There has been a lot of talk recently amongst pet owners and veterinary staff following the development of ‘three-yearly’ vaccinations for dogs. Vaccination is an exciting area of growth for the industry and as changes take place Maryvet will be regularly reviewing the vaccination policy.
The longer lasting vaccinations have been developed in the United States, following concerns about ‘over-vaccination’ causing over-stimulation of the immune system, and a subsequent rise in immune-mediated diseases, where the body effectively attacks itself. It is worth noting that in the U.S. dogs and cats are routinely vaccinated against up to 12 different diseases at one time, some of which we don’t have in Australia.
The three-yearly vaccinations that are registered in Australia only cover three ‘core’ diseases: Parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis (known as a C3 vaccination). These are all very serious conditions and often fatal. It is strongly recommended that all dogs are regularly vaccinated with a C3 from a young age.
Most dogs are currently vaccinated with a C5 vaccination, which in addition to a C3, also includes two of the agents involved in Canine Cough, namely parainfluenza virus and bordetella bronchiseptica (C2). All boarding kennels and some dog training or dog walking organisations will require animals to be vaccinated with a C5 vaccination. Unfortunately, a full C5 is only available as an annual vaccine. It is recommended that dogs are vaccinated for the Canine Cough. Although not as severe as the components of the C3, it is a common disease associated with unpleasant signs and symptoms, and dogs can easily be infected through any contact with other dogs (not just in kennels) and even objects such as a public drinking bowl, or on peoples’ hands.