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The Importance of Vaccinations

Most of us know the importance of an appropriate vaccination schedule to help our pets develop immunity to deadly diseases. But did you know that most adult dogs that have responded to their core vaccinations can have immunity to these diseases for many years?

The Latest Information on Vaccinations

Core vaccines should be administered to all animals to protect them against severe, life-threatening diseases that have a global distribution. These are: Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper virus and Canine Adenovirus.

Non-core vaccines are required by only those animals whose geographic location, local environment or lifestyle places them at risk of contracting specific infections (for example frequenting kennels). These are: Parainfluenza, Bordetella and Leptospirosis. Talk to your vet about this.

C3 = The core vaccines; Parvovirus, Distemper and Adenovirus

C4 = C3 + Parainfluenza virus (part of kennel cough)

C5 = C4+ Bordatella br. Bact (part of kennel cough)

Frequency of Vaccinations

In August 2007 the Vaccination Group of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) announced a recommendation of 3 yearly core vaccination (C3, F3) schedules for dogs and cats.

The Australian Veterinary Association’s Position Statement on the Vaccination of dogs and cats states that “Adult cats and dogs should be vaccinated with core vaccines triennially where applicable”.

Potential Risks With Vaccinations

There are many reports on risks with vaccinations such as mild and severe vaccine reactions, and vaccine relationships with acute and chronic immune mediated syndromes and even deaths. Dr Jean Dodds is considered one of the foremost experts in pet healthcare and we encourage you to look at her articles.

Titre Testing

This is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to check immunity of core vaccines. After natural infection or vaccination, white blood cells will produce identical antibodies against the “infectious agent”. These antibodies can be measured by taking a few drops of blood. This can ascertain if your dog requires a booster for the core vaccines.

Vaccination or Titre Test?

Research shows that pets don’t require annual vaccinations to keep them protected. We encourage you to titre test your pets where possible to check immunity. There is no need to vaccinate if immunity levels are sufficient.