and Parvovirus In 1994, Ft. Dodge marketed a new high titer
Parvovirus vaccine (RF11). Testing by Dr. Ron Schultz demonstrated that
this vaccine and a new high titer vaccine from Immunovet (Proguard)
provided much better protection than all other vaccines against canine
parvovirus (19,23). Prior to 1995 parvovaccines contained 5 x 10 to the
5th antigen particles. ( 500,000 live viruses.) When studies by Dr
Schultz demonstrated that the new high titer vaccines were much more
effective, most manufacturers improved their products to match. The new
vaccines contain 1 x 10 to the 11th antigen particles. 100,000,000,000
live viruses. The frustrating experiences we had prior to 1995 with
vaccine breaks were largely resolved by the new improved vaccine.
Attempts to improve the efficacy by more frequent administration of the
vaccine are no longer necessary.
According to Dr. Schultz in the
Journal of the AVMA Aug. 15. 1995, when a vaccination series given at 2,
3, and 4 months and again at 1 year(>6m0) with a modified live virus,
puppies and kittens program memory cells that survive for life,
providing lifelong immunity (6, 15, 20, 21,23).
Dr. Leland Carmichael at Cornell
University and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against
challenge at 7 years for canine distemper and 7 years for parvovirus;
and immunity by serology out to 15 years for distemper. (22,23 b).
Studies for longer duration are pending (5, 13, 14, 15, 18, 22,23 b,
23c.) *A copy of Dr Schultz's study is in our pet care library
for your convenience.
Adverse events from canine
distemper vaccine include vaccine induced distemper, vaccine induced
folliculitis, and hypertropic osteodystrophy. These occur primarily when
the vaccine is given too early, ie < 6-8 weeks.
Virus drift There are no new
strains of parvovirus as some would like to suggest. Parvovirus
vaccination provides cross immunity for all types.
Dogs will not get Parvo from the
vaccine, but when the vaccine is administered at a vet clinic
to 6 wk old puppies only 30% will respond to the vaccine with any
protection while all will likely be exposed. It is likely some of
them will come down with parvo which they caught at
the Vet Clinic. For this reason we do not start the initial series
of vaccinations until the puppies are 8 wks old and are better able to
respond to the vaccine.*** It is not the vaccination at 6 wks that
I object to but the increased exposure to the virus at the Vet
Clinic at an age when maternal antibodies will interfere with
the response to the vaccination. I would encourage breeders who have a
problem with Parvovirus to vaccinate puppies at home with Parvo,
but not Distemper, and only at 6 weeks and no younger, to aid in
(Adenovirus)- (CAV2) is one of the agents known to be a cause of
"kennel cough." Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as
CAV-1 vaccines carry the risk of "hepatitis blue-eye"
reactions and kidney damage. Hepatitis (CAV1) in dogs is a very rare
disease. I see more cases of
"hepatitis vaccine blue eye" than hepatitis in my practice.
- Parainfluenza Commonly called "kennel cough,"
this vaccine is recommended only for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken
to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs.
The intranasal vaccine provides more rapid onset of immunity with
less chance of reaction (23). Immunity requires 72 hours and does not
protect from every cause of "kennel cough" or every serovar of
bordetella. Immunity to bordetella is of short duration (4-6 months), so
vaccination should be repeated as needed. Dogs kept at home are at very
low risk for these diseases, so vaccination is not necessary. Bordetella
is not the only cause of "kennel cough." There is some
question as to the correct serovars of this bacterin and its efficacy.
The Bordetella on the street may not be the same as the Bordetella in
Although there have been no reported cases of rabid dogs or cats in
Harris County, Montgomery County, or Ft. Bend County, there have been
rabid skunks and bats, so the potential exists.
If a dog or cat bites someone and is
not vaccinated, it must be quarantined in a licensed facility.
Rabies vaccine is highly recommended for your families protection.
This is a killed vaccine. Killed vaccines provide a shorter
duration of immunity than MLV (19). Duration of immunity for rabies
vaccine has been shown to be at least 7 years.(23b)
In Texas, rabies
vaccination with a three year duration of immunity vaccine is required
to be administered annually for dogs. To help prevent injection site
fibrosarcomas, a one year duration of immunity non- adjuvanted vaccine,
Purevac, has been approved for cats. This vaccine must be
There have been animals who
developed rabies that had only one vaccination. There has never been a
dog or cat develope rabies that has had at least two rabies
Not Recommended For Dogs
Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other
for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual
disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction.(19)
virus is only a disease of puppies less than six weeks of age (15-
p20). It is a rare, self-limiting disease (i.e. dogs get well in 3 days
without treatment)(3). Corona virus does not cause disease in adult
dogs. Cornell University and Texas A&M University have only
diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. For a veterinarian to make
a diagnosis of Corona Virus based on clinical signs is highly
presumptive. Only electron microscopy of feces can verify the presence
of canine corona virus. This is only done at places such as Texas A
& M Diagnostic Laboratory, and they report no positive tests. The
presence of the virus does not indicate it is the cause of disease. Dogs
over 6 wks of age cannot be experimentally induced to exhibit disease
from corona virus. This is age related immunity.
