Vaccinations

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Vaccination protocols for dogs is critical for minimizing preventable diseases.

Canine distemper and infectious canine hepatitis vaccines have greatly reduced the prevalence of these diseases and cases in vaccinated dogs are now rare. Sporadic outbreaks are usually in unvaccinated dogs. Therefore, revaccination for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus infection is suggested at 1 year of age, but recommendations regarding the frequency of most vaccinations given after that time are unclear. Since most distemper and CPV-2 vaccines probably provide immunity that endures several years, vaccination at 3- to 5-year intervals, after the first year, seems a reasonable practice until more data on duration of immunity become available.

Vaccination against respiratory infections such as kennel cough is recommended for most dogs, especially those in kennels, or if they are to be boarded. Need has not been clearly established for coronavirus vaccines.

Lyme disease vaccines are useful in preventing illness in areas where the disease exists, but are unnecessary elsewhere since dogs respond rapidly to appropriate antibiotics.

Current leptospira bacterin vaccines appear to afford poor protective benefit since they contain serovars that fail to protect in most areas[1][2].

Anaphylaxis is a rare and mostly preventable vaccine-associated adverse events, often reported in smaller dogs and increases with the number of vaccines administered[3]. These factors should be considered in risk assessment and risk communication with clients regarding vaccination.

In a recent survey of 57,000 dogs vaccinated against C4 (DHPKC), death was observed in 1, anaphylaxis in 41, dermatological signs in 244, gastrointestinal signs in 160, and other signs in 106. Onset of vaccine reaction can occur within 5 minutes - 12 hours post-injection[4].

In dogs with repeatable acute anaphylactoid reactions may require pre-emptive treatment with antihistamines.

The vaccine dose rate given to any particular dogs appears to evoke a sufficient response regardless of body mass or weight[5].


Age Vaccine Prevents against
6 - 8 weeks C4 distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, canine parainfluenza virus
12 weeks C4 or C5 distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, canine parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica
16 - 18 weeks C4 or C5, rabies distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, canine parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, rabies
12 months C4 or C5, rabies distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, canine parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica. rabies
Triannual C4 or C5, rabies distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, canine parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, rabies

  1. Andre-Fontaine G (2013) Diagnosis algorithm for leptospirosis in dogs: disease and vaccination effects on the serological results. Vet Rec Mar 23
  2. Carmichael LE (1999) Canine viral vaccines at a turning point--a personal perspective. Adv Vet Med 41:289-307
  3. Moore GE et al (2005) Adverse events diagnosed within three days of vaccine administration in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 227(7):1102-1108
  4. Miyaji K et al (2012) Large-scale survey of adverse reactions to canine non-rabies combined vaccines in Japan. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 145(1-2):447-452
  5. Taguchi M et al (2012) Effects of body weight on antibody titers against canine parvovirus type 2, canine distemper virus, and canine adenovirus type 1 in vaccinated domestic adult dogs. Can J Vet Res 76(4):317-319