Planning your Dog’s Vaccinations
Planning your Dog’s Vaccinations
– Rabies: Annually, required
– Leptospirosis: Annually, required, possibly twice a year in high-risk areas
– Distemper, infectious hepatitis, parvovirus: One year after first vaccination, then every two years.
– Kennel Cough: Two initial vaccinations plus annual booster
– Babesiosis: Two initial vaccinations plus annual booster
When and how should my Dog be Vaccinated?
Vaccination for Babesiosis
– Should I take any special precautions before the vaccination?
The dog to be vaccinated should be in the best possible physical health and should not have a large meal in the twelve hours preceding the vaccination. Be sure to tell your veterinarian if the dog has had any problems within the last twelve months.
Vaccination is a treatment that should be given only to patients in good health, so a thorough physical examination is justified, with checks for fever, anorexia, adynamia, and anemia. If necessary, the absence of early babesiosis can be confirmed by a blood sample.
– Is vaccination effective?
No vaccine can protect all individuals. Some individuals are incapable of producing a sufficient number of antibodies, for various reasons (age, poor health, intercurrent infectious diseases, physiological condition, origin, some treatments, recurring babesiosis, etc.).
While not contraindicated, the babesiosis vaccine is not recommended for such dogs.
– How long does it take for the vaccination to become effective?
The initial vaccination requires two injections, and immunity does not appear until a few days after the second. Between injections, the dog is completely susceptible to the disease, and so must be watched carefully during this period.
– How old must the dog be to receive the vaccination?
Puppies less than three months old should not be vaccinated due to their immunological immaturity with regard to babesiosis. Immunological maturity is not complete until about five months of age.
– How is the vaccination given?
The initial vaccination requires two subcutaneous injections three or four weeks apart. This interval should never be less than fifteen days nor more than six weeks. Boosters are given annually.
– Should the vaccination be given at a certain time of the year?
The presence of canine babesiosis is related to the biology of its arthropod vector, the tick. As a general rule, ticks are less active during cold, dry winters than during the summer. However, depending on the area and the local climate, cases of canine babesiosis can occur year-round. Your veterinarian knows about the regional epidemiology of this disease, and can advise you on this point.
– Does the vaccination have any side-effects?
In rare cases, there may be temporary fatigue (twenty-four hours), and possibly slight edema at the injection site, which should disappear within a few days. In the vast majority of cases, the vaccine is very well tolerated by dogs.
Nevertheless, it is recommended that the dog be allowed to rest for twenty-four hours after the vaccination, and that no great effort (hunting, long walk, training session, etc.) be required of it during this period.
– Can the babesiosis vaccine cause the disease in my dog?
This is impossible, since the vaccine is made from dead proteins of the parasite’s membrane. However, it occasionally happens that a dog receiving the vaccine is already incubating babesiosis and that the disease flares up within a few days of the vaccination. This is why the veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination before administering the injection.
– Can my dog be vaccinated for babesiosis and other diseases on the same day?
Currently, anti-rabies vaccine and leptospirosis vaccine can be given with the babesiosis vaccine.
– My dog has had several babesiosis infections. Should I have the dog vaccinated?
Although not contraindicated, vaccination is not recommended for such dogs. These animals seem to be unable to protect themselves against this disease.
– My dog just had babesiosis. When can it be vaccinated?
You must wait eight weeks after treatment before giving the initial injection.
Sciences administration, Merial laboratory
Vaccination for Rabies
The initial vaccination at three months of age includes two injections at least fifteen but not more than thirty days apart for vaccines including the Rabiffa valence (Leptorab, Pentadog, Rabiffa). Alternatively, a single injection of Rabisin, Hexadog or Leptorabisin can be given.
To maintain protection, the booster shot (Rabiffa or Rabisin) should be given less than one year after the second injection of the initial vaccination or the previous booster shot. If this deadline is not met, the next vaccination must be considered as a new initial vaccination. (To be valid, the certificate of vaccination must be signed by the veterinarian.)
For distemper, infectious hepatitisI (Adenovirus type 2) and Parvovirus
– First vaccination: Between seven and nine weeks of age.
– Second vaccination: Between eleven and thirteen weeks of age.
Initial vaccination for Leptospirosis
Two injections one month apart. The first should be at about seven weeks of age if the dog lives in a contaminated area and ten to twelve weeks of age if the dog lives in an uncontaminated area.
The first booster for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus should be given one year after the initial vaccination. Subsequent boosters are given every two years.
Current French law requires that rabies boosters be given every year. Leptospirosis vaccinations also require an annual booster, or a semi-annual booster in areas where the disease is endemic.
Vaccines that can be given together make annual booster shots much more practical.
1. It is better not to vaccinate dogs that are in poor general health, particularly those that are heavily infested with ecto- or endoparasites. The dog should be treated for parasites.
2. If the vaccination program cannot be followed beginning at the age of 7 to 9 months, it must be started over as soon as possible, no matter how old the dog is, with the same intervals between vaccinations.