Vaccination recommendations for general practice

For frequently asked questions and more information, click here.

NOTE:  Veterinarians have discretion to recommend administration of one or more noncore vaccines that may be considered regionally important for a majority of dogs. 

Core vaccinations

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MLV or Recombinant Canine Distemper Virus, Adenovirus-2 and Parvovirus (DAPP), +/- Parainfluenza Virus

CORE Vaccines

Combination vaccine administered as:

MLV or Recombinant Canine Distemper Virus
+ MLV Parvovirus
+ MLV Adenovirus-2
± MLV Parainfluenza Virus

The recommendations listed apply whether or not CPiV vaccine is included.

Administer by the subcutaneous (SQ) route.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

Beginning as early as 6 wk of age, administer sequential doses of a combination vaccine at an interval of 2 to 4 wk until at least 16 wk of age.

Dogs that are ~16 wk of age when presented for initial vaccination should receive a second dose 2 to 4 wk later.

NOTE: Dogs residing in a HIGH-RISK environment may benefit from receiving a final dose at 18 to 20 wk of age.

HIGH RISK is a subjective assessment applicable to dogs residing at locations in which the incidence of CDV and/or CPV is considered to be high; it may also include puppies known to have significant exposure to other dogs or contaminated environments.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

Administer 1 or 2 doses of a combination vaccine (see below):

NOTE: Dogs residing in a HIGH-RISK environment and between 16 and 20 wk (4–5 mo) of age when presented for initial vaccination may benefit from administration of 2 doses of a combination vaccine 2 to 4 wk apart.

HIGH RISK is a subjective assessment applicable to dogs residing at locations in which the incidence of CDV and/or CPV is considered to be high; it may also include puppies known to have significant exposure to other dogs or contaminated environments.

NOTE: Dogs residing in a HIGH RISK environment and over 20 wk (5 mo) of age when presented for initial vaccination are expected to derive protective immunity from a single dose of a combination vaccine.

Revaccination
(Booster)

Administer a single dose of a combination vaccine within 1 yr following the last dose in the Initial Vaccination series.

Administer subsequent boosters at intervals of 3 yr or longer.

Measuring antibody levels (quantitative or qualitative) provides a reasonable assessment of protective immunity against CDV, CPV, and CAV2.

Click here for more information on antibody testing.

Remarks

Following completion of the Initial Vaccination series and the initial booster dose, MLV and Recombinant Core vaccines will provide a sustained protective response lasting beyond 3 yr.

The rCDV and MLV-CDV vaccines perform similarly with regard to onset of immunity following vaccination (in the absence of MDA) and duration of immunity.

Parvovirus (CPV): All MLV-CPV vaccines available as of 2017 are expected to provide immunity from disease caused by any field variant currently recognized (including CPV-2b and -2c†).

Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV2): Primarily intended to protect against canine infectious hepatitis virus caused by CAV-1 (infectious canine hepatitis virus) but also offers protection against the respiratory CAV-2 (one of the pathogens associated with canine infectious respiratory disease syndrome).

Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPiV): CPiV vaccine administered by the intranasal route may provide superior protection compared to vaccine administered by a parenteral route.

Following reconstitution, vaccine loss of potency may occur within hours. CORE vaccines should be administered within 1 hr following reconstitution; it is recommended that reconstituted vaccines held longer than 1 hr should be properly discarded. (Click here for more information on Vaccine Handling & Storage.)

For recommendations on managing dogs who are overdue for these vaccines, click here.

Rabies virus

CORE Vaccines

1-yr & 3-yr labeled vaccines are available.

Administer by the SQ or intramuscular (IM) route (see Manufacturer’s Package Insert for the vaccine selected)

For state-specific information on rabies immunization and law, click here.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

Administer a single dose not earlier than 12 wk of age.

A second dose is required within 1 yr following the initial dose.

Most, but not all, states and provinces allow discretion in the use of a 1-yr or a 3-yr labeled rabies vaccine when administering the initial dose. (Local requirements may vary.)

