Healthy Pet Checks
The lifespan of a dog is shorter than that of a human, and as such a lot can change in a year. If you are not vaccinating, we still advise an annual health check of your dog after they reach 8 years old (or 6 years old if a giant breed) to ensure your pet is as healthy as possible.
We follow the World’s Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Guideline and recommend the following and flow chart below:
8-10 week: Full vaccine (DHP & L2)
12 week: Full vaccine (DHP & L2)
16 week: Parvo vaccine
FIRST YEAR BOOSTER:
1 year after puppy course: Full vaccine (DHP & L2)
ADULT VACCINES & TITIRE TESTING:
Firstly with DHP, there is good scientific evidence to show that the DHP vaccine offers a minimum of 3 years protection. As such we recommend either a repeat DHP vaccination or titre test 3 years after the last DHP vaccine. The frequency of further tests will depend on the test result obtained. If your test fails and a DHP vaccine is given, a repeat titre isn’t needed again for 3 years.
When it comes to Lepto/L2, there is not as much good evidence around how long vaccination offers adequate protection because of the short time period these antibodies persist. It is for this reason that antibody titre tests (like that for DHP) are currently not available. There are relatively few studies looking at ‘challenge’ protection, however those that have show adequate protection at 15 months following vaccination. In the UK, particularly the South East, Leptospira is endemic; however there are many different strains that affect mainly dogs, rats, cattle, pigs and sometimes humans. Although vaccination doesn’t offer complete protection against all the strains, the evidence shows it does offer protection. WSAVA guidelines classify Lepto as a core vaccine in endemic areas, so for this reason we do recommend a vaccination for L2 every 12-15 months.
We know immunologically that the immune system can weaken with age, so we advise clients to continue with their vaccinations and titre testing throughout their dogs life
When welcoming a new puppy into your home, we would recommend vaccinating all your dogs or ensuring they have been vaccinated within the last year as there is a risk your new puppy might bring in diseases which can infect your older dogs. If you have any questions regarding vaccinations, please do not hesitate to contact the practice to speak to one of our vets.