Vaccinations

The “Wag” Side Inn Kennel Cough and Annual Vaccine Policy

ATTENTION: DOGS RECEIVING THE ORAL OR INTRANASAL KENNEL COUGH VACCINE HAVE A THREE WEEK WAITING PERIOD DUE TO THE MODIFIED LIVE VIRUS. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT DOGS THAT HAVE BEEN VACCINATED WITHIN THREE WEEKS OF THEIR SCHEDULED VISIT.

WE REQUIRE PROOF OF RABIES VACCINATION.

 

Kennel cough is known as tracheo-bronchitis, an inflammation of the trachea and the bronchial tubes.  Kennel cough is contagious. It’s major symptoms are sneezing and a hard, choking, productive cough.  There are three different forms of the vaccine on the market.  The original and still widely used vaccine is given intranasally. A modified live parainfluenza virus is aspirated into the dog’s nose.  The newest is an oral vaccine which is a live virus.  Both vaccines create an environment in which the dog can be contagious while being asymptomatic.  Kennel cough can be carried without symptoms, making it impossible for us to determine if your dog is a carrier during this time, therefore, this means your dog CAN NOT be accepted at the “Wag” Side Inn if they have received the oral or intranasal vaccine within three weeks of their arrival.

The newest vaccine is given in an injectable form. This is a killed virus. Therefore, your dog will not be a threat to others and may come to the “Wag”Side at anytime. This decision was made after numerous discussions with different veterinarians and a lot of research including speaking with the vaccine manufacturer. According to the manufacturer the vaccine is good for one year, however some vets recommend it more often due to the inefficacy of the vaccine. Please discuss this with your veterinarian. Many of the veterinarians that I have spoken with had this to say, “When a dog contracts kennel cough it actually boosts the immune system and makes the dog stronger. It’s almost like giving them another vaccine.” Unless your dog is severely debilitated, kennel cough is similar to the common cold. We apologize if we have had to turn you down in the past because your dog was vaccinated within the three-week period.

If we had a case of kennel cough run through our facility, we would end up closing down for a minimum of two weeks. This is our only livelihood and it would be extremely difficult for us to close for that length of time. With all of this said, you must read the other articles regarding annual vaccines on this page. Dogs have died of these vaccines! Many of them have had the vaccine previously without any problems. All twenty-seven of the teaching veterinary colleges in North America are not recommending annual vaccines.  Please discuss the new vaccine protocol with your vet. Studies show the over use of vaccines is causing many health related problems including death. Our policy is to educate the owners of the risk factors and the pros and cons of the vaccine. Educate yourself and then talk with your vet and determine if your dog really needs vaccines annually. The “Wag”Side Inn does not require annual vaccines any longer based on the information from the teaching colleges. By law we have to require the rabies vaccine every three years. Some dogs have difficulty with rabies and can be exempt by your vet for medical reasons. We are not requiring the kennel cough vaccine. Please contact us at your convenience if you have any questions.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for inquiring about our facility. We look forward to caring for your four-footed friends.

 

NEW PRINCIPLES OF IMMUNOLOGY

“Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces an immunity which is good for the life of the pet (ie: canine distemper, parvo, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not “boosted” nor are more memory cells induced. “Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. “There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines “Puppies receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 mo) will provide lifetime immunity. CURRENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DOGS “Distemper & Parvo. According to Dr. Schultz, AVMA, 8-15-95, when a vaccinations series given at 2, 3 & 4 months and again at 1 year with a MLV, puppies and kitten program memory cells that survive for life, providing lifelong immunity. “Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against challenge at 2-10 years for canine distemper & 4 years for parvovirus. Studies for longer duration are pending. “There are no new strains of parvovirus as one mfg. would like to suggest. Parvovirus vaccination provides cross immunity for all types. “Hepatitis (Adenovirus) is one of the agents known to be a cause of kennel cough. Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as CAV-1 vaccines carry the risk of “hepatitis blue-eye” reactions & kidney damage. “Bordetella Parainfluenza: Commonly called “Kennel cough”, recommended only for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs. The intranasal vaccine provides more complete and more rapid onset of immunity with less chance of reaction. Immunity requires 72 hours and does not protect from every cause of kennel cough. Immunity is of short duration (4 to 6 months). RABIESThere have been no reported cases of rabid dogs or cats in Harris, Montogomery or Ft. Bend Counties [Texas], there have been rabid skunks and bats so the potential exists. It is a killed vaccine and must be given every year. Lyme disease is a tick born disease which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart disease in dogs. Ticks can also transmit the disease to humans. The original Ft. Dodge killed bacteria has proven to be the most effective vaccine. Lyme disease prevention should emphasize early removal of ticks. Amitraz collars are more effective than Top Spot, as amitraz paralyzes the tick’s mouth parts preventing transmission of disease.VACCINATIONS NOT RECOMMENDED Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each inpidual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction. Canine Corona Virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell & Texas A& M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs. “Leptospirosis vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs. Most of the clinical cases of lepto reported in dogs in the US are caused by serovaars (or types) grippotyphosa and bratsilvia. The vaccines contain different serovaars eanicola and ictohemorrhagica. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived. Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks.AS above, this may have caused my puppies disease. Steve

Vaccination: Which ones do they REALLY NEED, and HOW OFTEN? by Ann Brightman When Helena took her new Sheltie puppy, Mick, to the vet for his first check-up, she felt more than a little anxious when it came time for him to receive his shots. While she wanted to protect her new friend from deadly diseases like distemper and parvo, she was also concerned about the health risks associated with over-vaccination. Although Helena went ahead with the vaccines and follow-up boosters, she was worried about subjecting Mick to subsequent annual shots, even though her vet told her she was risking her dog’s health even more by not doing so.

