Dogs and vaccination

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Vaccines, according to Casal, associate professor of medical genetics at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, shield pets from infectious and deadly diseases, cause immune responses, and train them to combat potential illnesses, making vaccines important (Kendrick). This paper addresses dog vaccination, with the essay argument being that the government should authorize veterinarians to change vaccination doses based on the size and medical records of the dog.
Most veterinarians recommend that dogs have rabies, canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus, and canine adenovirus vaccines. These are the core vaccines that dogs are required to undergo at six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, and sixteen weeks. The recommendations are just recommendation and not necessarily based on any scientific evidence. They were made by United States department of agriculture and Drugs Company. However growing alarm for adverse medical effects experienced by pets due to over vaccination is on the rise. In particular with allergic reactions, immune system, seizures, anemia and cancer (Becks)
A study by Purdue found correlation between vaccines reaction in dogs and variables including age, size and number of vaccines given. It found that smaller dogs were more susceptible to vaccines that larger ones. Dogs that are less than twenty two pounds have a twenty seven percent risk for every additional vaccine per visit. While those over twenty two percent have a twelve percent risk of the same. It also found that risk increased for dogs up to two years of age and dropped as they got older. There was also an increased risk for dogs in heat and those that were pregnant. The dogs that were given leptospirosis vaccine and were small were also found to have more reactions (Becker).
Medications dosed by weight like antibiotics have to reach levels that are effective in the blood and tissues in order to work effectively in fighting infection. It is imperative that medication on dogs be issued according to the size of the dog keeping in mind its medical history. Any animal is be prone to vaccine reactions and in the case of smaller dogsvaccination should be spread out over a period of time to allow the immune system to be protected effectively and not overwhelmed. For example an interval of 3 to 4 weeks up to 16 to 18 weeks of age (Crosby).
One of the problems with veterinary vaccines is that they are of the one size fits all variety such that a five pound Chihuahua willreceive the same dose as a hundred pound bulldog. The failure to adjust dosage to body size makes vaccines potentially lethal to small animals. To reduce the risk of adverse effects smaller pets ought to receive smaller doses (Batts).
The American hospital association had its recommendations revised recommending that old dogs should be vaccinated every three years. However yearly checkups are important as the examinations helps vets in developing a good base line on the dogs system.
Mitchel et al. asserts that an adult dog may be revaccinated annually but the components of such vaccination differ with each passing year. An adult dog that received a vaccination of complete core vaccination as a puppy, but not regular vaccination as an adult also requires Modified Live Virus (MLV) core vaccines to boost its immunity (13). The same is the case for a dog that has been adopted as an adult or a puppy who is over sixteen weeks in age whose vaccination history is unknown. In this case only a single dose of MLV is required for protective immune system to be engendered (Day, Horzinek, Schultz& Squires).
Administering a vaccine booster for diseases which a pet already has enough protective antibodies does not provide for an enhancement in the immunity rather it increases likelihood of vaccine associated adverse events (VAAE). The American Veterinary Association (AVA) vaccination principles there are evidence of some vaccines providing immunity beyond a year and revaccination does not add to the diseases protection but instead increases the risk of post vaccination adverse events (PetMD)
Most veterinary school teaches students to administer 1ml per dog as this standard stimulates an immune response. Unlike antibiotics that are dosed per kg in weight, this are dosed per pet. This therefore means that a 5lbs Yorkshire receives the same amount administered to 100lbs Great Dane. Due to metabolism of drugs by organs such as liver and kidney,weight matters as the bigger the animal the greater the area of coverage and vice versa. Since vaccines are for immune boosting not measured by weight, the body does not process them as it would drugs. However reducing the volume of vaccines decreases the likelihood of adverse reaction. Common adverse symptoms are normally visible within three days of vaccination and for dogs of young age,smallsize and neutered the reaction can be intense for them in relation to amount of vaccine given at a time (Lizotte).
There is a Minimum Immunizing Dose for vaccines (MID) threshold that immune response is fully stimulated which is 1ml.this varies a little in size. Ward et al. looked at vet records gathered for two years from Banfiled clinic to determine reactions of the standard. He found that smaller dogs were at risk which increased as the body weight went down. In general dogs with an eleven pound weight or less suffered four times more than those having over ninety nine pounds weight. On the flip side the vaccines standard is not enough for larger breeds either as the standard amount is measured by medium dogs. This could be the cause of susceptibility of large dogs to parvovirus even after vaccination (Scott).
The medical history of a dog is important when administering a vaccine especially one that shows sign of a this case it is important to consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Physical examinations and laboratory tests are equally important. An animal with severe vaccine reaction after a previous administration needs to be taken into account while administering a subsequent vaccination. This includes health status and the severity of the reaction. If there are risks vaccinations should be discouraged. An adult dog with a sever reaction case will need a canine distemper revaccination (Foster & Smith).
In conclusion, the above discussions are clear on the effects of a standard 1ml vaccination for all dogs regardless of their size and medical history. Consequently it is imperative for an adjustment to be made on the basis of size and medical history of a dog while administering vaccination whether for the first time or a subsequent time.

Works Cited
Batts, Vicki. Vetinerian Says Pet Deaths Caused By Over Vaccination. 5 March 2017. 8 May 2017 .
Becker, Karen. When it Comes to Vaccinating Your Pet Less Is More. 4 August 2009. 8 May 2017 .
Crosby, Janet Tobissaen. Why the Same for All Sizes Of Pets. 4 April 2017. 8 May 2017 .
Kendrick, Hill. Pet Vaccination :Understanding Vaccination for Your Cats or Dogs. 2 February 2011. 8 may 2017 .
Lizotte, Cindy. Vaccine Schedule, Pet Size and Tire Tests. 25 March 2014. 8 May 2017 .
M.J Day, M.C.Horzinek, R.D Schultz & R.A. Squires. Worl Small Veterinay Association Guidelines for The Vaccination of Dogs and Cats. January 2016. 8 May 2017 .
Petmd. Can You Over Vaccinate Your Pet. 2 January 2017. 8 May 2017 .
Rodier, Lisa. Beware of Over Vaccinating Your Dog. 6 October 2016. 8 May 2017 .
Scott, Dana. A Large Vaccine Problem for Small Dogs. n.d. 8 May 2017 .
Smith, Foster &. Foster and Smith.Com. n.d. 8 may 2019 .

August 09, 2021

Family Health


Illness Medicine

Subject area:

Disease Pets Vaccines

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Expertise Vaccines
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