need help understanding vaccines

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MaggieRocks
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need help understanding vaccines

Post by MaggieRocks »

I'm on a mission!!! I have appointments coming up within the next 2-3 months for both Maggie and Sammy. I took Emma to a new vet last fall and liked her better than where I had been going. But, I need to understand what these abbreviations are so I am better informed for the next visit. Here is the one that is confusing me:

DA2P-PV-4L

I think the "D" is distemper. But what is the "A" and the "2"? Are the 2 "P's" for parvo and parainfluenza? And what about the "V" and the "4L"? Is the "L" leptospirosis?

And I noticed on Sammy's records from when he was boarded before we fostered him, this is listed:

Dist/Hep/Lepto/Parvo

Is this just a variation of DA2P-PV-4L?

And on another note-how many of you get the lyme vaccine for your dogs, especially if you live in an area where lyme disease is common? Although i feel strongly that dogs have lifetime immunity after the full series of puppy vaccines, I'm not sure about the lyme vaccine. (Let me point out that I was diagnosed with Lyme disease a few years ago, and not a summer goes by that we don't get the occasional tick off each dog, even though we've always used either Frontline or Advantix.)

Lisa
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by Lisa »

MaggieRocks wrote:DA2P-PV-4L
DA2P = Distemper, adenovirus type 2 (which cross protects against hepatitis), parainfluenza

PV = Parvovirus

4L = covers 4 strains of Lepto

the combo shot will usually have either an "H" or "A2", both of which are vaccines for hepatitis.

I don't vaccinate for Lepto or Lyme. My dogs are not in areas where they could contract either.
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MaggieRocks
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by MaggieRocks »

Found what I was looking for.

D=distemper
A2=hepatitus
P=parvo
PV=parainfluenza
4L=4 strains of leptosprosis

Geez! So-what do you say when a vet agrees that A + B provide lifetime immunity but C does not and they only give the vaccine as a combo so you basically have to get all or none? (And in this case, A, B and C are just as examples-I forget which ones the vet specified.)

MaggieRocks
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by MaggieRocks »

Lisa, thanks! I was wondering why my post didn't go through the first time-it's because we were posting at the same time! Any thoughts on my 2nd question regarding the combo vaccine?

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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by Lisa »

Regarding the combo vaccines - as far as I'm aware, there is no longer anyone manufacturing individual vaccines rather than combined ones. At the very least, you'll always find distemper paired with the hepatitis vaccine - no one makes just a distemper vac. You can find separate Parvo and parainfluenza. All would have to be specially ordered by your vet, though, because chances are, they only carry the combined vaccines. It's really a supply/demand thing. Most pet owners don't know enough to ask for separate vaccines, so there isn't enough demand to produce them or for vets to carry them.

The only vaccine that is absolutely required is Rabies, and unless your dog has a medical reason not to, I would follow state/city/county requirements on that, just to be legal. The last thing you want is for your dog to be at risk because it's tooth accidentally scratched someone and the dog isn't "current" on it's rabies vaccine according to your area's laws. I give the rabies every 3 years, as required by my city.

For the others, you can either titer and then vaccinate with the combo as needed, or just go with every 3 years. Really, what you want to be concerned about are distemper and parvo - it's very rare, but adult dogs can contract these diseases if they for some reason don't build proper immunity. There hasn't been a case of canine hepatitis in over 12 years, so it's not a concern, but there isn't a vaccine made without it, so you're kinda stuck there. If you can avoid that parainfluenza vaccine, I would. That one is not really necessary unless your dog is going to be boarding. If not, it won't hurt your dog, but is probably not needed either.

Lepto - there are 7 strains, only 4 of which are covered by the vaccine. If you're concerned about Lepto risk in your area, check with county livestock offices on what strains are prevalent in your area and whether it is an issue or not. If your dog isn't drinking from standing water that may have been frequented by livestock, you're not really at risk.