It’s a common quandary these days, especially as we hear more and more about the often devastating side effects of over-vaccination. How do we prevent our dogs or cats from contracting infectious diseases that can often be fatal, while also protecting them from the equally serious health consequences of too many shots? The best strategy is to learn which vaccines are absolutely necessary (referred to as core vaccines), why they’re needed, and what the minimum requirements are for each to ensure protection from disease without over-vaccinating.WHAT ARE CORE VACCINES?“Core vaccines are those that every dog or cat should receive, regardless of geographic location or lifestyle,” says Dr. Ron Schultz, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathological Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine. For dogs, the four core vaccines are canine distemper (CDV), canine parvovirus-2 (CPV-2), canine adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) and rabies. Those for cats are feline panleukopenia or parvovirus (FPV), feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), also referred to as feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus (FCV) and rabies. In this article, the first in a three-part series, we’ll be taking a close-up look at canine distemper, feline panleukopenia and rabies.The eight vaccinations listed above are considered core because the diseases they protect against are distributed over a wide area and have a high mortality rate. “These vaccinations are absolutely necessary,” says Dr. Schultz. “You want the vaccine to be the first antigens to prime the immune system. You don’t want to leave it up to natural immunization or exposure.” This is because, when compared to the actual disease-causing virus, the vaccine is a safer way to protect the animal. “If the vaccine is live, it’s attenuated. If it’s killed, it can’t cause disease,” explains Dr. Schultz. “It’s true that many puppies that never see a vet get naturally immunized by exposure to distemper, as an example, but for every one that gets vaccinated, probably another would have died if the first encounter with distemper occurred prior to vaccination.”MINIMIZING VACCINATION Although core vaccines are necessary to protect your companion from infectious disease, even these do not need to be given on an annual basis. “That’s what we’re trying to change,” says Dr. Schultz. “What we recommend is that both puppies and kittens get the core vaccines at least once at or over the age of 12 weeks.” The 12 weeks is significant, because prior to that, many animals still have passive maternal antibodies that block immunization, which means they may not respond to the vaccine and are therefore unprotected against the disease. American Association Hospital Association (AAHA) guidelines recommend vaccinating again at one year, and once every three years after that, although even that may not be necessary. “I have studies that show duration of immunity at seven to nine years for all the core vaccines except rabies, and even on an antibody basis I can show that rabies gives much longer protection than three years,” says Dr. Schultz.CANINE DISTEMPER (CDV)CDV is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems. Although dogs of any age can contract distemper, puppies up to six months of age are most susceptible to the disease, which can cause a range of symptoms from fever,loss of appetite and eye inflammation in its early stages, to diarrhea, vomiting, pneumonia, and neurological complications such as ataxia, seizures and paralysis.Canine distemper occurs around the world not only among domesticated dogs, but also in many wild carnivores such as raccoons, skunks and foxes. “Wildlife is actually now more of a reservoir for distemper than dogs are,” says Dr. Schultz. “The virus is spread mainly by air, or by direct contact with secretions from the infected animal. The mortality rate among puppies with distemper is 50% or higher.” On the plus side, the distemper virus is very fragile and easily destroyed by outside influences. “It doesn’t live very long in the environment,” says Dr. Schultz. “It dies very quickly because it is what we call an enveloped virus. These kinds of viruses are highly susceptible to water, disinfectant and sunlight.”Although there is only one distemper serotype, there are several genotypes. “What this means is that, from an immunologic standpoint, it doesn’t matter which distemper infects the animal, they’re all similar; the vaccine for canine distemper can protect against the different genotypes.” Dr. Schultz adds that modified live vaccines (MLV) are most effective for distemper. “In fact there’s no question in my mind that you should be using live vaccines for most of the cores. Although attenuated, live vaccines infect and replicate, and that’s how you get immunity.”Although AAHA recommends vaccinating against distemper every three years after the initial puppy shots, challenge studies have shown that the minimum duration of immunity can last five to seven years, and perhaps even longer. In fact, titers have indicated that dogs can be protected for nine to 15 years. “To be honest, although canine distemper is a core vaccine, I think a dog only needs to receive it once in his life,” says Dr. Schultz. “The same goes for canine parvo and adenovirus-2. That’s the vaccination program I’ve been practicing on my own dogs without any difficulty whatsoever. We’ve never had a vaccine-preventable disease occur.”Titer testing is highly effective for canine distemper, but according to Dr. Schultz, the best time to do it is at two weeks or more after the last puppy vaccination, to ensure that the animal responded to its initial vaccines. “To my mind, that’s the only time it’s of medical benefit to use a titer test for canine distemper. After that, you don’t really need to titer the animal since you can easily go five or seven years before the next vaccine.”FELINE PANLEUKOPENIA (FPV)Although FPV is sometimes referred to as feline distemper, this terminology