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Individual vaccinations vs. Combo vaccinations (DHLP-PV)


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#1 scotch

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:17 PM

Hello ~

I have a 3-yr. old male bc that we suspect had a reaction to his annual vaccinations last December (2008). About a week after his shots, he developed polyarthritis (pain in multiple joints) but mostly in the "wrist" joint of his front left leg ~ very painful. He was stiff and "ouchy" in shoulders and hips too. Especially after working, exerting himself.

We initially suspected a tick borne disease (we live in S. Louisiana) and began a regimen of doxycycline and prednisone. I should mention that we x-rayed the joint and it was text book perfect and we did a joint tap which came back without infection. The symptoms somewhat disappeared and then reappeared off and on for a few months. We tested for tick disease and it came back clean, no exposure. The veterinarian put him on monthly injections of polyglycan (after a load of one shot per week for four weeks), daily doses of vitamin E (400 mgs), 2,000 mgs of fish oil and 500 mgs of vitamin B3 (niacinimde). He has been pain free for six months or so.

In December (2009) he was due for his annual shots. Because we live in the city limits, we are required to have a rabies vaccination. Thankfully, no problems since that injection (4 weeks ago). We pulled titers for parvovirus and distemper and the percentages were really good, well covered.

My question, has anyone been able to find individual vaccines rather than the combo shot that is given? When it's time for future vaccinations, I would like to spread these shots out over the course of a year, one shot every three months. My vet can only get coronavirus and parvovirus individually. It's impossible to determine what he reacted to but I'm suspecting the combo shot was the culprit especially given at the same time as the rabies shot.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Rhonda

#2 juliepoudrier

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:42 PM

Rhonda,
Your vet should be able to get invidual vaccines, but it may not be cost effective for him/her to do so unless there are enough other clients who want the same option. (That is, you often have to buy vaccine 25 doses at a time, which can be rather costly when just one vial is going to be used by one client.)

Here's what I'd do. Vaccinate only every three years (or less--if you can or want to titer anyway, why not just continue with titers and vaccinate only if the titers say you should?). Use a combination vaccine that covers just distemper-adenovirus-parvo. It's my understanding that parainfluenza (the P in the combo vaccine) is not life threatening and is generally self limiting, so I'd skip it altogether. Intervet makes a DAP vaccine that's USDA-approved for use on a three-year schedule. But frankly, my first choice would be to vaccinate for what's legally required (rabies) and not worry about the others unless a second titer 2-3 years from now indicates that he's not adequately protected. Even then, I think I'd weigh the risks (his bad reaction) vs. the benefits (disease prevention) before choosing to vaccinate again (rabies excluded--although I might see if I could get an exemption for that as well, based on his health history and titers showing good protection--some of that would depend on where you live and the likelihood of exposure to rabid animals).

Even before the Intervet vaccine became available, I vaccinated minimally. Once my dogs reach a certain age, they get no vaccines except for rabies. This is my personal choice, but I do a lot of traveling to sheepdog trials, etc., and haven't had any problems with my dogs getting sick. I consider vaccinating a geriatric dog (rabies excluded) to be risky because older immune systems are even more likely to respond in unexpected ways. I personally figure that if a dog has gotten its puppy shots at appropriate times and then a booster at a year, they're probably good for a lifetime, though I compromised in the past by giving vaccines every three years until the dog was older than 8 or so, and then stopping all vaccines but rabies.

If the titers were good this year, I'd simply wait another year or two and titer again and decide at that point about additional vaccines. Remember that you are not legally required to vaccinate for anything but rabies, so do what you think is best for your dog.

You might also want to read the sticky at the top of this section called "Concerned About Overvaccination?" It's full of lots of good information and may help you make a more informed choice with regard to your dog.

J.

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#3 jenkshipley

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:03 PM

My question, has anyone been able to find individual vaccines rather than the combo shot that is given? When it's time for future vaccinations, I would like to spread these shots out over the course of a year, one shot every three months. My vet can only get coronavirus and parvovirus individually. It's impossible to determine what he reacted to but I'm suspecting the combo shot was the culprit especially given at the same time as the rabies shot.


