Transitioning your canine companion to a 3-year DHPP vaccination protocol should be a smooth process. Even so, we understand that you may want more information. Below you can find answers to some frequently asked questions. For a broader overview regarding the change in our canine vaccination protocol, please read this letter.

Will my dog have new side effects as a result of this change in the vaccination protocol?

No. We are working with your dog's natural immunity so if anything, he or she should be at less risk of health problems because we are trying to avoid over-vaccination.

If you are going to an every 3 year DHPP protocol, why does my puppy's reminder say the vaccination is due in 1 year?

In order to provide disease protection and lasting immunity, puppies need an initial series of DHPP vaccines. Upon completion of the series, the DHPP vaccine is good for 1 year. It is the subsequent adult boosters that will be every 3 years.

Does this mean I only need to bring my dog in every 3 years now?

No! Annual exams and wellness consults are an integral part of maintaining the health of your pet. In fact, senior pets or pets with chronic medical conditions benefit from even more frequent visits - a lot can change quickly for a dog given that one year for them is roughly the equivalent of seven years for us. Dogs also need a heartworm test and fecal test for parasites once a year, and he or she might be due for other vaccinations, including leptospirosis (still needs to be done annually to be effective), bordetella (kennel cough), and/or rabies.

Why is your practice electing to make this change?

We strive to provide the best care for your pet. Any time new information becomes available, we carefully review it. In some instances, we study it over a longer period of time before making changes. This is especially the case when it comes to decisions that may affect the health and safety of our patients. In this situation, we did just that and ultimately feel the timing is right to make the change.

Can you do a vaccination titer to determine when to re-vaccinate my dog?

A titer is a blood test to check antibody levels against a particular disease. In theory, this may be helpful to determine when to re-vaccinate, but in reality, the situation is not this simple. There is no guarantee that an "adequate" antibody level is truly protective (or for how long) or conversely that a "low" antibody level is not protective. This is because the immune system is very complex and numerous factors affect your pet's ability to fight infection. That said, if you have an interest in titering, we would be happy to discuss it and can work with you to create a healthcare plan which meets your pet's unique needs.

How can I find out more?

Please feel free to call so we can address any specific questions you may have. We want to partner with you so that you can make well-educated decisions for your pet and we thank you for caring enough to ask!