Vet Tech Viewpoints – Vaccines, Are They Really Necessary? Part One

Disclaimer: I will be writing this series based on my years in the veterinary industry, and from my experience as an Registered Veterinary Technician. I am NOT a veterinarian, nor should any of my writings or advice be used in place of a veterinarian. Please contact your local veterinarian as every clinic and hospital and veterinarian does things different. It’s always good to do a second point of view, but the ‘Internet’ and ‘Dr. Google’ is not a replacement for your veterinarian. If you find something on the Internet that you feel is pertinent to your pet, it is always good to check your sources and above all, CHECK WITH YOUR OWN VETERINARIAN. This series is meant to be educational to teach folks more about their pets veterinary needs, but always check with your vet before starting or changing any form of treatment. Thanks!

Vaccines… Are they Really Necessary? Part One

This is a very common question that I hear from clients. Some are concerned about pumping chemicals into their pet, while others are financially limited. Some vaccines are referred to as ‘core’ vaccines, meaning they are important for all pets regardless of lifestyle. Others will depend on their lifestyle and risk of exposure.

A lot of vaccine information can be obtained from your vet, and there are a lot of websites that can tell you more detailed information, such as, or However always check with your veterinarian. So I will just be going over the basics and explain why they are important. These are the vaccines that I use in my region, which is the Western United States.

Dogs –

DAPP – A Core vaccine that is recommended for all dogs, regardless of lifestyle. It stands for Distemper, Adeno-virus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. Some clinics give DHPP, which is same thing. Also some vaccines will be labeled DALPP or DAPP-C. In this case “L” stands for Leptosporosis, and “C” stands for Coronavirus, we’ll get to them later.

All the viruses in the DAPP vaccine, are really nasty viruses… seriously… Some of them are transmitted through infected stool or other bodily fluids, while others are airborne. And like all viruses, once they present themselves, most of the time all you can do is hospitalize the pet and give supportive care. Supportive care involves IV fluids, medical injections to control the symptoms. It’s a long, tedious process. And these pets are also contagious, so they need to be isolated. So now pet owners are going to have to go to a 24/7 hospital and pay for hospitalization, and all the other supportive care… for at least a few days; which I guarantee will be a very expensive vet bill totally in the thousands. And there is a slim chance the puppy won’t make it anyway.

Best way to prevent your puppy from getting these is to isolate your pet from any contact with environments where there are other dogs or even where other dogs have been. Parvovirus can exist outside the host for an ENTIRE YEAR, also any dog that survives Parvovirus will shed it in its stool for an ENTIRE YEAR. So all you have to do is walk your puppy through these areas and the virus gets on their paws and soon they lick themselves and suddenly they are infected.

This vaccine should be given to puppies at 6-8 weeks, and then repeated every 3-4 weeks until the pet receives at least two more boosters. Adult dogs should receive it every 1-3 years.

Now some breeders will give the first vaccine as early as 4-6 weeks, which is a gray area depending on who you talk to. Remember the puppy gets antibodies from the mom through nursing, but those antibodies will only last for so long. Usually around 8-12 weeks of age is when the maternal immunity wears off. Which is why most vet hospitals will recommend at least 1-2 more boosters until the puppy is at least 16 weeks of age to ensure full protection. So if you buy a puppy at 8 weeks and the person says they have had all their shots; you still need to take it to the vet.

And just because they’ve gotten their first or second booster does not mean they are fully protected. The vaccine causes a mild immune response in the body so antibodies can form. However, it’s such a small level that if the puppy is exposed to the virus, they can easily be overcome by the virus and the puppy gets sick anyway. I have seen a few cases where a young puppy, despite receiving vaccines still get sick with Distemper or Parvovirus. So, in between vaccines, it still is recommended that you isolate the pet until they are fully vaccinated.

So is it necessary? Unless you want a vet bills that is in the thousands, it’s better to splurge the $20-30 each time to make sure your puppy is protected. Even with your adult dog, failing to vaccinate will eventually leave them vulnerable to these viruses.

