Keeping your dogs protected
By Lori Blankenship, Ph.D., DVM, CVA
One of our main roles in veterinary medicine has always been the prevention of disease. Historically we think of vaccines to prevent infectious disease. Many vaccines are sold as multi-component vaccines with pets receiving killed or live virus from up to 5 different diseases in one injection. These injections limit our ability to pick and choose which diseases we feel are important in the protection of disease in our dogs. It also requires the immune system to respond to many diseases at one time. We now carry canine vaccines containing one and two components — allowing us to provide protection form the most infectious diseases, with only one at a time.
Puppies less than 16 weeks of age may not respond to their first vaccines due to the presence of immunity derived from the mother’s milk. This is why puppies receive multiple doses of the same vaccine at 3-4 week intervals. The last vaccine should be given at 16 weeks of age or older to ensure protection for at least one year.
What about the older dogs?
Even though your adult dog is most likely protected we do encourage yearly testing to ensure protection against the most infectious and common canine diseases. Our in house Distemper/Parvo/adenovirus titer kit provides evidence of your dog’s continued protection. This is insurance to you and anyone involved in your dog’s life including the groomer, and boarding kennels that your dog is protected from infectious disease. Since beginning to use this kit, there have been very few dogs over the age of 1 year who needs a booster vaccine for distemper or parvo. All have been protected for adenovirus.
Meet Tucker — he is a lucky Great Pyranese/Anatolian Shepherd mix – who found a great home on a local farm. We completed his puppy vaccines using the parvo-only vaccine and the distemper vaccine. He only received one vaccine per visit and all vaccines were given at least 2 weeks apart. He received his rabies vaccine before the age of 6 months. Tucker is lucky to eat raw foods including the raw milk that he loves — straight from the cow!!
Vet’s Corner is sponsored by Animals First Veterinary Service. For a house-call appointment, call 540.937.6683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and for more information, go to www.animalsfirstvet.com
All services are offered on a house call basis Monday-Friday in Fauquier, Rappahannock, and Culpeper Counties, Northern Virginia. Phone Consultations also available outside of travel areas!