Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE - By Lori Blanken­ship, Ph.D., DVM, CVA

One of our main roles in vet­eri­nary medicine has al­ways been the preven­tion of dis­ease. His­tor­i­cally we think of vac­cines to pre­vent in­fec­tious dis­ease. Many vac­cines are sold as multi- com­po­nent vac­cines with pets re­ceiv­ing killed or live virus from up to 5 dif­fer­ent dis­eases in one in­jec­tion. These in­jec­tions limit our abil­ity to pick and choose which dis­eases we feel are im­por­tant in the pro­tec­tion of dis­ease in our dogs. It also re­quires the im­mune sys­tem to re­spond to many dis­eases at one time. We now carry ca­nine vac­cines con­tain­ing one and two com­po­nents — al­low­ing us to pro­vide pro­tec­tion form the most in­fec­tious dis­eases, with only one at a time.

Pup­pies less than 16 weeks of age may not re­spond to their first vac­cines due to the pres­ence of im­mu­nity de­rived from the mother’s milk. This is why pup­pies re­ceive mul­ti­ple doses of the same vac­cine at 3-4 week in­ter­vals. The last vac­cine should be given at 16 weeks of age or older to en­sure pro­tec­tion for at least one year. What about the older dogs? Even though your adult dog is most likely pro­tected we do en­cour­age yearly test­ing to en­sure pro­tec­tion against the most in­fec­tious and com­mon ca­nine dis­eases. Our in house Dis­tem­per/Parvo/ade­n­ovirus titer kit pro­vides ev­i­dence of your dog’s con­tin­ued pro­tec­tion. This is in­sur­ance to you and any­one in­volved in your dog’s life in­clud­ing the groomer, and board­ing ken­nels that your dog is pro­tected from in­fec­tious dis­ease. Since be­gin­ning to use this kit, there have been very few dogs over the age of 1 year who needs a booster vac­cine for dis­tem­per or parvo. All have been pro­tected for ade­n­ovirus.

Meet Tucker — he is a lucky Great Pyranese/Anatolian Shepherd mix – who found a great home on a lo­cal farm. We com­pleted his puppy vac­cines us­ing the parvo-only vac­cine and the dis­tem­per vac­cine. He only re­ceived one vac­cine per visit and all vac­cines were given at least 2 weeks apart. He re­ceived his ra­bies vac­cine be­fore the age of 6 months. Tucker is lucky to eat raw foods in­clud­ing the raw milk that he loves — straight from the cow!!

Meet Tucker, who re­ceived his puppy vac­cines from An­i­mals First. He is now grow­ing up healthy on a lo­cal farm.

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