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Notes on Vaccines and Schedule

Dr. Jean Dodds’ Recommended Vaccination Schedule
Vaccine Initial 1st Annual Booster Re-Administration Interval Comments
Distemper (MLV)
(e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
9 weeks
12 weeks
16 – 20 weeks
At 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only
None needed.
Duration of immunity 7.5 / 15 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending.
Can have numerous side effects if given too young (< 8 weeks).
Parvovirus (MLV)
(e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
9 weeks
12 weeks
16 – 20 weeks
At 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only None needed.
Duration of immunity 7.5 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending.
At 6 weeks of age, only 30% of puppies are protected but 100% are exposed to the virus at the vet clinic.
Rabies
(killed)
24 weeks or older At 1 year (give 3-4 weeks apart from Dist/Parvo booster) Killed 3 year rabies vaccine 3 yr. vaccine given as required by law in California (follow your state/provincial requirements) rabid animals may infect dogs.
Vaccines Not Recommended For Dogs
Distemper & Parvo @ 6 weeks or younger Not recommended.
At this age, maternal antibodies form the mothers milk (colostrum) will neutralize the vaccine and only 30% for puppies will be protected. 100% will be exposed to the virus at the vet clinic.
Corona Not recommended.
1.) Disease only affects dogs <6 weeks of age.
2.) Rare disease: TAMU has seen only one case in seven years.
3.) Mild self-limiting disease.
4.) Efficacy of the vaccine is questionable.
Leptospirosis Not recommended
1) There are an average of 12 cases reported annually in California.
2)  Side effects common.
3) Most commonly used vaccine contains the wrong serovars.  (There is no cross-protection of serovars) There is a new vaccine with 2 new serovars. Two vaccinations twice per year would  be required for protection.).
4) Risk outweighs benefits.
Lyme Not recommended
1) Low risk in California.
2) 85% of cases are in 9 New England states and Wisconsin.
3) Possible side effect of polyarthritis from whole cell bacterin.
Boretella
(Intranasal)
(killed)
Only recommended 3 days prior to boarding when required.
Protects against 2 of the possible 8 causes of kennel cough.
Duration of immunity 6 months.
Giardia Not recommended
Efficacy of vaccine unsubstantiated by independent studies

There are two types of vaccines currently available to veterinarians: modified-live vaccines and inactivated (“killed”) vaccines.

Immunization Schedules

There is a great deal of controversy and confusion surrounding the appropriate immunization schedule, especially with the availability of modified-live vaccines and breeders who have experienced postvaccinal problems when using some of these vaccines. It is also important to not begin a vaccination program while maternal antibodies are still active and present in the puppy from the mother’s colostrum. The maternal antibodies identify the vaccines as infectious organisms and destroy them before they can stimulate an immune response.

Many breeders and owners have sought a safer immunization program.

Modified Live Vaccines (MLV)

Modified-live vaccines contain a weakened strain of the disease causing agent. Weakening of the agent is typically accomplished by chemical means or by genetic engineering. These vaccines replicate within the host, thus increasing the amount of material available for provoking an immune response without inducing clinical illness. This provocation primes the immune system to mount a vigorous response if the disease causing agent is ever introduced to the animal. Further, the immunity provided by a modified-live vaccine develops rather swiftly and since they mimic infection with the actual disease agent, it provides the best immune response.

Inactivated Vaccines (Killed)

Inactivated vaccines contain killed disease causing agents. Since the agent is killed, it is much more stable and has a longer shelf life, there is no possibility that they will revert to a virulent form, and they never spread from the vaccinated host to other animals. They are also safe for use in pregnant animals (a developing fetus may be susceptible to damage by some of the disease agents, even though attenuated, present in modified-live vaccines). Although more than a single dose of vaccine is always required and the duration of immunity is generally shorter, inactivated vaccines are regaining importance in this age of retrovirus and herpesvirus infections and concern about the safety of genetically modified microorganisms. Inactivated vaccines available for use in dogs include rabies, canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus, etc.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
HEMOPET
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403

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