|What is this about 3 year vaccines?
Here follows important information you need to know about our hospital's use and recommendations for vaccinating your dog using the longer duration of immunity vaccine.
Which diseases are covered by the new 3 year vaccine?
The extended-immunity vaccination currently available in Australia only covers the three ‘core’ viruses in dogs – Distemper, Parvovirus, and Hepatitis. This is known as a C3. These diseases are considered ‘core’ as they are of a severe, life-threatening nature, and of global distribution. In Metropolitan Victoria we recommend that vaccinations for dogs include five diseases (C5) – the three mentioned above, and two additional pathogens (C2)- Parainfluenza virus and the bacteria Bordetella Bronchiseptica, (which are both components of the common Canine Cough).
What does this mean for my dog?
Your dog will still require a yearly vaccination, but the timing and the type of vaccination given (and therefore the diseases we are vaccinating against) will change. For adult dogs, they will get a C3 only once every three years, with a C2 still required once every year. Our pets are aging much faster than us, so examinations and health checks should be performed once to twice yearly to monitor our pets closely and keep them in optimum health for as long as possible. Many dogs also need administration of an annual heartworm prevention injection once per year.
Why was it developed?
The concerns about frequent vaccination originated in the United States, where pet dogs and cats are vaccinated against up to 12 different diseases at one time (including several diseases that are not present in Victoria or in Australia). It has been suggested that such yearly multi-vaccinations can lead to various side effects including immune mediated diseases from over working the immune system. Studies were done to measure the time immunity lasts in our pet’s body, allowing a vaccine to be developed to stimulate longer protection after a single injection.
Will the new vaccine cost any more?
The cost of vaccinating your dog over the three year cycle will remain essentially the same; in the year where your dog needs a C5 (both the C3 and C2) the price will be a little more expensive, and in the intervening two years of the cycle, a C2 vaccine will be slightly cheaper, making the change overall cost-neutral.
What about puppies and cats?
Puppies will still require their normal course of booster vaccinations, with the first 3-year vaccine given once they are over the age of one. For puppies, however, this vaccine has a proven ability to provide better protection at a younger age, so we now vaccinate puppies at least TWO WEEK earlier than other vaccines, meaning puppies are able to get out and about and socialise at least two weeks earlier than other vaccines (at 10 weeks + 10 days of age).
The vaccines available for cats only give protection/immunity for one year, thus they still require annual vaccinations with ‘core’ (F3) vaccinations - feline Enteritis, Calici and the Herpes virus (the flu), as well as feline AIDs virus vaccination.
Questions? We can discuss this new vaccination with you in more detail at your next visit, and answer any questions you may have.