View Full Version : Vaccinations here Vs across the water

13th December 2006, 09:06 PM
I know this has come up before but whats the standard for puppy vaccinations in the UK? For our last two pups they had one set before leaving the breeders(usually @ 8 weeks), another 4 weeks after that and a booster 2 weeks after that. But our new breeder says their standard is two sets in total (this is in Scotland).
Has it changed since we last were puppy parents, or is it just different here?

I'm thrilled if that's the case. All the better for Dougal and it will also mean we can bring him out into the big wide world only a couple of weeks after we get him :dgwlk: b*n*n*

13th December 2006, 10:28 PM
My vets in Ireland just do two sets. It depends on what is in the combinations, i think.

13th December 2006, 11:48 PM
I live in the US and Jolly had 3 sets of vaccinations, 8, 12 and 16 weeks (I think).

13th December 2006, 11:52 PM
Both of mine had two sets; amber had her second set at nearly 11 weeks, but 12 is more usual. Then again, I think she had her first set a few days earlier than usual too so it evens out.

14th December 2006, 07:42 AM
According to the American Animal Hospital Association 2003 report of their task force on vaccinations, they say that puppies have passively acquired maternal immunity (antibodies inherited from the mother) for a certain period of time in their early weeks, and, with respect to parvo and distemper, this immunity makes the vaccinations ineffective.

it only takes one parvo or distemper vaccination of the modified live virus (MLV) type (two of the killed virus type) to cause adequate immunity, but there's no way of knowing exactly when this maternal immunity is in effect and when it ends. That's why they give a series of shots rather than just one, to be sure that they cover a time period broad enough to insure that one shot happens outside that period of maternal immunity.

They say that generally, once a puppy is over 16 weeks old, maternal immunity is no longer a problem and any shot given after that point will almost certainly be effective in creating an adequate immunization. They say that if a dog has not received any vaccinations prior to the 16th week, at that point, its only necessary to give one shot, because passively acquired maternal immunity is no longer a problem. I thought this was interesting.

Here's an excerpt from their report:

When a healthy puppy’s immune system is initially activated by vaccines through antigenic stimulation, a robust humoral and CMI response is expected to develop with concomitant effector and memory cells. If a pup fails to respond, primarily due to interference by passively acquired maternal antibody, it is necessary to revaccinate at a later time to ensure adequate immunity. Multiple vaccinations with MLV vaccines are required at various ages only to ensure that one dose of the vaccine reaches the puppy’s immune system without interference from passively acquired antibody. Two or more doses of killed vaccines (except rabies) and vectored vaccines are often required to induce an immune response, and both doses should be given at a time when the passively acquired antibody can no longer interfere. Thus, when puppies are first vaccinated at >16 weeks of age (an age when passively acquired antibodies generally don’t cause interference), one dose of an MLV vaccine, or two doses of a killed vaccine, are adequate to stimulate an immune response. .


Barbara Nixon
14th December 2006, 03:19 PM
I've had dogs since 1973 and have only ever had two jabs for the initial vaccine, at 8 to 10 weeks, followed another two weeks later. The two weeks are not crucial. It's ok to go a little longer, provided that the dog is not taken out until the requisite time , after the second injection.

I once enquired about puppy innoculation prices for someone and was given a regular price and a greater one for certain breeds eg rotties. As they are more vulnerable than other breeds, they need a double shot, but I dion't know whether this means three injections or more content in one of the two.

14th December 2006, 05:14 PM
In the US, i believe the convention is at least three puppy shots (i.e. distemper and parvo), between the ages of 6 and 14 weeks. When i got Zack, he hadn't had his last of three and he was about 15 weeks old. The vet wanted him to have the last of three, even though he had undiagnosed diarrhea.

In the quote above about 16 weeks being the age at which they no longer worry about interference by maternal immunity, while at the end of the report, they give a list of vaccination Do's and Don'ts, and they say that 12 weeks is usually old enough to expect maternal immunity will no longer interfere.

9. Do Make Sure the Last Dose of a Puppy Immunization Series is Administered >12 Weeks of Age. At >12 weeks of age, interference by maternal antibody is less of a concern and the puppy's immune system is more mature; thus, there is a greater opportunity for a robust immune response to the vac

14th December 2006, 05:46 PM
it's interesting that these conventions, 2 shots, 3 shots, 4 shots, are not entirely based on science--why 3 in the US and 2 in the UK, what 3 for some vets, 4 for others? And, if dogs are known to differ in their vaccination needs and tolerances, why are there such widespread conventions, irrespective of examination of an individual patient? It does simplify things to have conventions, and does minimize owner involvement in vaccination decisions, which surely helps the purpose of getting as many animals vaccinated as possible. Too much ambiguity would surely work against owner belief in the necessity of vaccination. Still, vaccinations are serious medications that should be given carefully, more carefully than they normally are in the opinion of the AAHA task force. They have a long section on informed consent and the denial/minimization in common vet practice of the hazards of vaccination which underlies the tendency to unnecessarily overvaccinate. It's interesting to watch as knowledge and belief evolve and conventions change.