I've been wondering how often vaccinations should be given. Most veterinarians advice annual vaccination. However, some owners have explicitly disagreed with this type of routine. For one, because it upsets the dog's natural antibody capabilities. And two, because some pets have severe reactions during vaccinations.
Dr. Ronald D. Schultz, Ph.D..- "Annual revaccination provides no benefit and may increase the risk for adverse reactions. The percentage of vaccinated animals (those vaccinated only as puppies) protected from clinical disease after challenge with canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus in the study was greater than 95%." Source
The third reason would be because there's such a thing as chronically induced diseases obtained from vaccination e.g. skin allergies. auto-immune.
Why aren't puppies given vaccinations too early?
The mother's milk is rich in maternal antibodies. Colostrum provides the initial protection for the first 12 weeks.
If the vaccine is given earlier than 8 weeks, the mother's antibodies will neutralize the vaccine leaving the puppy with little protection.
I picked up a more detailed explanation from NEW PRINCIPLES OF IMMUNOLOGY. Credit also goes to srdogs.com from which I tracked its original URL.
Puppies receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 mo) will provide lifetime immunity.It doesn't sound so complex when you think about it, does it.
Why do you need to stick to the schedule?
A couple of days ago, Peanuts had her third shot. The vet had sent me a reminder message to follow up her vaccination since we didn't come in the day before ( it was raining pretty strong so I decided to go the next day).
In the shortest explanation possible, having the shots too early will over stimulate your puppies immune system hence making its antibodies "think" that any foreign object entering the body should be destroyed.
Having the shots too far apart could leave the puppy susceptible to these diseases.
Is annual vaccination required?
No. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, adult dog booster shots are better given every three years rather than annually. This is just because researchers have discovered that immunity from boosters can last up to three years.
Some vets have noted an increase in cases of dogs and cats having auto-immune diseases, especially the ones who've been given annual vaccinations.
Any thoughts? Objections? How often do you get your doggies vaccinated?