Vaccine questions important component of study
Each month, we explain a few questions from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study questionnaire.
One of the goals of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is to survey current veterinary practices across the country, including vaccination schedules and commonly used vaccines. Vaccines are such a routine part of canine health care it is easy to overlook their importance in disease prevention.
We know that vaccinations are important in the prevention of disease, but many of us might not have a deep understanding of exactly which diseases are included in our standard vaccine protocols. Question #81 of the baseline questionnaire and question #2 on the three-year veterinary questionnaire ask some very detailed questions about vaccination.
In our October 15, 2015, blog we discussed the respiratory diseases many vaccines are designed to prevent. There also are several vaccines, or components of vaccines, designed to prevent gastrointestinal diseases. Gastrointestinal problems are one of the top reasons owners take their dogs to the veterinarian.
The DA2PPV vaccine is given routinely to dogs protect to protect them against two of the most common and deadliest gastrointestinal viruses: canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus.
Although canine distemper virus infections usually start with respiratory signs, they often progress to include the gastrointestinal tract. Although dogs can recover from infection with this virus, the virus can remain dormant for years, causing neurologic signs later in life.
Canine parvovirus infection is another serious viral disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Although many dogs can recover from infections with aggressive therapy, the cost of treatment can be expensive.
The good news is that vaccination is very effective at preventing infection by both canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus. Reactions to the DA2PPV vaccine are rare, making them safe for most dogs including puppies over 8 weeks old. The vaccine also confers excellent immunity, sometimes for many years.
Canine coronavirus is another disease that causes mild gastrointestinal disease. Although a vaccine is available, the majority of veterinary immunologists do not recommend its use, since studies showing efficacy are lacking.
Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will provide valuable data regarding vaccination practices across the United States and within individual families. Families working with their veterinarians will be able to better understand and use what we learn to continue to make the best vaccination choices for their canine companions.