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Current vaccination protocols?

Sue R

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I am not sure if protocols is the right word for what I am asking about but it sounds so knowledgeable!


I am taking my three dogs in today for vaccinations. My vet recommends rabies every two years (no choice - WV state law); DHLPP every year; Bordatella every year; fecal float every year on at least one dog in the family; and heartworm every year (even if using monthly preventative).


Now, I understand some recommendations are to vaccinate for DHLPP at a much less frequent interval and Bordatella every six months. I have heard that there can be adverse reactions due to vaccinating too frequently.


What do you folks do for vaccinations, at least according to your vet? I don't want to vaccinate more often than is beneficial and cost effective but I also want to keep my dogs protected.


Two out of our three go travelling places with me where they often meet new dogs. We try to spectate at a few trials each year and sometimes go to classes at the kennel club I belong to. One occasionally travels locally in the car but does not interact with other dogs.

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NC rabies is 1 year for the first vac, and then every 3 years. I do kennel cough every six months even on the dogs that do not travel. All else is the same. I've read many articles that we over vaccinate our animals - and to some extent that is probably true - but I am more comfortable with over than under since I have not noticed visible side effects.

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My dogs get their full compliment of puppy shots and a yearly booster. My Yorkies require vaccs in order to be groomed but seriously, anything out there with rabies (except maybe bats) is going to kill them with one bite anyways.

Most townships here require rabies and offer $10 rabies clinics for dogs and cats every spring. Sadly that is all most dogs here ever get and as a result we have had some very severe parvo outbreaks.

My horses also get their shots but my gelding had a severe reaction to the new West Nile vacc. He had staggers and lockjaw within hours of the shot. I thought we were going to loose him that night. He gets colic every time he's dewormed so I think he has health issues because of his poor start in life.

I would have no problem switching to a 2 year program with my adult healthy dogs. They don't have much contact with anything out here.

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Guest hdk9s

WHile I was working at the last vet my ideas on vacinations changed. They did a study a UC Davis.


We give 4 sets of puppy shots, 4 weeks apart. We give a booster a year after the last booster. Then at 2.5 years we give another booster. We then no longer vaccinate for the rest of the dogs life. Rabies we do every three years per law.


We do not do the bordattela, or the lepto.

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Samantha, are the results of UC Davis study available to read anywhere? I would be interested in seeing it.


Sue, have you asked your vet about doing the heartworm test every 2 years? My vet will let you test every 2 years if the dog is on year round preventitive. However, she also said that Interceptor will guarentee their product only if you use it year round and have the test done yearly.

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Tess is up to date on her shots as of last November when she was just over a year old. She will only be getting rabies from now on unless a class requires written proof of other vaccinations.


My cats got their kitten shots. They got updated when we got a foster dog years ago. Then when we got Tess, I got them all their shots again. They are both about 7 years old. They won't be getting anymore shots except rabies as required by law, provided I remember to take them in. They are indoor-only cats and don't even get flea treatment (why treat for fleas if they do not have any fleas?).


Tess is allergic to the flea stuff, so I don't use it on her. Heartworm is not a big deal here yet, so we don't treat for that either (vet did not recommend it, either).


Allie & Tess

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[Edited to add: Sorry this is so long--another of those hot-button topics for me....]


I follow the law on rabies (every three years after the first one-year vacc. in NC). For the distemper combo I have gone to once every three years for the young/middle aged dogs. I don't vaccinate my older dogs for distemper at all anymore (elder is 10 plus--and since I used to follow the old yearly protocol that means that these older dogs have gotten lots of boosters).


As for bordatella, I almost *never* vaccinate for it, and I drag my dogs *everywhere.* I just don't believe that the vaccine is a good value given the number of strains it doesn't cover and the fact that it gives very short-lived protection. In fact, the only time I have used bordatella was when I was forced to when a couple of the dogs had to stay at the vet.


I won't use the Lyme vaccine either. I think there are more problems than benefit.


With my last kitten, I modified the "baby" shot protocol as well. Instead of doing three or four shots, I did two. At the moment I can't remember the timing, but I think it was at something like 8 and 12 weeks. I wouldn't swear to that though.


If/when I have another pup, I plan to go with a reduced number of puppy shots just as I did with the kitten, mainly starting a little later than 5-6 weeks.


There has been some confusion as to what the AVMA recommends. Much depends on your pet, the vaccine used, and a number of other factors. Many vets still recommend yearly vaccines (because it's an easy way to get the owner to bring the pet in for a yearly check-up), but from personal experience, at least some vets are now recommending a three-year revaccination protocol.


I think your personal comfort level and the circumstances in which your dogs are kept should play a large part in your decision. If I were employed at an animal shelter and could potentially expose my own animals to diseases from the shelter, then I might vaccinate more often. Likewise if I had an immune-compromised pet I would vaccinate the others more often to help protect the compromised one.


