New Vaccination Protocols - A Review of the Literature
Recommendations for Dogs
(Core, Non-Core, Not Recommended)

New vaccine protocols for dogs were published in this volume in 2001.


For core vaccines like distemper and parvovirus that every dog should
receive we do not know the true
duration of immunity. Although it is probably the life of the patient, an
interval of every three years was proposed. It is important to note that
this was an arbitrary number arrived
at for the purpose of compromise.
Non core vaccines are only recommended for those dogs at risk
of exposure to these diseases.
Corona, Giardia , and CAV 1 were
not recommended at all.


These are the recommendations of the AAHA, Texas A& M University and 22 Schools of Veterinary Medicine.


I have been instrumental in getting the rabies ordinances changed in Texas and New Mexico to every three years.


Although this change in the law was widely opposed by most Veterinarians, Dr Jane Mahlow made an ethical and courageous decision to get the law changed.


Rabies in Texas is on the increase in the wildlife population, primarily in skunk rabies. Dog rabies has stayed about the same, with a slight increase in cat rabies.






The problem is, many people in
Texas don’t vaccinate their pets.
Giving annual rabies vaccines
that have no effect,
to pets that are already
immune does nothing
to protect the public


Although there have been a few pets develop rabies that have been vaccinated once, the chances of this
are less than 1 in 8 million. These dog vaccine failures were in dogs
vaccinated at three months of age.
We know some dogs will still have maternal antibodies at 3 ½ months
that will block the vaccine. It has been proposed that in a county with a rabies outbreak, dogs should get two rabies vaccines initially, one month apart



The main argument against extending the vaccine interval to every three
years, is one of client compliance.
20% of clients come in 3 months late. This study by Banfield Corp showed
that compliance is not worse in states with three year rabies ordinances. 


After the second rabies vaccine, subsequent vaccines have no effect.
The vaccine was blocked by the antibodies from the previous vaccine.


All rabies viruses are not the same. Rabies virus variants are specific for the host they are adapted to. Skunk rabies variant is more easily transmitted to skunks and replicates well in a skunk. If a skunk bites a dog, the dog can get rabies, but because the virus is in the wrong host, it does not replicate well, and THERE IS LITTLE CHANCE of TRANSMISSION to another victim. The Texas Canine strain is the real human danger. If a dog gets rabies from a coyote or another dog, it is in its adapted host and it can pass it on to a human. Texas canine rabies variant, found in three border counties, has been eliminated from Texas by dropping baited rabies vaccine. It is important to note there is no cat rabies variant in the US.



Of the last 25 people to get rabies in
the US, 22 got bat rabies from a bat, 1 got skunk rabies from a skunk and two got canine rabies from a dog and a coyote. No one has ever gotten skunk rabies from a dog, etc. No one has gotten rabies from a  cat in the US
since 1981, when variant typing
became available.

Arkansas and Louisiana still
require annual rabies vaccines.


The AAHA recommends distemper and parvovirus vaccine every three years after the initial series. A second vaccination after 6 months of age is probably good for the life of the pet


This is a very important study on parvovirus vaccine by Dr Ron
Schultz. Six brands of vaccine
were compared. At 6-7 weeks
only three brands resulted in
titers in dogs.


Another vaccine at 10 weeks of
age was very effective for two
brands, Ft Dodge and Intervet.
Pfizer’s vanguard was slightly less effective in producing antibody titers. Schering, Merial, and Biocor were ineffective.
Dogs were challenged by exposure to parvovirus, and while Intervet and Ft Dodge provided excellent protection, other brands were ineffective. 50% of dogs vaccinated with Pfizer’s old vaccine and all dogs vaccinated with Merial’s old vaccine Scherring’s old vaccine and Biocor’s present vaccine died from parvovirus .


After this study was published, Scherring and Merial re-vamped their vaccines to come up to par with the effective ones. Pfizer vanguard remains on the market, but Pfizer came out with a high titer vaccine, Vanguard plus . Biocor’s ineffective parvovirus vaccine remains on the market.
This brand is commonly sold by feed stores. Vets still see vaccine breaks when this vaccine is administered by is owners.  With the new high titer vaccines there is little chance of vaccine breaks.


The high titer vaccines contain 100 times more antigen.



My dog Splash was vaccinated with
the initial series of DHPP and rabies and again one year later. He frequently comes to my clinic where we have
had dogs with distemper and parvo.
He goes camping and on horse back rides where he comes into contact
with skunks.  I am confident he is protected for life.


Splash wakes me up with a kiss every morning. Then when I get up, he goes back to bed.


We went on a camping trip. It was 21 degrees outside in the morning.  Splash did not want to get out of bed that morning.


