When it comes to puppies, we’re pretty much ready to trust the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. After all, even the biggest dogs we know started out as small animals. And we’re certainly going to pay attention when the WSAVA issues new guidelines to veterinary surgeons and dog owners about protecting dogs from infectious disease.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association isn’t breaking any ground with their new goals. They want to vaccinate every animal with core vaccines. They’re also careful about avoiding needless vaccinations. That’s why they make it clear that we’re talking about what they classify as “core vaccines.” The WSAVA also makes a big deal out of annual check-ups. We’re not the kind of animal owners who think that’s some kind of scam. Veterinarians can do more than ever for our pets. We still have to get our pets to the veterinarians.
As a quick puppy primer: The WSAVA recommends that all puppies should have their initial vaccines against distemper, parvovirus and hepatitis. They also like to add that rabies vaccination is considered a core treatment, “even when it is not required by law.” We’ve always assumed it was required by law, anyway.
We’re very interested to learn that the organization suggests that the final puppy vaccine against core diseases should be given at 14-16 weeks of age. That’s to avoid the vaccination working against the maternal immunity that puppies acquire from their mothers. That’s something we never gave thought to, either. Also pretty important: 98% of core puppy vaccines given between 14-16 weeks of age will provide immunity against parvovirus, distemper and adenovirus for many years–and probably for the life of the animal.
All dogs should also receive a first booster for core vaccines 12 months after completion of the primary vaccination course–according to these new guidelines, which explain that the 12-month booster will provide immunity for dogs that might not adequately respond to the puppy vaccinations.
The link also address non-core vaccinations, like precautions against kennel cough. The WSAVA also addresses leptospirosis–which is that flu-like illness also known as Weil’s syndrome, 7-day fever, Rat Catcher’s Yellows, black jaundice, and other scary names. As always, the emphasis stays on avoiding non-essential vaccinations, so the WSAVA has geographical guidelines. That’s where we get past puppies and learn some important things about vaccinations for all dogs. It’s some vital reading, and should be pretty gripping news to any pet owner. Follow up with your own vet, of course, but it’s always great to go to the doctor with some real knowledge. Your puppy will appreciate it, too. They sure don’t want unnecessary vaccinations.