Core Dog Vaccinations
Infectious Hepatitis (Core)
The infectious hepatitis vaccine is a MLV vaccine containing CAV-2. This
vaccine protects against canine hepatitis and two of the adenoviruses involved
in the kennel cough complex (CAV-1 and
Hepatitis vaccine is incorporated into the DHPP shot, which is given at 8 to
12 weeks of age and again at 16 weeks of age with a possible booster in between
for puppies who were initially vaccinated at 8 weeks of age or younger. It is
suggested that a DHPP booster be given at 1 year of age or one year from the
last vaccine. Revaccination is currently recommended every three years,
although initial immunity may persist for life.
Canine Parvovirus (Core)
Commercially available vaccines effectively cross-protect against all the
current strains of parvo, including variant strains. The MLV vaccine is much
more effective than a killed vaccine in that it produces a faster and stronger
Because the age at which individual pups can respond to parvovirus
vaccination varies, AAHA 2006 guidelines are to give the vaccine at 6 to 8
weeks of age, then every three to four weeks until the dog is 12 to 14 weeks of
age, but many veterinarians prefer to wait until a puppy is 7 or 8 weeks of age
to start parvo vaccinations and conclude them at 16 weeks.
High titer-low passage vaccines (see page 91) are more effective than older
vaccines, even in the presence of maternal antibodies, and have narrowed the
window of susceptibility that occurs between declining levels of maternal
antibodies and acquired immunity produced by the vaccine. This has resulted in
fewer vaccine failures.
Even after a pup has received his first series of vaccinations, he should
not be exposed to dogs who may be a source of infection until after he receives
his final vaccination at 16 weeks of age. Boosters are recommended every three
years to maintain immunity, following an initial booster at one year. This
interval may be increased with further research on vaccine efficacy.
In unvaccinated dogs older than 16 weeks, give two doses of vaccine two
weeks apart. Brood bitches should be vaccinated two to four weeks before
breeding to ensure high levels of antibodies in their colostrum. Some
veterinarians believe this booster is unnecessary.
The first rabies vaccination should be given at 3 to 6 months of age, with
the first booster shot given one year later (at 15 months of age). Thereafter,
give boosters annually or every three years, according to state and local
statutes. Rabies vaccination schedules are regulated by law.