Immunologists have reason
to believe that the vaccine does not work. Mucosal secretory IgA
antibodies would be necessary to protect a dog against this disease
& an injectable vaccine will not provide this type of
protection.(13, 19- p18, 21) I see no justification for the use of
corona virus vaccine.
In 1985 a significant number of dogs
(>189) died from encephalitis caused by Corona Virus vaccine,
combined with the Rockborn strain distemper. (3, 21) An
unfortunate & heartbreaking catastrophe caused by an unnecessary
vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs ranging from
life threatening anaphylactic reactions to mild facial swelling and
Leptospirosis is an infection of the kidneys and liver.
Dogs and people get it from contact with urine from rats, raccoons, cows
and pigs. The risk of contagion from dogs to humans is very low.
Most of the clinical cases of leptospirosis reported in dogs in the
U.S. are caused by serovars (or types) grippotyphosa, L. pomona and L.
bratislava.(1, 9, 15-p20, 21) The most commonly used vaccines
contain different serovars-L. canicola & L.icterohaemmorrhagiae.
Cross protection is not provided and protection is short-lived (6 - 7
months)(19) New Vaccines recently introduced by Fort Dodge
include L. gryppothyposa., and L. pomona .
Although Leptospirosis in dogs seems to be increasing in
Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa and New York, disease is rare in Texas.
Records at Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab showed only 8 cases
of Leptospirosis in dogs in Texas in 2000. L. Icterohaemmorrhagiae
-3 cases, L. canicola -2, L. pamona -2, L grippotyphosa -1. Texas
A&M University reports 31 cases in 21 years. Although this is a
serious and life threatening disease, in a state with an estimated dog
population of over 7 million, I do not think the risk justifies routine
vaccination, with two vaccines twice per year.
This vaccine should not be given to puppies less than 16
weeks of age as it is very immunosuppressive. It can
interfere with immunization against parvo & distemper. Reactions are
common. The risk of side effects outweigh the benefits.
Lyme Disease is
a tick born disease which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart
disease in dogs and people. Ticks transmit the disease to humans.
Eighty five percent of Lyme disease cases in dogs in the USA are
found in nine New England states and Wisconsin. In 1998, there were 28
cases of human Lyme disease & 60 dogs which tested positive in
Texas. It is not know how many of these cases were acquired while pets
were traveling in other states. Most cases were found in North East
Texas. Lyme disease testing with the most commonly used test can give a
false positive reaction to normal spirochete organisms in a dogs mouth.
The advent of a new ,more accurate Lyme disease Test (Snap Test by Idexx)
in 2000 will hopefully give us better information about the prevalence
of this disease in Texas.
The average dog in Houston would be at very low
risk of contracting Lyme disease. If you travel to endemic areas with
your dog, you may still want to consider the safety & effectiveness
of Lyme disease vaccine. A report by Dr. Jacobson recorded 790
dogs which developed polyarthritis after vaccination with Lyme disease
vaccine. These dogs did not show antibody titers suggestive of
Lyme disease infection. There is a class action suit in human medicine
for failure to warn people about the possibility of developing
polyarthritis from human Lyme disease vaccine.
The main antigen displayed by the Lyme disease organism
inside the dogs body is Outer Surface Protein B- OSP B. Newer PCR
vaccines by Meriel and Schering only contain OSP A antigens. The
importance of OSP B & C antigens were discovered after the new
vaccines were developed (2, 11) Studies by Dr. Richard Jacobson at
Cornell University suggest that the claim that the whole bacterin
by Ft Dodge is more protective lacks merit. Dogs vaccinated with the
whole cell bacterin had no antibodies to the OSP B or C antigens either.
This is because bacteria grown on cell culture to produce the
vaccine would not be expressing OSP B or C antigen.
Theoretically OSP A antibodies in the blood of an
immunized dog are ingested by a tick. This prevents the bacteria from
reproducing within the tick and therefore from being injected into the
dog, if antibodies are in high enough concentrations.
It is thought that the OSP A antigen may be so similar
to the dogs own cartilage that the antibodies induced by the vaccine
will attack the dogs own cartilage, causing arthritis.
Most Colleges of Veterinary Medicine do not
recommend Lyme Disease vaccine.
Lyme disease prevention should emphasize early removal
of ticks. Ticks must be attached to the dog for 24 hours to transmit the
disease. Amitraz (Preventick) collars are more effective than Frontline
as Amitraz paralyzes the tick’s mouth parts preventing transmission of
disease (11). Amitraz tick collars should be used with extreme caution,
as they are toxic if chewed on or swallowed by a dog or children.
Frontline takes 24 - 48 hours to kill ticks, allowing for the
possibility of disease transmission. This is an important aid in tick
control, but will not prevent the transmission of tick born diseases
like Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Babesia or Rocky Mountain
Spotted Fever. Vaccinating pets against Lyme disease does not provide
any protection for the owners.