Lyme - the vaccine is only about 60-70% effective. If your area has a high incidence of lyme disease, then it may be worth getting the vaccine. You just have to consider how often your dog will be in areas where they might pick up ticks.
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Cindy
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by Cindy »

We live in a high risk area for Lyme. Kayla tested positive for it and was treated and has not had a occurrence. Although my vet mentioned the Lyme vaccine he never pushed it so I haven't bothered. As Lisa said, it's not all the effective so why vaccinate for something they have a decent chance of getting anyway? I do all the other vaccinations although my vet did NOT give any to Kayla (age12/13) when I had her in last week. He said there was no reason to stress her system and she was so healthy anyway. I found that VERY interesting and it was a "first."
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MaggieRocks
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by MaggieRocks »

There was one vet (out of 3) where I used to go who agreed on lifetime immunity for most vaccines. What she suggested was to get all the vaccines every 3 years instead of annually, the same as rabies. She also recommended doing this on a rotating basis so they didn't get all their vaccines at the same time. Soon after we decided this, she transferred to a different office.

Sammy is due for his annual exam in May. I'm trying to put together a spreadsheet with dates of all the vaccines they have received so it is easy to see who is due for what. For Sammy, I plan on declining all vaccines other than rabies. He turns either 12 or 13 this summer (bad mom-I forget!) and I think he's earned the right!

On another note, I have read research where they think the rabies vaccine is actually good for 7 years. I doubt that is something that will be changed too quickly, though.

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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by Bama Britt »

So, maggierocks...how did it go at the vet? Did the vet agree to forego all vaccines on Sammy except rabies? Just curious, my Ginger is 11 and due for her annual and I am thinking of doing the same thing.
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MaggieRocks
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by MaggieRocks »

Yes, actually, she did. She agreed that Sammy has "paid his dues" and said she is sure he still has antibodies from his previous vaccinations. (Can't believe he's turning 12 next week!)

Maggie turned 9 in March. I'd like to stop vaccinations for her, as well, but will probably keep them up at least another year or two. She is more active than Sammy and still hunts. Even though the lyme disease vaccine isn't 100% effective, that is one that all the vets I have seen over the years seem to recommend because of our house being in a wooded area.

Please let me know how you and Ginger make out!

Bama Britt
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by Bama Britt »

Will do...we have an appointment Friday.

Happy Birthday (next week) Sammy boy!
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Cindy
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by Cindy »

That's really interesting about recommended vaccines (or not). I wonder if the protocol has changed, if 12/13 years is the upper limit, and/or if vets are just getting smarter about all of this.
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MaggieRocks
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by MaggieRocks »

Cindy, I don't know if protocol has changed so much as I'm becoming more adament about my beliefs with vets. When I was still going to VCA, 2 out of 3 of the vets there gave me a real hard time about my belief in lifetime immunity. The 3rd vet said she also tended to believe that theory for most (but not all) vaccines. She recommended that I get the dogs on a schedule where they got all their vaccinations every 3 years instead of each year, the same as rabies. But, she said don't get them all at the same time-thus, the rotating schedule.

I was heart-broken when she moved to a different practice, because I was so tired of arguing with the other 2 vets. That's when I switched to a different vet practice, and so far, so good. I have to set up an appointment for Maggie, so I'll be sure to ask what she thinks about seniors and vaccinations. An active 9 year old that runs and hunts and still thinks she is 5 is a lot different from a 12 year old who, although quite healthy and has plenty of energy, is not nearly as active.

Cindy
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by Cindy »

That's funny ... as soon as I gave up asking, my vet just decided not to vaccinate. Maybe the squeaky wheel doesn't always get the grease!!
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adele
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by adele »

I had Tramp in yesterday and our vet is now doing in house titers! So we did that and she told me there was no need to vaccinate him this year. I was really pleased that they are doing the tests themselves now. (It was very expensive to send the blood away to have it tested).

She's set it up so I had to pay for the titer and they phone with the results. If the dog needs a booster there is no charge for the second vet visit... I think that's a pretty good deal.
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MaggieRocks
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Re: need help understanding vaccines

Post by MaggieRocks »

Wow, that is great, Adele!!! When my previous vet was giving me such a hard time about the annual vaccinations, I asked about titers. (I think that pissed him off even more, lol!) He just casually mentioned how expensive it is to have titers done. And yes, it's nice to save money by not getting vaccines every year, but the MAIN reason I'm asking is because of my dogs health. I'm still convinced our pets are over-vaccinated. It's so nice that your vet offers that service.

Maybe I need to relocate :roll:

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