View Full Version : annual boosters

18th February 2012, 07:25 PM
hi , im looking for advice about vaccinations .ive never been happy with the idea of annual ones.. and ive been reading some things that make me wonder ..ruby is 2 and has had her initial vacs then her first booster at 2 years ..im reluctant to do it this year as she has been ill the first few weeks after them ..leg chewing , hair loss , tummy troubles .. i dont think it was coincidence and she is now in good health ,but due to have her 2nd booster this month. do any of you have any advice , and do you mind telling me if you vaccinate your dogs regularly ? im really torn !

18th February 2012, 07:50 PM

Have a look at this thread, there is some interesting and helpful advice.


18th February 2012, 10:13 PM
Rylie has had a reaction both times he has had a rabies vaccine. I have since found out he has a sensitivity to beef and the antigen in the vaccine may be comprised of beef serum. Before his next vaccine (by law we need them every three years and their vaccine status is checked often - the groomer, the border when we go into the U.S., and every state park we have visited) I am going to ask about what else is in the vaccine and if there are alternatives. If you choose to vaccinate annually there are also medications that can help with reactions. My vet suggested Benadryl but I don't think Rylie's reactions have been allergic. I have also been told to research a product called Thuja.

I did titres this year for distemper and parvo and both dogs titres came back fine. My vet said I was the first person ever to ask for this but he was happy to work with me. I only vaccinate for parvo, distemper, and rabies but I do think that everyone has to make the decision on what to vaccinate for based on what the risks are in the area they live and travel. For instance I would always choose to vaccinate or titre for rabies because that is a real risk in our area - particularly since we camp and hike.

19th February 2012, 02:11 AM
You can search for the "Jean Dodds protocol" and read up on it. I now only give my dogs their puppy shots (8, 12, 16 weeks), their adult booster at age 1, and thereafter only once every 3 years.

19th February 2012, 02:57 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread but just a quick question as I've been reading some of this too. Doesn't this pose a threat insurance wise? I know that in my policy it says that pets must have their annual booster done to be covered.

Brian M
19th February 2012, 07:52 AM
If your policy is say AXA it says they are not covered for the thing they are vaccinanted against ,but of course you
will still be covered for SM/CM and MVD.

19th February 2012, 08:23 AM
thanks all ..am going to give them a miss this year , that will tie in with jean dodds schedule if im right (she had her booster at one year ) and see if she stays in good health ..i was told by my vet that her problems were probably seasonal allergies .the only downfall i can see is i was hoping to get her a pet passport (im in U.K ) but her well being is more important than us going abroad for a holiday !

19th February 2012, 10:14 AM
The Jean Dodds general recommendation is puppy series, the important booster at one year, then every three years so a dog would be vaccinated at 4 and then at 7. She also feels older dogs likely have more then enough protection for life so I do not vaccinate cats or dogs after age 7, full stop for core vaccines (I am still dithering over lepto and whether it is needed -- so much debate on this). There is actually good evidence that the single booster for the core vaccines (distemper, parvo) at one gives protection for life -- or at LEAST 7 years -- but I'd titre to get at least some idea of whether the dog is still protected.

I wish pet passports would be updated to allow for titres.

Insurance as noted is not generally an issue as the only thing affected is coverage for the things vaccinated for. :)

Mindysmom -- dogs that have reactions to rabies can I think get a waiver but then it may affect what you can do... of course there is lots of evidence that a single rabies shot covers for half a lifetime to a full lifetime; there's a campaign and study being funded (Rabies Challenge) to try and prove this once and for all and stop animals needing regular rabies vax. Very interesting that you vet says you are the only one ever to ask for titres! It shows not much has changed and the general public probably still goes for potentially damaging annual boosters. :(

19th February 2012, 12:34 PM
I give the usual puppy vaccines, then the first booster, then do titres when the second booster is due. All of mine have had aequate immunity levels for distemper, parvo and leptos, so have not required further vaccines. I do titres again at 7 yrs, then for the last time at 10. All of these have been good, so in effect, I haven't need to booster'

19th February 2012, 03:32 PM
I asked my vets this question last year and I was told that in Ireland (Dublin) dogs need to be protected against parvo every year. The year before the senior vet in the practice told me I would be safe enough every two to three years except for Lepto...

Gus is !0, Pippin is 8 and DJ is 7 (8 in June) They are all regularly wormed/flea remedied/fed well/groomed daily and I feel they are well looked after. I have been vaccinating annually all along, normal boosters (in 2010 just lapto) but this year as they are older and only go for short walks around the estate where I live and don't have any off lead play outside, only in the our garden, I was thinking of giving the boosters a miss this year.

However I am finding it hard to make the decision, I know the reminder card will come through the door this summer if I just bring them for check-ups and not boosters also I would never forgive myself if they got ill because of something I failed to do for them...?

Gus and DJ are in excellent health and Pippin has early stage MVD and Epilepsy.

