Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dog Vaccine Recommendations from AAHA

The American Animal Hospital Association no longer recommends that pets be vaccinated every year. I was surprised to read this. Here is a summary of their recommendations and a link to their web site :
The 2006 AAHA Vaccine Recommendation Guidelines say the following:
The guidelines designate four vaccines as core, or essential for every dog, because of the serious nature of the diseases and their widespread distribution. These are canine distemper virus (using a modified live virus or recombinant modified live virus vaccine), canine parvovirus (using a modified live virus vaccine), canine adenovirus-2 (using a modified live virus vaccine), and rabies (using a killed virus). 
The general recommendations for their administration (except rabies, for which you must follow local laws) are:
* Vaccinate puppies at 6–8 weeks, 9–11 weeks, and 12–14 weeks.
* Give an initial “adult” vaccination when the dog is older than 16 weeks; two doses, three to four weeks apart, are advised, but one dose is considered protective and acceptable.
* Give a booster shot when the dog is 1 year old.
* Give a subsequent booster shot every three years, unless there are risk factors that make it necessary to vaccinate more or less often.
Noncore vaccines should only be considered for those dogs who risk exposure to a particular disease because of geographic area, lifestyle, frequency of travel, or other issues. They include vaccines against distemper-measles virus, canine parainfluenza virus, leptospirosis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease).
Vaccines that are not generally recommended because the disease poses little risk to dogs or is easily treatable, or the vaccine has not been proven to be effective, are those against giardia, canine coronavirus, and canine adenovirus-1.
This is of interest to pet sitters and kennels because we will no longer be able to require that animals be "current" with yearly vaccinations. On the other hand, there are many health reasons not to over-vaccinate, and I think this is a step in the right direction. 

Don't think that parvo, distemper, rabies and other canine diseases aren't around any more. It is tragic that a parvo outbreak at a local animal shelter causes the entire population of dogs to be euthanized. Protect your dog, and share this information with your clients.  
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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

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