Contributors for 2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines
The 2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines offers a range of recommendations that will aid veterinary teams in making rational decisions on vaccine selection for their individual patients.
For the purpose of creating specific, individualized vaccination recommendations based on risk of exposure, the Task Force has identified and defined the following feline populations based on their environment and lifestyle. The guidelines begin by discussing pet cats and then discuss a number of feline populations that are considered to be at relatively high risk of infectious disease exposure—namely, shelter cats, trap-neuterreturn/ trap-neuter-release cats, cattery cats, and foster cats.
The interpretation of an antibody test result can be complex because antibody testing is used for many reasons. Depending on the antibodies tested for, antibody testing can be used for (1) diagnosis of infection, (2) identification of previous exposure to pathogens (particularly in unvaccinated animals), and (3) assessment of immunity prior to or following vaccination ( Table 7 ). Clinicians should understand when and why to perform antibody testing and use this knowledge to make evidence-based decisions prior to vaccination.
Vaccination protocols for cats should consist of recommended core vaccines and discretionary non-core vaccines as defined and listed in the guidelines. Vaccines in the latter category are given based on a risk-benefit assessment. Risk is determined by the patient’s life stage, lifestyle, clinical history, and health status and by environmental and epidemiologic risk factors. Although feline vaccination is universally practiced by primary care companion animal practices, there is no single protocol suitable for all feline patients. Rather, vaccination of cats should be patient specific and guided by an individual risk-benefit assessment using the criteria listed in the guidelines. In the case of some vaccines, practitioners have a choice of different types of antigens, including those that are inactivated, attenuated, and in recombinant form. The patient’s clinical and vaccination status, such as the possible presence of maternally derived immunity or a history of adverse postvaccination reactions, are factors that may influence the choice of vaccine type.
References for the 2020 AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines .
Risk assessment variables when determining an individualized vaccination plan from the 2020 AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines .
The Task Force believes that there is currently insufficient research to justify recommending a single vaccine type. Since injection site sarcomas are a risk, the Task Force recommends vaccination in the lower distal limbs to facilitate clean margins if surgical amputation is required.
The decision to vaccinate, even with core vaccines, should be based on a risk-benefit assessment for each cat and for each vaccine antigen. Benefits of vaccination should be balanced against the risk of adverse events, likelihood of exposure, and disease severity. Every effort should be made to ensure that cats are healthy before vaccination. However, concurrent illness (including retroviral infections) does not necessarily preclude vaccination.
AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines Task Force