Bordetella – Also a Core vaccine recommended for all dogs, regardless of lifestyle. Vaccinates for Bordetella Bronseptica aka Kennel Cough. Transmitted through nasal secretions and airborne. It’s basically an upper respiratory infection. Relatively easy to treat with antibiotics, but with all the coughing, the dog will need to be isolated at home. It can develop into a more serious form, but usually can be treated by your vet.

Very commonly transmitted in shelters, kennels, doggy daycare, dog parks, basically anywhere your dog can be exposed to other dogs. It is highly contagious, so again any puppies should be isolated until they are vaccinated. Most of the time it’s given either via Intra-nasal drops, or Injectable form. Usually good for a year, but some boarding facilities or doggy day care will require it to be boosted every 6 months.

So it is necessary? Even if your pet doesn’t have contact with other dogs, considering it’s highly contagious, it’s better to splurge the $20 just to be on the safe side.

Rabies – A core vaccine… and I really don’t think I need to argue that this is necessary, since this vaccine is required by law.

While films like Cujo or Old Yeller can give you a stylized idea of what happens; it’s not too far from the truth. I will go into what happens if a pet is NOT vaccinated for rabies in another article.

So is it necessary? You really have to ask?

Leptosporosis – This is NOT a core vaccine, and is limited by a pet’s risk of exposure. Lepto is usually spread though the infected urine of wild animals, so deer, raccoons, rats, skunks, etc… Lepto IS treatable, but can really mess up the liver and kidneys if not caught in time. Boosted once in 3-4 weeks and every year.

So is it necessary? If your pet is going to be hiking or camping or anywhere where there is wildlife, it’s probably a good idea to ask your vet.

Lyme – Also not a core vaccine and is limited by exposure. Transmitted through tick bites, and while it is treatable can mess up the kidneys. So it’s highly recommended again with hiking/camping or anywhere your pet can pick up ticks.

So is it necessary? Again if your pet will be going anywhere where they can get ticks, it’s a good idea to get this along with Lepto. Besides your pet should already be on a flea and tick prevention product like Frontline or Revolution.

Coronavirus – Not usually a core vaccine, but this one varies on location. It’s similar to Parvovirus, and is transmitted through infected stool. It’s nasty and also requires hospitalization to isolate the pet and give supportive care. But this will vary by location. I learned about this is school, however, I have not seen any hospital that I’ve worked for use it. However I know it is given elsewhere.

So is it necessary? – Depends on your location. If your vet recommends it, I would listen and get it to be safe.

So concludes my first article for VTV. I will cover Cat vaccines in my next one. Please leave a comment as to how you liked this, and how I can improve it.

Source by Kristi Chong

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like




World economies have recognized Information Technology as an effective tool in catalyzing the economic activity in efficient governance and in developing human resource. They have made significant investments in it and successfully integrated it with the development process, thereby reaping the benefits to their society. In India also, these developments have impacted the industrial, education, service and Government sectors and their influence on various applications is increasingly being felt of


As the era of digital economy is evolving, the concept of governance has assumed significant importance. The e-Governance has consequently become an accepted methodology involving the use of Information Technology in improving transparency, providing information speedily to all citizens, improving administration efficiency and improving public services such as transportation, power, health, water, security and municipal services.

India has been harnessing the benefits provided by the Information & Communication

Technologies to provide integrated governance, reach to the citizens faster,provide efficient services and citizen…

Read More

5 Basics To Protect Your Health During A Pandemic

This year, 2020, will be remembered, unfortunately, as the year of this horrific pandemic, which has seen over 50 million worldwide cases, and over 10 million cases in the United States, as well as about a million deaths, throughout the world, and nearly 250, 000 fatalities, in this nation. Some articulate, a variety of inane concepts, and theories, including, herd immunity, pandemic – fatigue, or, it will all go away, by itself, etc, but, if we wish, to address this virus, and begin to reduce the public health risks, we need to take personal responsibility, to protect our health, and well – being, during a pandemic. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 basic steps, to achieve this.

1. Wear a mask: Why has wearing a mask, become a political discussion? Nearly, every public health expert, states, if, everyone, simply wore…

Read More

Introducing Mauritius

One captivating island that is not yet discovered by a lot of people is Mauritius Island. Although not as popular as the other islands in the world, Mauritius has its own promise of enchantment you would not want to miss.

Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean. It is located off the coast of Africa and lies east of Madagascar. Long before it was named after Prince Maurice, who was the Prince of Orange and Count of Nassau, it were the Arab traders who set foot on this island back in the 10th century. However, it was the culture of the Dutch that made great influence on the island when they used it as a supply base. When the Dutch decided to desert the island, the French came. Then the British got hold of the island through the Treaty of Paris before they finally became independent in 1968.

Due to…

Read More

Ten Steps to Improve Hospitality Communication

You’re celebrating your anniversary at a nice restaurant, you order your favorite meal, it’s going to be a wonderful night… but the waiter is in a bad mood, the order is late, and the food is not what you wanted, you can hear an argument in the kitchen… You won’t be going to that restaurant again, and you’ll tell all your friends too.

Bad communication is bad news anywhere, and in the hospitality industry in particular. So how can we prevent Hospitality communication calamities?

1. Have well-trained staff. If you can’t hire well trained staff, find people who are keen workers and willing to learn, and train them yourself. In fact, some employers prefer to train their own staff, rather than re-train experienced staff to meet their standards. Well trained staff is the key to providing professional service.

2. Hospitality is all about service; stress that to your staff. Hospitality staff often…

Read More

Perth International Airport

Hire Car At Your Fingertip

Perth International Airport Background

The 4th busiest airport in Australia, Perth international airport is situated just outside Perth in Australia. It has three terminals – an international terminal (T1) and two domestic terminals (T2&T3). The building of the international terminal is located 17km from Central Perth and the two domestic terminals about 12 km from the main district of the city.

Perth City

Perth is the capital of Western Australia, which is Australia’s largest state. Interestingly, Perth is geographically closer to East Timor and Jakarta, Indonesia, than to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Perth is nestled in the Swan river, which flows back to the Indian ocean. Perth has the most captivating beaches in Australia.

Tourists’ Itch

As you land in one of the three airport terminals, we can understand the tourist(s) itch you must be having on your feet to explore and get a feel of this beautiful Australian city. You…

Read More

How to Become a Journalist

Journalism is a very competitive field and one of the most exciting as well. If you love to gather interesting information, analyzing and reporting them and disseminating them to the general public, then a journalism career is for you. Journalism jobs in London are in demand as media companies and publishing houses are always on the lookout for fresh journalists.

Journalism jobs vary but the most popular include working in a newspaper or broadcasting station. Entry level positions for fresh graduates are available in these job sectors. Once you’ve gained experience or had taken advance courses in journalism, you can land better jobs as a reporter, commentator, sports and weathercaster, and anchor. Others become news writers, columnists, and correspondents.

Educational Requirements

Journalists must possess exemplary knowledge and skills in the English language. They have to be proficient in both written and oral communication. As such, they must have a degree in English…

Read More

Seychelles Vacation – The Best Time For Your Travel to Seychelles

When is the best time for a holiday in Seychelles? This is a question I get asked very often. And the answer really is an issue that has nothing to do with Seychelles at all. First, I must say, for a vacation in Seychelles there is no “best time” of year. It is pleasant 365 days in these islands. So…

Right now with prices being low, not cheap but definitely more affordable if you’re on a budget, now is a very good time for that Seychelles holiday. But before you rush off to buy a ticket to Seychelles today I would suggest you plan well and you keep yourself informed of special offers, especially during the off-season.

Why the off-season? It is because that might be the very best time for your own holiday depending on your situation. Knowing all that will ensure the very best holiday in Seychelles for you….

Read More

Discover the Beauty of Dominica by Planning a Vacation

A proper plan is necessary for almost anything. Even if you want to lead a successful and happy life you need to plan it properly. Similarly of you want to go for a vacation you need to plan it in the best possible way. Planning can sometimes seem to be a bit tough because there are so many things to consider.

When you plan for a vacation the first thing that you need to do is plan your budget. You need to find out how much you will be able to spend and depending on that you need to take the other decisions. You must always remember that some places are more costly than the others. If you are looking forward to spend some time on a wonderful beach then you can think about choosing Dominica. The Dominican islands are also called the nature islands because of the natural beauty…

Read More