“Vaccines provide proven life-saving benefits, are associated with minimal risk, and should be part of routine preventative health care. Life stage and lifestyle, risk of exposure, and underlying medical conditions should all be considered when developing a vaccination protocol.”
Members of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccination Task Force
Current disease prevention recommendations by Redmond Veterinary Clinic are focused on the UC Davis vaccination guidelines, revised in April of 2017, that have been based on published studies and recommendations made by task forces including the AAFP/AFM Advisory Panel on Feline Vaccines, AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force, and World Small Animal Veterinary Association. These groups have evaluated the benefits versus risks of the vaccines currently available on the market. We recommend the vaccination plan for each individual pet be decided by the owner at routine biannual examinations, following a discussion with the veterinarian regarding the animal’s lifestyle in the year ahead.
It should also be noted that much research in the area of companion animal vaccinology is required to generate optimal recommendations for vaccination of dogs and cats. As further research is performed, and as new vaccines become available on the market, these recommendations will be updated and modified.
Core vaccines are recommended for all puppies and dogs with an unknown vaccination history. The diseases involved have significant morbidity and mortality and are widely distributed, and in general, vaccination results in relatively good protection from disease. These include vaccines for canine parvovirus (CPV), canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV), and rabies.
Non-core vaccines are optional vaccines that should be considered in light of the exposure risk of the animal, ie. based on geographic distribution and the lifestyle of the pet. Vaccines considered as non-core vaccines are canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV), canine influenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Rattlesnake and Lyme Disease. Vaccination with these vaccines is generally less effective in protecting against disease than vaccination with the core vaccines.
Most puppies are protected by Maternally Derived Antibiodies in the first weeks of life. In most puppies, passive immunity will have waned by 8–12 weeks of age to a level that allows active immunization.
For initial puppy vaccination, one dose of vaccine containing modified live virus Canine Parvo Virus, Canine Distemper Virus, and Canine Adenovirus Type 2 is recommended every 3-4 weeks starting at 6-8 weeks of age, with the final booster being given no sooner than 16 weeks of age.
After a booster at 6 months to one year, revaccination is recommended every 3 years thereafter, ideally using a product approved for 3-year administration, unless there are special circumstances that warrant more or less frequent revaccination.
An integral part of core vaccination of puppies is the ‘booster’ vaccine. The main aim of this vaccine is to ensure that a protective immune response develops in any dog that may have failed to respond to any of the vaccines in the primary core series, rather than necessarily ‘boosting’ the immune response. For core vaccines , we recommend a booster at approximately 6 months of age. After this 6 month ‘booster’, another core vaccine would not be required for another 3 years. This recommendation for vaccination at 6 months of age does not preclude, a 1-year or 16-month ‘first annual health check’.
It should be emphasized that triennial adult revaccination does not generally apply to killed core vaccines (except for rabies) nor to the non-core vaccines, and particularly not to vaccines containing bacterial antigens. Thus Leptospira, Bordetella and Borrelia (Lyme disease) products, but also parainfluenza virus components, require more frequent boosters for reliable protection.
The core feline vaccines are those for feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline leukemia virus (FeLV - kittens) and rabies.
For initial kitten vaccination (£ 16 weeks), one dose of parenteral vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) FHV1, FCV, and FPV is recommended every 3-4 weeks from 6-8 weeks of age, with the final booster being given no sooner than 16 weeks of age.
- The animal lives exclusively indoors.
- There is no exposure to other animals.
- The animal is never boarded in a commercial kennel.
- The animal is never taken to be groomed.
- Other animals in the household are known to be strictly indoors.
- No visiting pets.
- The animal lives indoors predominately or has opportunities for unsupervised outdoor activities.
- There is occasional or likely exposure to other animals of unknown health status (parks, canyon trails, camping, etc.).
- The animal is intermittently or routinely boarded in a commercial kennel.
- Other animals in the household are known to roam or have contact with other animals of unknown health status.
- The animal is occasionally or routinely groomed at a facility where other dogs are maintained.
- The animal has access (supervised or otherwise) to areas inhabited by "reservoir" hosts (eg. opossum, skunk, raccoon, vole) or other wildlife and livestock such as cattle, pigs and horses.
- The animal lives, plays, and works outside and is not constrained to a gated kennel i.e. Ranch, Farm or Hunting.
- The animal travels frequently or to endemic Lyme regions or has heavy exposure to ticks.