Parainfluenza virus is the virus dogs may be exposed to anywhere dogs are housed in a crowded situation, like a kennel. It causes a honking cough and could be a self limiting disease unless there is a secondary bacterial infection. If the secondary bacteria is bordetella, it is a difficult disease to cure.


There are over 12 contagious
diseases that can cause a dog to cough. The vaccine contains Parainfluenza, CAV 2, and bordetella. It is questionable if the bordetella is the correct serovar that a dog would likely be exposed to.
Parainfluenza virus is the virus dogs may be exposed to anywhere dogs are housed in a crowded situation, like a kennel. It causes a honking cough and could be a self limiting disease unless there is a secondary bacterial infection. If the secondary bacteria is bordetella, it is a difficult disease to cure.


There are over 12 contagious diseases that can cause a dog to cough. The vaccine contains Para influenza, CAV 2, and bordetella. It is questionable if the bordetella is the correct serovar that a dog would likely be exposed to.


I prefer to use intranasal vaccine as it takes effect in 72 hrs vs. two weeks for the injectable. In the opinion of Dr Ron Schultz, mucosal immunity is better.


This study compares systemic antibodies from an injectable vaccine to systemic antibodies from an intranasal vaccine. Of course an intranasal vaccine does not produce high levels of systemic antibodies.


This study shows that giving both vaccines are better. Systemic antibodies from a parenteral vaccine will not block the production of mucosal antibodies form an intranasal vaccine.


Hunting dogs & dogs exposed to standing water are at increased risk of exposure. Most cases are in the rainy season , Sept to December,  so it is best to vaccinate in the Fall. Studies by Banfield show the new vaccine is less prone to reactions than the old vaccine. To minimize reactions, Dogs should not be vaccinated before 12 – 16 weeks of age.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial  kidney infection that dogs can contract from water contaminated by urine from wildlife. It is on the increase in NY, Illinois and Ohio. The new serovars are not the ones in the old vaccine. A new vaccine containing four serovars is now available.


The new vaccine will only protect against 60% of the common serovars. There have been no cases of Lepto in the dry part of West Texas.
Lyme vaccine is recommended by
AAHA only in parts of the country where
they have Lyme disease. Not in Texas, Colorado, or CANADA.  New York is
not a New England State. They only
think they are a New England State,
however they were founded by the


This CDC map shows human cases
of Lyme disease. A few people may have acquired Lyme disease while traveling
out of state. The vector Ixodid tick is not
found in Colorado, or New Mexico.  Julie Rawlings, in a study conducted by the
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, determined that the vector Ixodid tick
does not feed on the reservoir deer
mouse in southern states like Texas.
Texas A&M Veterinary School has
not seen a case in a dog in Texas. 


Much confusion has been created
over the diagnosis of Lyme disease


The confusion comes from an identical disease, STARI, found in the south. Vaccination for Lyme will not protect
against STARI. 
The range of the vector tick for STARI.


This confusion is discussed in Greene’s Infectious Diseases. The test commonly run by commercial labs will cross react with dogs with periodontal disease, Ehrlichia and many other problems. The new Snapp test will give false positives in vaccinated dogs.  (Dr Andrew Carr) If a dog acquires Lyme on a trip out of state,  people may not recall the exposure from 5 months previous.


Frontline and Advantik will not kill a tick quickly enough to prevent disease transmission. The amitraz collar paralyzes a tick’s mount parts and does prevent transmission diseases like Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. Caution, if this collar is chewed on by a dog or child toxicity is a danger.


When a dog is taken to a vet clinic and vaccinated at 6 weeks of age , only 37% of the puppies will be protected, but 100% will  have increased exposure to parvovirus in the Vet Clinic. Kind off like sitting next to someone with flu in a Doctor’s office.  If a breeder vaccinates at home the exposure is the same and some puppies will be protected. It is not the vaccine at 6 weeks that I object to but the increased exposure without protection. This is mentioned in Greene’s Infectious Diseases.
The AAHA does not recommend corona virus vaccine. There is no scientific evidence to show corona virus causes disease in dogs over 8 weeks of age. If a dog is vaccinated at 6 weeks of age
it takes the vaccine two weeks to have
any effect. The dog would be immune
by then whether vaccinated or not.


One vaccine manufacturer argues that if a dog gets both corona and parvo it will be sicker than a dog that just gets parvo. If the dog was vaccinated for parvo or over 8 weeks of age this is not a factor.


Commonly called Beaver Fever, this
one celled parasite can cause diarrhea in humans and dogs. It is contracted from contaminated water.


Independent studies showed this vaccine did not work. It is very difficult to create immunity with a vaccine when there is no immunity acquired by having the disease.


I hope you can now make informed decisions about dog vaccinations.



Last Update 05/05/2006

Bob Rogers, D.V.M.
Copyright  06/04