A majority of states and jurisdictions require the owner of a young dog to have the initial rabies vaccine administered between 12 and 16 wk of age. (Local requirements may vary.)

For state-specific information on rabies immunization and law, click here.

(State/ Local/ Provincial law applies.)

 

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

Administer a single dose of vaccine.

Regardless of the age of the dog at the time the initial rabies vaccine is administered, a second dose is required within 1 yr following the initial dose of rabies vaccine.

In most states and provinces, veterinarians are allowed discretion in administering either a 1-yr or a 3-yr labeled rabies vaccine.

Vaccination requirements may vary for dogs imported from other countries/states.

For state-specific information on rabies immunization and law, click here.

(State/ Local/ Provincial law applies.)

Revaccination
(Booster)

Administer a single dose of vaccine.

In most states and provinces, veterinarians are allowed discretion in administering either a 1-yr or a 3-yr labeled rabies vaccine.

The interval between subsequent doses is determined by the product label of the last vaccine dose administered (i.e., either 1 yr or 3 yr).

NOTE: Some states and some jurisdictions within states do NOT recognize a 1-yr labeled rabies vaccine, in which case a 3-yr labeled vaccine must be administered.

For state-specific information on rabies immunization and law, click here.

(State/ Local/ Provincial law applies.)

Remarks

Although some states and most provinces do not have a rabies vaccination requirement/law for dogs (or cats), rabies vaccination is recommended as a CORE vaccine in all states and provinces.

Most states (and jurisdictions within states) do NOT permit veterinarians to exempt the requirement for rabies vaccination even in dogs having medical contraindications to vaccination. For state-specific information on rabies immunization, vaccine exemption, and law, click here.

For recommendations on managing dogs who are overdue for this vaccine, click here.

Noncore vaccinations

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Bordetella bronchiseptica + canine parainfluenza virus

NONCORE Vaccines

Bordetella bronchiseptica + canine parainfluenza virus

Administer by the intranasal (IN) route.

OPTION: some IN products may also contain CAV2 vaccine.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

A single IN dose is indicated for dogs at risk of exposure and is generally administered between 8 and 16 wk of age.

The IN vaccine may be administered as early as 3 to 4 wk of age in puppies at risk of exposure to infected dogs (maternally derived antibody does not interfere with the immune response following mucosal vaccination).

 

 

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

A single IN dose of vaccine is indicated for dogs at risk of exposure.

Revaccination
(Booster)

Where risk of exposure is sustained, administer a single dose 1 yr following the last dose administered, then annually thereafter.

Subsequently, a single dose of vaccine is indicated annually when the risk of exposure is sustained.

There is no known value in administering the IN vaccine bi-annually (every 6 mo).

Remarks

Onset of protective immunity has been shown to be as early as 48 to 72 hr following a single inoculation.

The duration of immunity, based on challenge studies (B.bronchiseptica), is 12 to 14 mo following a single dose of IN vaccine.

Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPiV): Parenterally administered CPiV vaccine may not provide a level of protection that is comparable to CPiV vaccine administered by the IN route.

The duration of immunity for the IN CPiV vaccine component is expected to exceed 1 yr.

The IN CAV2 vaccine is not intended for use in the prevention of canine infectious hepatitis.

DO NOT ADMINISTER PARENTERALLY or ORALLY.

For recommendations on managing dogs who are overdue for this vaccine, click here.

Bordetella bronchiseptica only

NONCORE Vaccines

Bordetella bronchiseptica only (monovalent)

Three options are available:

  • Parenteral (CAe)
    Administer by the SQ route.

    -or-
  • Intranasal (avirulent live) 
    Administer by the intranasal (IN) route.

    -or-
  • Intraoral (avirulent live)
    Administer orally (buccal pouch).

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

Parenteral (SQ): Two initial doses are required, 2 to 4 wk apart beginning as early as 8 wk of age.

