May 18 2010

Triennial Revaccination Protocols for Dogs

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and many leading veterinary universities are now recommending the use of three-year revaccination protocols for core vaccines. Core vaccines for dogs include vaccinations for canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus-2, canine parvovirus and rabies. Several thoroughly documented studies have shown the extended duration of immunity of these vaccines; in addition, the veterinary profession has not observed any negative medical consequences to these recommendations. With the administration of fewer vaccines, there is a reduced chance of vaccine-related fibrosarcomas and immune-mediated problems. The latest vaccine guidelines issued by AAHA can be viewed here.

At Briarcliff Animal Clinic we routinely review new healthcare and medical information, including vaccination protocols and recommendations, in an effort to stay current and provide the best quality healthcare possible for your pet. You may have noticed a shift in our recommendations recently in favor of revaccinating on a three year basis for core vaccines as recommended by AAHA and the AVMA. If you have not recently spoken with a veterinarian regarding the risks and benefits of three year vaccines, we can review this with you during your dog’s next physical exam as well as assess which non-core vaccines may be recommended based on your pet’s lifestyle and risk of exposure.

Vaccination needs for your pet should be assessed annually with your veterinarian; medical knowledge and recommendations may change and your pet’s overall health profile may change. During your pet’s annual exam, the types of available vaccines and their benefits and risks can be reviewed, as well as their applicability to your pet given its lifestyle and risk of exposure. In addition, vaccinations are only one part of a preventive health care plan for your pet, and the importance of an annual physical exam cannot be over-emphasized. Annual physical exams may facilitate early detection of dental problems, obesity, cardiac issues and other potentially life-threatening diseases in seemingly healthy animals. A comprehensive health care plan also addresses the importance of appropriate diagnostic testing, proper nutrition, dental care, parasite control and other zoonotic diseases and is individualized based on your pet’s age and breed, overall health status, lifestyle, environment and travel history. Be sure to discuss the recommended core and non-core vaccines for your pet at your next physical exam as well as other recommendations to help your pet lead a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Tessa Horslev, DVM

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