Rhonda,
If your dog had a poor reaction to a vaccination, it may not be worth the risk to vaccinate him again other then what is required by law. Titers are not necessarily accurate either. A titer will only show antibodies present IF the dog has been exposed to a particular disease. If there is no exposure for a time before a titer is performed, the titer will show low antibodies. This does not necessarily mean the dog does not have good antibody protection from the disease already present. It's a gray area.

Personally, I vaccinate once at 16 weeks and then once more at about 12 months and that's it for the life of the dog other then the required rabies every three years.

I do not vaccinate using a combo shot that includes Lepto or Coronavirus and I use a modified live vaccine.

Best,
Jen
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#4 scotch

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 01:29 PM

Thanks to you both for your expertise/advise ~

I'm a bit lost here since this is the first time I've had a dog react. He had all of his puppy shots and annual vaccinations at 1-yr without any problems. It was the 2nd annual at 2-yrs that caused the reactions. So, he's actually had the puppy series, 1st and 2nd year annual vaccinations.

I'm so worried about exposing him, worse yet losing him, to something that could have been prevented by vaccination. I've always (things do change) followed the recommended protocol. Having friends that have lost dogs to distemper (lack of puppy vaccinations) and parvo in the last year, I'm really gun-shy. My vet is concerned about leptosprosis in this area (New Orleans) post Hurricane Katrina. I believe lepto is one that is NOT available individually. I heard just yesterday, and will investigate it further, of a holistic veterinarian in this area that vaccinates individually. Being in the humid, hot, Southern Louisiana climate concerns me regarding parvo and distemper. That said, I will do my due diligence.

Again, thank so much for your responses. It certainly has given me a great deal to think about.

Best Regards,

Rhonda

#5 Lenajo

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 01:37 PM

per vaccine research W. Jean Dodds DVM and R. Schultz DVM once a dog has responded to a vaccine (as defined by a titer) there is no way to "boost" that response and you only risk reaction by repeating the vaccine. Rabies is the exception to science as it is required by law.

Science shows that most dogs, vaccinated once with a modified live, or twice with a killed virus, for parvo and distemper over the age of 12 weeks have fully immunity *for life*.

If that was my dog he'd never see a vaccine again except as required by law. And I'd be looking for ways around that legally. Just as allergic reactions get worse with each exposure, so often do vaccine reactions.

Lepto has 7 major strains, and unless you know what type of lepto you are vaccinating against you can't make an informed decision. Many strains have no vaccination available, and the vaccine is the most likely of all to cause issues. You wouldn't want to just randomly give it.

#6 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:06 PM

per vaccine research W. Jean Dodds DVM and R. Schultz DVM once a dog has responded to a vaccine (as defined by a titer) there is no way to "boost" that response and you only risk reaction by repeating the vaccine.

Please note that while this is correct for viruses it is NOT correct for bacteria. Bacterial vaccines have no more than a 1 year duration of immunity. Also, be aware of the following disclamer in most scientific studies on the evaluation of canine vaccines.

Although not equivalent to challenge-of-immunity studies as a demonstration of efficacy, results suggest that revaccination with the same vaccine provides adequate protection .......

This means that there may not be a correlation study between measured titer levels for the test being used (there are several manufacturers of titer tests) AND demonstration that the dog is immune based upon being exposed to the virus/bacteria.

Lepto has 7 major strains, and unless you know what type of lepto you are vaccinating against you can't make an informed decision. Many strains have no vaccination available, and the vaccine is the most likely of all to cause issues. You wouldn't want to just randomly give it.

The older lepto vaccine formulations were most implicated in adverse reactions to vaccination; however, the newer vaccines based upon recombinant bacterial proteins are cleaner and have significantly lower rates of adverse reactions (on par with the better viral vaccines).

