Sunday, 11 November 2012

More On Vaccinations


I've decided to delve deeper into the area of vaccination's after my previous post 'a day of tea'. Although I have been veterinary nursing for quite a while now, drug companies and the government change their minds all the time and I'm constantly having to re-educate myself on current guidelines. On the subject of vaccinations and new guidelines I done some research of my own.
Several UK drug companies are currently changing their guidelines to the duration of effectiveness of their vaccines. It used to be common place that you could allow your dog or cats booster to lapse by say 1-2mths ie 13-14mths after their last booster and it not be a problem however some are now changing this to 365 days exactly.

After my research it is of my believe that it is the Lepto/Parvovirus part of the vaccine that needs to be boostered every 12mths as it is the immunity to these diseases that is lost quickest. However it is also my belief that veterinary practices that make you restart the whole 'puppy' course (1st injection & then 2nd 2 weeks later) when the above has happened is also wrong, please refer to page 5 of the WSAVA guidelines

"An adult dog that had received a complete course of core vaccinations as a puppy followed by the 12 month booster, but may not have been regularly vaccinated as an adult, requires only a single dose of core vaccine to boost immunity. Many current data sheets will advise in this circumstance that the dog requires two vaccinations (as for a puppy) but this practice is unjustified and simply contrary to the fundamental principles of immunological memory. By contrast, this approach may be justified for an adult dog of unknown vaccination history, and when serological testing has not been performed."

You may also find this paper useful that has been produced by Defra in relation to vaccination scheduling which also suggests depending on the brand of vaccine used you can go 1-4 yrs between vaccinations however it must also be noted it mentions about the need for parvovirus & lepto to be boostered every 12mths after the primary puppy vaccinations. It also describes the symptoms of each disease and possible zoonotic properties.

Below is a link for a Defra produced table on current licensed dog vaccinations in the UK listed by brand. Very useful as it tells you the length of immunity for each disease listed.

It would appear that it is the non- core vaccinations (leptospirosis being one) that are causing most controversy as core vaccinations have current drug licensing from 1-4 yrs depending on the manufacturer. I would advise watching this space but ultimately we have to go by the guidelines the drug manufactures suggest and set rules on. Until there is more scientific evidence produced I would air on the side of caution when you take your animal in for its annual booster and if you are concerned voice these concerns with the vet at the time. After reading the above research I do not personally think it necessary to start your vaccinations all over again if your booster has lapsed depending on the part that has lapsed and dependant on whether you completed the initial puppy/kitten vaccinations correctly. I will update you as soon as I can with anymore info I receive from inside the profession apologies that I can not be more black & white but the more you read on the subject you will understand why.

Some practices that I myself have been working in have started introducing a third part to the initial puppy vaccinations with vaccines due at 8,10 and twelve week intervals. I am currently on the hunt for more information on this, it is coming about due to new research undertaken on the Bitches maternal antibodies.

Further reading :

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