IN: Administer a single dose intranasally. The IN vaccine may be administered as early as 3 to 4 wk of age.

Oral: Administer a single dose into the buccal pouch as early as 8 wk of age.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

Parenteral (SQ): Two initial doses are required, 2 to 4 wk apart, regardless of the patient’s age.

IN: Administer a single dose intranasally.

Oral: Administer a single dose into the buccal pouch.

Revaccination
(Booster)

Where risk of exposure is sustained, administer a single dose 1 yr following the last dose administered, then annually thereafter

Remarks

Although the IN vaccine may be administered as early as 3 to 4 wk of age, it is conventional in practice to administer a single dose between 8 and 16 wk of age.

Duration of immunity studies, based on challenge, have not been published for the parenteral (SQ) or the oral B. bronchiseptica vaccines.

For recommendations on managing dogs who are overdue for this vaccine, click here.

Leptospira

NONCORE Vaccines

Leptospira 
(killed) 4-serovar

serovar canicola;
serovar icterohaemorrhagiae;
serovar grippotyphosa;
serovar pomona

Administer by the SQ route.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

Two initial doses, 2 to 4 wk apart., are required; the initial dose may be administered as early as 8 to 9 wk of age.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

Two initial doses, 2 to 4 wk apart, are required regardless of the dog’s age.

Revaccination
(Booster)

Where risk of exposure is sustained, administer a single dose 1 yr following completion of the initial 2 doses, then annually thereafter.

Remarks

Because there is limited cross-protection among serovars in the vaccine, administration of a 4-serovar leptospirosis vaccine is recommended over a 2-serovar vaccine.

4-serovar leptospirosis vaccines are available in combination with CORE vaccines and as a 4-serovar (only) product that is not combined with other vaccines.

For recommendations on managing dogs who are overdue for this vaccine, click here.

Borrelia burgdorferi

NONCORE Vaccines

Borrelia burgdorferi
(canine Lyme disease)

Four vaccine types are currently available:

  • killed whole cell bacterin (OspA),
  • killed whole cell bacterin (OspA+C),
  • recombinant OspA,
  • chimeric-recombinant OspA+OspC

Administer by the SQ route.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

Two initial doses, 2 to 4 wk apart, may be administered as early as 8 or 9 wk of age (as labeled); (see REMARKS).

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

Two initial doses, 2 to 4 wk apart, are required regardless of the dog’s age (see REMARKS)

Revaccination
(Booster)

Where risk of exposure is sustained, administer a single dose 1 yr following completion of the initial 2-dose series, then annually thereafter.

Remarks

Dogs traveling into Lyme-disease-endemic areas from nonendemic areas may be at increased risk for exposure and infection. Vaccination may be indicated: administer 2 doses of vaccine, 2 to 4 wk apart, such that the last dose is administered approximately 2 to 4 wk prior to travel.

For recommendations on managing dogs who are overdue for this vaccine, click here.

Canine Influenza Virus-H3N8

NONCORE Vaccines

Canine Influenza Virus-H3N8
(killed)

Administer by the SQ route.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

Two initial doses, 2 to 4 wk apart, are required. The first dose may be administered to dogs 6 to 8 wk of age or older (see package insert for specific information).

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

Two initial doses, 2 to 4 wk apart.

Revaccination
(Booster)

Where risk of exposure is sustained, administer a single dose within 1 yr following completion of the initial 2-dose series, then every year thereafter.

Remarks

When vaccination is recommended, dogs intended to be housed in boarding kennels or day-care facilities should BEGIN the initial vaccination series 4 wk prior to entry (2 wk between the initial vaccines plus 2 wk to allow time for a humoral immune response to develop).

Any dog deemed at risk for exposure to influenza virus should be vaccinated against both H3N2 and H3N8 strains.

Vaccinated dogs may still become infected following exposure, develop mild clinical signs, and transiently shed virulent virus.