is misleading. “When I talk about feline ‘distemper,’ I always talk about it as feline parvo or panleukopenia,” explains Dr. Schultz. “The virus that causes this disease is essentially identical to the canine parvo virus, but not the canine distemper virus. If a dog has parvo, it can infect a cat, but this doesn’t happen with distemper.”Most often found in kittens, FPV is a contagious and deadly disease that attacks and destroys growing cells in the intestine, blood and nervous system. It causes diarrhea, vomiting, a lowered white blood cell count, and neurological symptoms such as tremors. Kittens up to six months of age can easily die from the disease, while older cats may develop much milder signs. “There’s a tremendous age-related resistance to parvo,” says Dr. Schultz. “If the animal is less than a year old, mortality is 80% to 100%. However, I rarely see mortality in animals over a year of age, although I might see mild morbidity. Nevertheless, feline parvo is the one cat vaccine I absolutely insist on.”Like canine distemper, feline parvo has worldwide distribution with outbreaks occurring most commonly in urban areas during the summer months. The disease is transmitted by direct contact, although cats can also contract FPV from the fecal matter of an infected feline. Unlike canine distemper, the parvo virus is extremely long-lived, and can remain active in the environment for months or even longer. “Parvo is what we call a naked virus and is one of the most resistant,” says Dr. Schultz. Soil contaminated with the parvo virus still has the ability to infect an animal a year later. “In fact, parvo is more often caused by environmental contamination than direct contact with an infected animal. You don’t need the infected cat to be in the environment for very long in order for it to leave the virus behind.”As with canine distemper, MLV vaccines are very effective for preventing feline panleukopenia. “With parvo, in fact, you’d better be using live vaccines, because the killeds don’t work.” As with other core vaccines, kittens should be vaccinated at 12 weeks. Titer testing is very effective for this disease, although challenge studies indicate that a vaccinated kitten can remain protected from feline parvo for eight years.RABIES (RV)Unlike distemper and parvo, rabies is a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans, which is why rabies vaccinations are required by law throughout North America. The virus infects the central nervous system, causing encephalitis and death. Symptoms can include confusion, partial paralysis, aggressive behavior, excessive salivation and other neurological signs. Although rabies occurs worldwide, including in Asia, Africa and Latin America, some countries such as the U.K. are rabies-free. In North America, rabies is most prevalent in the eastern portions of the continent, although cases can occur anywhere. Wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes are the major carriers. Because rabies isn’t age-related, mammals at all stages of life can be affected with the same degree of severity. The chief means of transmission is by a bite from an infected animal.“There are multiple strains of rabies, but the important thing is that the vaccine prevents infection with all those different strains,” says Dr. Schultz. “Although the risk of infection in domesticated animals is generally low, the public health concern is the issue. That’s what drives the regulations for rabies vaccines.” As with the other core vaccines, puppies and kittens should be vaccinated at 12 weeks. Although some states and provinces have approved a three-year rabies vaccine, some still require annual re-vaccination for dogs and cats, even though the duration of immunity based on challenge studies has been shown to be three to seven years. “The regulations vary from state to state and province to province, and even from municipality to municipality.” It’s also important to realize that a municipality might have a more restrictive requirement than the state or province it’s a part of, although not the other way around.“Rabies titers are effective, but there’s no point running them because you’re going to have to vaccinate your animal by law anyhow,” says Dr. Schultz. However, titer testing for rabies is useful in cases where the animal has had an adverse reaction to the vaccine, or has a medical condition that could be aggravated by the vaccination. “In these situations, local municipalities will sometimes accept a letter from the vet as a reason not to vaccinate every three years, But the guardian has to understand that the animal is still considered to be non-vaccinated, and if it bit someone, it would be treated as such if it’s gone beyond the three years, irrespective of the vet’s letter. Even so, if you have a dog that for health reasons shouldn’t be given a rabies vaccine, it’s better to take the chance of it being quarantined for biting someone than to give the vaccine and kill the dog.”BACK TO BASICSVaccinations definitely have their place in disease prevention, but knowing where to draw the line is key. “I’ve seen it go from no vaccines back in the mid-1960s, to where we just kept adding one after the other,” says Dr. Schultz. The pendulum has since started swinging back again as organizations such as AAHA and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) began looking more closely at which vaccines out of the 12 for cats and 16 for dogs were really needed and why. “We used to have one manufacturer that made a canine vaccine combo with 13 different components in it. That’s not good, and that’s why it’s not available anymore.” Now, by contrast, companies are coming out with information demonstrating that their products give duration of immunity lasting several years. “All the major manufacturers are coming on board and saying that their core vaccines give at least three years immunity. To me, that’s the greatest gratification in the more than 25 years I’ve been doing this.”

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