean 2.8 years). Dogs had a
blood sample taken and were revaccinated on day 0. A second blood sample was
taken 7-14 days later. Blood samples were assessed for antibody titres to CPV-2
(by haemagglutination inhibition) and CDV, CAV type 1 (CAV-1) and CPiV (by
virus neutralisation). Dogs with a day 0 titre >10 or a four-fold increase
in titre following revaccination were considered to be serological responders.
RESULTS: The overall percentage of dogs classified as serological responders
was 98.7% for CPV-2, 96.6% for CDV, 99.6% for CAV-1 and 90.3% for CPiV.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the duration of serological response
induced by modified-live vaccines against CPV-2, CDV, CAV-1 and CPiV, including
Canvac(®) vaccines, is beyond 18 months and may
extend up to 9 years. Accordingly, these
vaccines may be considered for use in extended revaccination interval protocols
as recommended by current canine vaccine guidelines.
Veterinarians in the U.K are being
urged to adopt the vaccinations of cats and dogs against “core” diseases
(excluding rabies) advocated by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association
to its 86 member countries.* They are similar to those that I and other
veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada have been advocating for the past 15 years
and more on the basis of sound science---advances in vaccinology, immunology
and blood titer testing rather than personal opinion, to optimize the benefits
and minimize the risks.
The core vaccinations against canine
distemper virus, canine adenovirus and canine parvovirus type 2 are all given
to pups at 6, 12,16 weeks or older, and 26 weeks of age and at 52 weeks of age
if not given at 26 weeks. Then not until 4, then 7 and then 10 years of age
with the option of serum testing and then not re-vaccinating if antibody titers
show good immunity.
In sum, these core vaccinations need
not be given annually. Other vaccinations (non-core) may be called for
depending on the region, outbreaks of infections and associated exposure risks.
*See Michael J. Day, Small animal
vaccination: a practical guide for vets in the UK. The Veterinary Record, In Practice,
39: 110-118 2017.