Vaccine Update

Trevor Turner, B. Vet. Med., MRCVS

First published in July/August 2005 Edition

Last year I wrote about the changing vaccine scene and the difficulty we, as kennel owners, face in formulating a vaccination policy to safeguard our stock, our boarders and, at the same time, satisfy owners. Forty or more years ago I have to say the situation was perhaps simpler. A dog or cat would be presented at the kennels and your first question would be, “Has he been inoculated?”

At that time both canine and feline “killer” diseases - distemper, hepatitis, feline enteritis and cat flu - were rife. It would not be uncommon to hear the reply, “Oh, yes, we have had him inoculated because our friend lost her dog with infectious hepatitis at so-and-so’s kennel and we didn’t know about inoculation until she told us.”

Today the situation is somewhat different. Ask the same question and you will be told, “Oh, yes he has been inoculated but when we went to the vet’s for a check-up before bringing him, he said he did not need a parvo booster since he had one last year and they last for two or three years.”
Manufacturers’ data sheets are subtly changing, certainly year by year if not month by month. Some are actually recommending boosters at two- or even three-year intervals. However, where does that leave us when we know that there has been an outbreak of, say, parvovirus, within ten miles of us? Hence my contention that at least forty years ago things were a little more straightforward. . . .


. . . The difficulty of course is when the vaccination record is flashed at you during the busiest boarding week of the season, it is difficult to decide quite what the animal has received. I therefore hope that the annual updated table is at least of some value.

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