Articles Index/Vaccinations
Posted 10/08/03


Any time you are making medical decisions that affect the health and well being of your Norfolk, it is vitally important that you consult your veterinarian. If you have a vet who isn't interested in discussing pros and cons of various treatment methodologies, it may be time to find a different source of veterinary care. Fortunately, most veterinarians are willing to share their expertise with clients who respect their time and don't come off as "know it alls" based on their education via the Internet.

The subject of vaccines is a volatile one running neck and neck with the subject of nutrition (to BARF or not to BARF!) when it comes to generating conflicting opinions. The following guidelines are taken from the Report of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Task Force. It may be worth your while to ask your Veterinarian's opinion on this report.

Vaccine Selection: Core (Recommended), Noncore (Optional), and Not Generally Recommended Canine Vaccines.

"Recommended" or "Core" vaccines are those that the committee believes should be administered to all puppies (dogs less than six months of age) or dogs with an unknown vaccination history. The diseases involved have significant morbidity and mortality and are widely distributed. The committee believes this group of vaccines comprises canine distemper virus, canine parvo virus, canine adenovirus-2, and rabies virus.

Optional or "noncore" vaccines are those that the committee believes should be considered only in special circumstances because their use is more dependent on the exposure risk of the individual animal.

Issues of geographic distribution and lifestyle should be considered before administering these vaccines. In addition, the diseases involved are generally self-limiting or respond readily to treatment. The committee believes this group of vaccines comprises distemper-measles virus, canine parinfluenza virus, leptospira, bordetella bronchiseptica, and Borrelia burgdorferi.

Vaccines identified as "not generally recommended" are those that the committee believes have little or no indication. The diseases involved are either of little clinical significance or respond readily to treatment. In addition, the vaccines available against these diseases have not demonstrated clinical efficacy in the prevention of disease and may produce adverse events with limited benefit. The vaccines that the committee believes fall into this category are Giardia spp., canine coronavirus, and canine adenovirus-1.

The timetable recommended for the "core" vaccinations (excluding rabies) is for puppies: one dose at 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks, and 12-14 weeks of age. After a booster at one year, revaccination once every three years is considered protective. Rabies vaccination is recommended as early as three months of age, with a second vaccination recommended one year after the initial dose. Boosters should be given every three years or as required by state or local laws.

ANTIC, June, 2003

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