Adverse reactions to vaccines may be tied to the antigens (virus or bacteria) or to other components of that specific vaccine (formulation used by that manufacturer or even production lot). Vaccines (even individual vaccines) are complex mixtures and the antigens are the least abundant components of the formulations.

Mark

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#7 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:42 PM

Alternatives to challenge studies, such as analyses of serologic data, are generally not acceptable for establishing the efficacy of a vaccine.11

In the absence of challenge-of-immunity data, serologic data have inherent limitations. There has been little standardization of serologic testing methodology to allow easy, consistent interpretation of results between or among laboratories.11 Variations exist within and among laboratories, and there is a lack of validated sensitivity, specificity, and confidence intervals; thus, an investigator could send aliquots of one sample to five different clinical laboratories and receive five different results. Furthermore, serologic results do not appear to be a sensitive indicator of immune response for some diseases or vaccines in cats and dogs. It also is difficult to interpret titers that provide less than sterileimmunity but still protect from disease challenge.7,11 These limitations have lead COBTA and others to conclude that serologic testing is
generally unreliable.1,11

Source: Three-Year Duration of Immunity in Dogs Following Vaccination Against Canine Adenovirus Type-1, Canine Parvovirus, and Canine Distemper Virus*


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#8 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:16 PM

I have been searching for studies that correlate titer values to confirmed immunity (challenge of immunity) been haven't found these data so far. These data are what we need since the goal is to measure the titer and KNOW that your dog is immune.

Mark

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#9 Alaska

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:48 AM

My vet is concerned about leptosprosis in this area (New Orleans) post Hurricane Katrina. I believe lepto is one that is NOT available individually.

The lepto vaccine is definitely available individually. The one I use is called LeptoVax 4 (protects against 4 strains of lepto).

You may want to review the AAHA 2006 Vaccination Recommendations for recommended vaccination intervals and which vaccines are considered core vs non-core vs not recommended.

#10 Tommy Coyote

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:28 AM

Hello ~

I have a 3-yr. old male bc that we suspect had a reaction to his annual vaccinations last December (2008). About a week after his shots, he developed polyarthritis (pain in multiple joints) but mostly in the "wrist" joint of his front left leg ~ very painful. He was stiff and "ouchy" in shoulders and hips too. Especially after working, exerting himself.

We initially suspected a tick borne disease (we live in S. Louisiana) and began a regimen of doxycycline and prednisone. I should mention that we x-rayed the joint and it was text book perfect and we did a joint tap which came back without infection. The symptoms somewhat disappeared and then reappeared off and on for a few months. We tested for tick disease and it came back clean, no exposure. The veterinarian put him on monthly injections of polyglycan (after a load of one shot per week for four weeks), daily doses of vitamin E (400 mgs), 2,000 mgs of fish oil and 500 mgs of vitamin B3 (niacinimde). He has been pain free for six months or so.

In December (2009) he was due for his annual shots. Because we live in the city limits, we are required to have a rabies vaccination. Thankfully, no problems since that injection (4 weeks ago). We pulled titers for parvovirus and distemper and the percentages were really good, well covered.

My question, has anyone been able to find individual vaccines rather than the combo shot that is given? When it's time for future vaccinations, I would like to spread these shots out over the course of a year, one shot every three months. My vet can only get coronavirus and parvovirus individually. It's impossible to determine what he reacted to but I'm suspecting the combo shot was the culprit especially given at the same time as the rabies shot.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Rhonda

I'm looking at the same thing here. My dog has polyarthritis. It started when she was 1 year old - almost a whole year after her puppy shots. We don't know what caused it but vets don't really think it was shots since it had been months since she had her shots. Now she is doing really well and her imuran is being slowly reduced. She is down to 1 pill every third day. So far so good.

So I just asked about her shots. My regular vet still uses combination shots once a year. Tommy has another vet and their clinic is following a new protocol where they only get 1 or 2 at a time instead of all of them at the same time.

Right now we are waiting another two months at least before Tommy gets more shots. I'm still looking into other options.


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