Vaccination Guidelines

Canine Vaccination Guidelines:

The Methow Valley Veterinary Hospital vaccination guidelines are based on recently published studies and recommedations made by task forces (including the AAFP/AFM Advisory Panel on Feline Vaccines, AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force, and the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents).These groups have evaluated the benefits versus risks of the vaccines currently available on the market.  These are only general guidelines, as the vaccine types recommended and the frequency of vaccination vary depending on the lifestyle of the pet being vaccinated, i.e. indoor vs outdoor pets, travel plans, kennel/boarding plans, and underlying disease conditions such as immune-mediated diseases or pre-existing infections such as FIV infection. Because these factors may change over time, we recommend the vaccination plan for each individual pet be decided by the owner at routine annual examinations, following a discussion between the veterinarian and the client regarding the animal's lifestyle in the year ahead.

Canine Core Vaccines

Core vaccines are recommended for all puppies and dogs with an unknown vaccination history. The diseases involved have significant morbidity and mortality and are widely distributed, and in general, vaccination results in relatively good protection from disease. These include vaccines for canine parvovirus (CPV), canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV), and rabies.

 
Canine Parvovirus, Distemper Virus, and Adenovirus-2 Vaccines

For initial puppy vaccination (<16 weeks), one dose of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 is recommended every 3-4 weeks from 6-8 weeks of age, with the final booster being given no sooner than 16 weeks of age. For dogs older than 16 weeks of age, two doses of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 given 3-4 weeks apart are recommended. After a booster at one year, revaccination is recommended every 3 years thereafter, ideally using a product approved for 3-year administration, unless there are special circumstances that warrant more or less frequent revaccination.

Canine Rabies Virus Vaccines

We recommend that puppies receive a single dose of killed rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age. Adult dogs with unknown vaccination history should also receive a single dose of killed rabies vaccine. A booster is required one year later, and thereafter, rabies vaccination should be performed every 3 years using a vaccine approved for 3-year administration.

 

Canine Non-Core Vaccines

Non-core vaccines are optional vaccines that should be considered in light of the exposure risk of the animal, ie. based on geographic distribution and the lifestyle of the pet. Several of the diseases involved are often self-limiting or respond readily to treatment. Vaccines considered as non-core vaccines are canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV), canine influenza virus, distemper-measles combination vaccine, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Leptospira spp., and Borrelia burgdorferi. Vaccination with these vaccines is generally less effective in protecting against disease than vaccination with the core vaccines.

 

Feline Vaccination Guidelines:

In general, guidelines for vaccination of cats have been strongly influenced by the appearance of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats, and in particular their epidemiologic association with feline leukemia virus vaccines and killed rabies virus vaccines. Thus, there is clear evidence for minimizing frequency of vaccination in cats. The recommendations below have been made in light of the AVMA/AAHA/AAFP/VCS task force recommendations on vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats. If a cat develops a palpable granuloma at the site of previous vaccination, the benefits vs risks of future vaccinations should be carefully considered.  Any post vaccinal granuloma taht persists beyond 6-8 weeks should be removed surgically prior to develop of a pre-cancerous lesion.

 

Feline Core Vaccines

The definitions of core and non-core vaccines described in the canine vaccination guidelines above also apply to the feline vaccines. The core feline vaccines are those for feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) and rabies.

 

Feline Herpesvirus 1, Feline Calicivirus and Feline Panleukopenia Virus Vaccines

For initial kitten vaccination (<16 weeks), one dose of parenteral vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) FHV1, FCV, and FPV is recommended every 3-4 weeks from 6-8 weeks of age, with the final booster being given no sooner than 16 weeks of age. For cats older than 16 weeks of age, two doses of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) FHV1, FCV, and FPV given 3-4 weeks apart are recommended. After a booster at one year, revaccination is suggested every 3 years thereafter for cats at low risk of exposure. The use of FPV MLV vaccines should be avoided in pregnant queens and kittens less than one month of age.

 

Feline Rabies Virus Vaccines

Cats are important in the epidemiology of rabies in the US. In general we recommend that kittens receive a single dose of killed or recombinant rabies vaccine at 12-16 weeks of age. Adult cats with unknown vaccination history should also receive a single dose of killed or recombinant rabies vaccine. For the recombinant vaccines, boosters are recommended at yearly intervals. We currently stock and suggest the use of the recombinant rabies vaccine, although there is no evidence as yet that it is associated with a decreased risk of sarcoma formation. For the killed rabies vaccines, a booster is required at one year, and thereafter, rabies vaccination should be performed every 3 years using a vaccine approved for 3-year administration. According to recommendations of the vaccine-associated sarcoma task force, rabies vaccines are administered subcutaneously as distally as possible in the right rear limb.

 

Feline Non-Core Vaccines

Optional or non-core vaccines for cats consist of the vaccines for feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus, virulent FCV, Chlamydophila felis, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and Bordetella bronchiseptica.

 

Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccine

The FeLV vaccine is the only non-core vaccine we use and recommend at Methow Valley Veterinary Hospital.  A number of FeLV vaccines are available on the market. The whole inactivated viral vaccines have recently been shown to be highly efficacious based on the results of molecular detection methods for FeLV, even producing sterilizing immunity, although this was not found to be the case for a inactivated mixed subunit vaccine (Torres et al, 2009). We recommend vaccination of FeLV-negative cats allowed to go outdoors or cats having direct contact with other cats of unknown FeLV status. Vaccination is most likely to be useful in kittens and young adult cats, because acquired resistance to infection develops beyond 16 weeks of age. As of 2006, the AAFP recommends primary vaccination of all kittens for FeLV, but the decision to administer booster vaccines is based on risk assessment. Vaccination is not recommended for FeLV-positive cats and indoor cats with no likelihood of exposure to FeLV.