It used to be that we didn't check for HW unless the dog came off the preventive for the winter. Dogs that were on preventive year round weren't tested. Now vets want to test yearly or every two years at the most, and many will refuse to sell you the preventive if you refuse the test. I know that no protection is 100%, but it does gall me a bit that vets insist on doing the test yearly. For example, I just had one dog tested and she came back "weak positive," whatever that means. My understanding of the way Interceptor works is that it kills anything that might have infected the dogs in the 45 days prior to the Interceptor dose. The dog was due for her next Interceptor the week after the test. The vet's recommendation? Test again in 6 months. So it's hard to see the point of the test, especially if the next dose of Interceptor did what it was supposed to do. And what is weak positive anyway? Seems to me a dog has heartworm or it doesn't.


As for fecal checks, again I think that's up to you. If you're using Interceptor for HW prevention, it's also supposed to take care of certain intestinal worms. Tapeworms are generally pretty obvious. So it would seem to me that unless one of your dogs is having loose stools are some other GI symptoms, having a fecal check done is a waste of $$.


All of this is, of course, my opinion. Others may follow other protocols and be perfectly happy with them. But as far as I'm concerned, a healthy, active dog who receives good nutrition isn't likely to succumb to disease if it's not vaccinated every year.


One thing to consider is the rate of vaccination in your area. If large numbers of people aren't vaccinating at all then the potential for bad diseases (distemper, parvo) to crop up is greater than in areas where the dogs are largely vaccinated.


Oh, and as far as dogs travelling, I think you need to consider what other kinds of dogs they are mingling with. If you work at a vet's or shelter and take your dog with you, your dog may be at greater risk than if you take your dog to places where you're more likely to encounter healthy populations of dogs. In other words, if I were hanging out with the good ol' boys who leave the dogs in a pen and pull them out for the weekend coon hunt and spend as little as possible on them (yes, I'm generalizing here), then I might be more inclined to make sure my own dogs were vaccinated more often. But since sick dogs aren't generally a part of the venues I *do* frequent, I don't worry about increased risk to my dogs from a less-frequent vaccination protocol.



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I give the regular combo to my pups at 6, 8, 12, & 16 weeks, (only 16 week gets lepto)then booster at 1 year + rabies then booster at 4 years old and 7 years old. Rabies is done according to law (every 3 years where I've lived. I'm considering boostering only for parvo at 4 & 7 years now because some of the vaccines- like lepto have less than 1 year effectivity. I have my dogs in high risk environment all the time (they come to work with me)-I used to booster bordatella every 6 months and my dogs got it every time they were exposed so I quit. If symptoms persist for more than 10 days they get antibiotics.

here's a good source for articles. http://www.ivis.org/advances/Infect_Dis_Ca...er_frm.asp?LA=1


I've read the UC davis one and the one done at Cornell (I believe...a study linking the onset of seizures with over vaccination but I can't find it right now.

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Since I hadn't inquired into this here in advance, I went with my vet's recommendations today. They all got DHLPP and the two that travel got Bordatella. Mac will also need that if they are kenneled this summer at all. We won't know if that happens until May so I decided to wait.


We did fecals on all, and heartworm/lyme/something else test. All negative.


I am concerned about overvaccinating but since the two younger dogs are 2 1/2 and 2 3/4 years old, I figured it wasn't an issue for them.


Thanks for all your feedback and the good links. I need to spend some time reading them.

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I only do 1 Parvo as pups and thats it for the rest of their life. the Parvo we do at 16 weeks and we usually ask the breeder not to have the pup vaccinated, some people think thats stupid but we did that with Blair and our vet was VERY greatful that we refused vax, she said he was too weak(his whole litter was lucky to survive, particualy Blair, they came down with a common pyrshep disease and lost 1 puppy, and Blairs litter was born a week early and Blair was from the breeding that took place a week after his litter mates) he is strong now but he whille get a rabis shot when we have more money, as he has bitten people before.


I should mention that we do titres on a randome basis to check up on things.

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Samantha, Do you know how a copy of the UCDavis study can be obtained????

JoeAnne, Mirra, Sitka, Phoenix and crew

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Maggie is due for vaccines this month so this subject is definitely quite interesting to me.


Here's my vet's protocol for adult dogs (Maggie is 6 so I don't know about pup stuff):


DHPP (no lepto) every three years

Rabies every three years as required by law

Bordatella every year if necessary for boarding, etc.


My parents' epileptic dog only gets rabies every three years, and we might be dropping it all together and having the vet sign a waiver for it given her seizure free state (I think about 2 years now!!) and her age (10 yo tomorrow).

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