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According to Steve Dale, there has been ongoing concern about how often to administer the combination vaccine for canine distemper, canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus. Until recently, annual boosters were recommended by most veterinarians, but that is longer the case according to the new guidelines.
Dr. Ron Schultz, professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, states that puppies must absolutely be given these vaccines, which are administered in several doses. The final dose of the initial series must be given between 14 to 16 weeks of age.
Under the AAHA guidelines, boosters for distemper, parvo and adeno should be given no more frequently than every three years. However, Dr. Shultz believes boosters are not required for adult dogs, assuming the initial dose is effective. One way to determine effectiveness is to titer test dogs for the presence of antibodies every three years.
One such test is Canine VacciCheck, a single diagnostic test that evaluates the presence of antibodies to these three core vaccines, which helps eliminate the possibility of over-vaccination. VacciCheck has been described by Schultz as “a cost-effective, user-friendly and expedient titer test.”
According to the AAHA Guidelines, vaccines are divided into three categories: Core, Non-Core and Not Recommended. The combination canine parvovirus, canine distemper and canine adenovirus vaccine is considered "core," as is a vaccine for rabies.
Schultz says it's important to understand that while your dog may not need frequent (if any) revaccination as an adult for distemper, parvo or adeno, other vaccines do require an annual booster.
"Depending on lifestyle or geography, your dog may or may not need these [noncore] vaccines, but they do need to be given annually," says Schultz.
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