AAHA canine vaccine guidelines revisited


Denver - The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) updated its 2003 canine vaccine guidelines and added a section on shelter animal medicine.

DENVER — The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) updated its 2003 canine vaccine guidelines and added a section on shelter animal medicine.

The update was deemed necessary as a response to research reports on extended duration of immunity and to account for new technologies, such as gene-deleted vaccines and adjuvants.

"We have gained new knowledge over the past three years — especially in the field of duration of immunity studies and shelter medicine. These important updates are well referenced and are reflected in the 2006 edition of our guidelines," says AAHA President Dr. Daniel Aja.

The 28-page document reflects the same principles as the initial guide, Aja adds.

"Vaccinations given to client-owned pets should be fully documented in the medical record after a explanatory discussion with the owner. The pets' age, health and body condition should be considered before administering any vaccination," says Dr. Michael Paul, chair of the AAHA canine vaccine task force and executive chair of the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

The 16-member task force considered industry support of extended revaccination intervals and developing new areas of guidance for shelter medicine.

Table 1. - 2006 AAHA Core canine Vaccine Guidelines for the General Practitioner

"The most significant change might be the addition of the shelter medicine section," Paul says. "I don't believe any other animal association has made guidelines specifically for the shelter situation."

The executive summary of the 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines was published in the March/April 2006 issues of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association and Trends magazine after a year's worth of referencing and editing.

"The 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines were designed as a living document to be revisited as new information becomes available," Aja says.

The 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines are based on a combination of published and unpublished scientific studies, expert opinion and personal experience.

As all published AAHA guidelines, the canine vaccine guidelines are intended to educate and inform the profession and help veterinarians make vaccine recommendations for individual dogs or in the case of a shelter situation, a population of dogs.

Vaccines deemed most important for shelter dogs are categorized as core.

Canine distemper virus, adenovirus-2 and canine parvovirus combination products; Bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus are examples of vaccines recommended for administration to puppies upon arrival at a shelter.

"Delaying vaccination, even by a few hours, may increase the risk of infection subsequent to exposure," the guidelines state.

Recommended canine core vaccines include:

  • Canine parvovirus (CPV-2) (MLV);

  • Canine distemper Virus (CDV) (MLV);

  • rCanine distemper virus (rCDV);

  • Canine adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) (MLV parenteral);

  • Rabies 1-year (killed);

  • Rabies 3-year (killed).


  • Distemper-measles virus (D-MV) (MLV);

  • Parainfluenza virus (CPIV) (MLV-parenteral);

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (killed bacterin)-parenteral;

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (live avirulent bacteria) + parainfluenza virus (MLV)- topical (intranasal) application;

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (cell wall antigen extract)-parenteral;

  • Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme borreliosis) (killed whole bacterin) or Borrelia burgdorferi (rLyme borreliosis) (recombinant-outer surface protein A [OspA]);

  • Leptospira interrogans (combined with serovars canicola and icterohaemorrhagiae) (killed bacterin).

Task force members:

  • Dr. Michael Paul, chair

  • Dr. Link Welborn

  • Dr. Henry Childers

  • Dr. Kate F. Hurley

  • Dr. James A. Roth

  • Dr. Autumn Davidson

  • Dr. Eileen Thacker

  • Dr. Susan Cotter

  • Dr. Richard Ford

  • Dr. Ronald D. Schultz

  • Dr. Leland Carmichael

A complete report of the guidelines are available at www.aahanet.org.

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