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between the maternal antibody protection and vaccine induced protection.

The important take home message of all of this is that all puppies should be vaccinated several times beginning at 6-8 weeks and continuing every 3 weeks until the pup reaches 12-14 weeks of age. This is the best way to ensure that there are no lapses in immune protection. When a puppy receives its last parvovirus, distemper virus, and adenovirus vaccination - and its rabies vaccination, it will need its next vaccinations one year after the last puppy vaccination was given. The new canine vaccination guidelines begin after this one year booster.

The core vaccines for distemper virus, parvovirus, and adenovirus type 2 no longer need yearly boosters, as has been done previously. Giving booster vaccinations for these three diseases triennially (every three years) has been shown to provide the same level of immune protection as a yearly booster. Rabies vaccine has been given every three years for a long time. Non-core vaccines include: bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough), parainfluenza virus, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis. These vaccines may be needed by some dogs but definitely not all dogs.

Bordetella bronchiseptica, a bacteria, and parainfluenza virus both contribute to kennel cough disease in dogs. Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease of dogs that causes a very severe, but not life threatening bronchitis and accompanying harsh cough. Kennel cough is most common in dogs that are kept in close confinement with other dogs. Examples include boarding kennels, dog shows, field trials/hunt tests, obedience or agility events, and at groomers. Dogs that are exposed to any of these situations should be considered for the kennel cough (bordetella, parainfluenza) vaccination. This vaccination needs yearly boosters, if exposure continues.

"Hunting dogs, which spend a large amount of time in the same environment of many of the animals which can spread leptospira, are likely at increased risk of exposure to this disease."

Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease caused by a bacterial organism, Borrellia borgdorferi. A dog living in, or traveling to areas where Lyme disease exists may be a candidate for yearly vaccination with Lyme vaccine. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria and bacterial vaccines are not as long lasting as viral vaccines. Hence, Lyme vaccine requires a yearly booster. Some of the new topical tick control products are very effective in preventing the attachment of ticks to dogs. If a dog is treated with one of these products, vaccination for Lyme disease may not be needed. The decision should be based on how often attached ticks are found on a dog. Lyme disease in dogs is very treatable with oral antibiotics and rarely, if ever, has the long term, chronic symptoms seen in humans with Lyme disease. Because of this, some people in the veterinary profession do not feel any Lyme vaccine is necessary. However, others feel that the acute disease seen in dogs is severe enough to warrant vaccination - even though it is a treatable non-life threatening disease. Owners should educate themselves about this disease in dogs, discuss it with their veterinarian, and then make the decision that seems best for their dog.

Leptospira vaccination is also controversial. There are numerous strains of leptospiral organisms (known as serovars)

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