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How Often To Vaccinate

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R.M. Clemmons, DVM, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences

Integrative Medicine With Dr. Clemmons

Unfortunately, no one knows the real need for vaccination, but yearly boosters for all infectious diseases are overkill. Clearly, in many cases, the vaccinations are not necessary and giving them may cause problems. The risk of not giving vaccinations (once the healthy young dog has been adequately immunized) is becoming less than the risk of giving them. What appears to be the prevailing view is that dogs and cats should receive their puppy and kitten series against the major canine and feline diseases. These vaccinations should be repeated at 1 year of age. After that time, only necessary vaccines should be given. That includes, of course, the legally required rabies vaccinations.

To read more:

2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines

AAHA has released a new edition of its vaccine guidelines for dogs. The 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines are available in their entirety through the following downloadable file. The executive summary of the guidelines is published in the March/April 2006 issues of Trends magazine and the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association.

AAHA released its first set of canine vaccination guidelines in 2003. The AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force reconvened in 2005 to re-examine and revise the guidelines to reflect changes in the areas of canine vaccines. Factors that contributed to the updating of the guidelines include the rise of well-documented duration of immunity studies, industry support of extended revaccination intervals, and developing areas of shelter medicine.


The 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines include detailed recommendations on the use of available vaccines, which are classified as core (universally recommended), noncore (optional), or not recommended. Revised sections of the document include those addressing serologic testing, vaccine adverse events, the vaccine licensing process and the medical and legal implications of vaccine medicine.

28 page report

Titers through HEMOPET/Dr. Dodds

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica,  CA 90403
310-828-4804; Fax 310-828-8251
e-mail: hemopet@hotmail.com

Why Have Your Animal's Blood Tested through HEMOPET ?

The main reason for sending Dr. Jean Dodds / HEMOPET  the blood samples instead of having the testing done locally, is that HEMOPET is the only group routinely offering expert clinical interpretive diagnostic comments that take into account the age, sex, and breed type of the animal.  This often means an expected normal reference range for an individual pet that differs from the test lab's generic broad reference range. Practitioners usually are unaware of these differences, which have been established by published research and Dr. Dodds' many years (41 years this year- 2005) of clinical and research experience.

I wrote out a post, and deleted it because I saw this one, but forgot to save what I wrote, to post it in a reply here.  *shakes head*

Basically, my question is, do service dogs have to get shots every year.  I'm wanting to go to an every other year for shots (except rabies, which is every three years).  It has been said at my vets office that that is okay, but, is there something out there that would make Roxie need to get shots every year, because of her going in public? 

Many vets and vet schools are going to 3 years on core vaccines. Of course now here in FL for the rabies, but also for Parvo and Distemper.  For my dogs in my area, if I was giving those 3 every 3 years I would go on a rotating basis such as first year -- Rabies, 2nd year -- Parvo, 3rd year -- Distemper and then start over again the next year.

But I really suggest that you read the latest reports and ask questions here if you need some help looking more info up, then write down your notes, and then go speak with your vet. We might think hey this is the year for Distemper shots but your vet would know if Parvo was extra bad in your area for that year. Just go in with some knowledge and discuss it with your vet. The two of you should be able to come up with a plan based on how you want your dogs treated and in large part on their individual needs.

I have two dogs now that I will not be giving any more rabies shots to if their immunity stays up. They have medical reasons not to get the rabies shots and so they will need rabies titers yearly. I can do this because they both had the required Rabies shots as pups and then a couple annual booster shots. I verified with my county Animal Control that rabies titers are okay and if my vet fills out a form stating that they are doing titers because of medical reasons they are able to go this route.  Besides a rabies titer they will also get titers for distemper and parvo.

My poodle will probably be getting her last rabies shot this year and then in 3 years go to the titers because by then she will be a Sr. My other shepherd will get a rabies shot this year and then again in 3 years which unless things change will be his last one.

So you see, each case because of a dog's situation and even location has to be looked at differently.

There are no laws here in FL that say a dog going out into the public need extra shots.

If you go with all shots every two years (rabies every three years) your dogs should have more then enough protection.

Space the shots out as far as you can. The years that you do rabies shots try to not have any other shots within two weeks of the rabies. This is another practice that many vets are now going to.


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