19th February 2012, 04:52 PM
Rylie's reaction to the rabies hasn't been severe enough to get a waiver - it's more similar to the reaction he gets when he eats beef - stomach upset with diarrhoea. From what I know of reactions in humans (I have a sensitivity - not an allergy to wasp stings) it is unlikely to become a true allergic reaction. He's not due for another rabies shot until late in 2013. I may consider titering then but as it is the law here for the dogs to be current on their rabies shots I'll have to research what the implications are of not being in compliance. I was quite surprised that the vet said I was the first to ask but I apparently was also the only one to push back and ask for a nutritionist consult when he wanted to put Rylie on a urinary diet when he had a UTI.

The Lepto vaccine covers less than half of the strains of lepto found in our area so it really doesn't seem terribly useful for us.

19th February 2012, 04:54 PM
just wondering what the cost of titres testing in ireland would be and if all vets are able to provide this service i am in east cork i have just had myra boosted for the first time since her one year booster she is four now and the vet did the full vaccinations course again

19th February 2012, 10:24 PM
The "normal" canine vaccines last *at least* 5-7 years according to AAHA.


There is no reason to vaccinate more than every 5 years after boosters.

20th February 2012, 11:18 AM
I don't know about where you are but the titres cost be about double what the vaccine would have cost.

20th February 2012, 04:08 PM
That is totally and absolutely untrue that dogs in Ireland need to be vaccinated for parvo every year!! My vets now use the 3 year core vaccine programme and are very up to date in their policies. I cannot imagine where others would get evidence of dogs needing annual parvo? ie Irish dogs are different than dogs everywhere else in the world in how they develop antibodies to commercial vaccines? Very frustrating to have vets totally scrambling up recommendations (most Irish vets will still push people to do annual core vaccines generally).

The "normal" canine vaccines last *at least* 5-7 years according to AAHA.


There is no reason to vaccinate more than every 5 years after boosters.

Actually that is not quite what they recommend, though they note that immunisation with live VIRAL vaccine probably last 5+ years. :)

They formally recommend every three years as the maximum required for VIRAL vaccine ( meaning no one should ever have to do viral based core vaccines -=- the norm -- more frequently than every three years) and ANNUALLY for BACTERIAL vaccine. :thmbsup: Dr Dodds notes in her protocol that all individual cases vary so even with viral vaccine, there may be felt to be reasons to choose various time periods for boosters, but she and this document recommend every three years as the MAXIMUM needed for immunity with viral vaccine. People should of course discuss the type of vaccine with their vet if the vet is pushing for annual vaccines: it may be that the practice uses a bacterial vaccine in which case the dog does need an ANNUAL booster (all a bit complicated!)

Here's the relevant section:

In general, DOI to infectious viral and bacterial vaccines is longer than to noninfectious viral and bacterial vaccines, and immunity conferred is generally much longer to viral vaccines than to bacterial vaccines. DOI is often related to the immunologic mechanisms of killing or control of the pathogens, and also to the complexity of the disease and the disease agent.

Infectious core vaccines are not only highly effective, they also provide the longest DOI, extending from 5 yr up to the life of the dog. A >=3 yr interval is currently recommended for revaccinating adult dogs with infectious viral core vaccines. In contrast, revaccination of dogs with infectious bacterial vaccines (specifically IN Bb vaccine) is recommended annually. The >=3 yr recommendation for core vaccines is made on the basis of minimum DOI studies over the past 30 yr for canine vaccines.

There are some other interesting details in the report -- thanks for posting the link as I haven;t read it in some time and realise it would be worth extracting some key points.

For example: that **puppies reared by mothers should NOT be vaccinated before 12 weeks of age with their first puppy series shot or, even with the booster 2-6 weeks after, the pup may not develop antibodies.** Most vets/breeders are still vaxing at 6 or 8 weeks!! Meaning puppies may have low/no immunity to serious disease...

20th February 2012, 04:19 PM
just wondering what the cost of titres testing in ireland would be and if all vets are able to provide this service i am in east cork i have just had myra boosted for the first time since her one year booster she is four now and the vet did the full vaccinations course again

Do you mean he did the puppy series again (oever several weeks)? If so I would be pretty darn angry. But for a one visit core booster, this would include parvo and distemper and they might try to do lepto as well.

Incidentally this report also restates what we've discussed many times here too -- that multiple vaccines at one time can cause serious reactions in small breed dogs like cavaliers -- so it is always wise to get them spread over different visits if there's more than one injection (eg never ever do rabies the same day as core vaccines or lepto the same day and definitely not all 3 together...

I just am endlessly baffled at why vets do what they do with vaccines and ignore their own professional body's advice, ignore repeat studies, and sometimes ridicule owners for *knowing more than they do* on this issue.

20th February 2012, 05:46 PM
My theory on the vaccines is that most people will not visit the vet with a healthy pet unless they are there for their vaccines. He's probably right about the "average" pet owner. I'm beginning to think that I'm not all that average (maybe the fact that people's eyes glaze over when I start talking about training and that I'm called the "crazy dog lady" at work should be a tip off) .My vet told me in our initial vaccine discussion that he has only seen a rare serious reaction to vaccines but has seen many cases of the diseases that we vaccinate for in his career so I know his preference is coming from personal experience. Although he is rather old school in his views I know his recommendations are what he feels are best for dogs in general. He never disregards my questions and is willing to work with me to find something acceptable to me.