For recommendations on managing dogs who are overdue for this vaccine, click here.

Canine Influenza Virus-H3N2

NONCORE Vaccines

Canine Influenza Virus-H3N2
(killed)

Administer by the SQ route.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

Two initial doses, 2 to 4 wk apart, are required. The first dose may be administered to dogs 6 to 8 wk of age or older (see package insert for specific information).

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

Two initial doses, 2 to 4 wk apart.

Revaccination
(Booster)

Where risk of exposure is sustained, administer a single dose within 1 yr following completion of the initial 2-dose series, then every year thereafter.

Remarks

When vaccination is recommended, dogs intended to be housed in boarding kennels or day-care facilities should BEGIN the initial vaccination series 4 wk prior to entry (2 wk between the initial vaccines plus 2 wk to allow time for a humoral immune response to develop).

Any dog deemed at risk for exposure to influenza virus should be vaccinated against both H3N2 and H3N8 strains.

Vaccinated dogs may still become infected following exposure, develop mild clinical signs, and transiently shed virulent virus.

For recommendations on managing dogs who are overdue for this vaccine, click here.

Crotalus atrox

NONCORE Vaccines

Crotalus atrox
(Western Diamondback Rattlesnake)

Administer by the SQ route.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs ≤16 Wk of Age)

Dosing requirements and frequency of administration vary among dogs depending on body weight and exposure risk. Follow the manufacturer’s label recommendations for dosing and administration.

Initial Vaccination
(Dogs >16 Wk of Age)

Dosing requirements and frequency of administration vary among dogs depending on body weight and exposure risk. Follow the manufacturer’s label recommendations for dosing and administration.

Revaccination
(Booster)

Dosing requirements and frequency of administration vary among dogs depending on body weight and exposure risk. Follow the manufacturer’s label recommendations for dosing and administration.

Remarks

The vaccine should only be administered to dogs with a defined risk for exposure.

† CPV-2b and CPV-2c, field variants of canine parvovirus recognized in the United States today;
+ “combined with” the vaccine that follows;
± “with or without” the vaccine(s) that follow;
CAe, cellular antigen extract (Bordetella bronchiseptica);
CAV2, canine adenovirus-2;
CCV, canine coronavirus;
CDV, canine distemper virus;
CPiV, canine parainfluenza virus;
CPV, canine parvovirus;
FAVN, Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization (Rabies);
RVNA, rabies virus neutralizing antibody;
IM, intramuscular;
IN, intranasal;
MDA, maternally derived antibody;
MLV, modified-live virus or attenuated;
oral, specifically administered into the buccal pouch (Bordetella bronchiseptica);
OspA, outer surface protein A (Borellia burgdorferi);
OspC, outer surface protein C (Borellia burgdorferi);
rCDV, recombinant canine distemper virus;
SQ, subcutaneous

MEASLES VACCINE: Attenuated Measles Vaccine is a heterologous, single-dose (do not booster) vaccine for administration to young dogs (not less than 6 wk of age and not older than 12 wk of age) as a means of protecting young dogs (only) against canine distemper virus. The Measles vaccine must be administered by the intramuscular (IM) route.

NOTE: Canine coronavirus (CCV) vaccination is not recommended on the grounds that infection: (1) causes mild or subclinical disease, (2) generally occurs in dogs 6 wk of age and younger, and (3) is typically self-limiting.

NOTE: Administration of multiple doses of parenteral vaccine at the same appointment, particularly among small breed dogs (≤10 kg), may increase the risk of an acute-onset adverse reaction. Alternative vaccination schedules may be indicated, e.g., delaying administration of a noncore vaccine by 2 wk following administration of core vaccines.

Variance between manufacturer recommendations as they are published in the product Package Insert and Task Force recommendations occasionally occur. In each case, Task Force recommendations have been reviewed with the appropriate manufacturer(s).

These guidelines are supported by a generous educational grant from
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Inc., Merck Animal Health, and Zoetis.