Dog vaccinations

We have a new survey to try and record just how many dogs are having adverse reactions to the Lepto vaccines.
The dedicated website is www.lepto.co.uk
Or the survey can be accessed on mobile phones and tablets for better display

Leptospira 2 strain vaccine L2 still available in the UK?



There is a lot of talk on the internet about the frequencies of vaccinations. Some people are saying that vaccinations last for three years, so you should only go to the vet every three years for a vaccination - as all other trips are just to put money in the vets pocket. But that is wrong

I'm aware that a small number of dogs do die in Dorset every year from various viruses. My main concern is the misunderstanding between the three year vaccines and the one year vaccines, and all the misinformation that surrounds that.

You should always talk to your vet before making decision about vaccination regimes. But you should also be aware of vaccine regimes and come to your own conclusion without blindly following the vet's advice.

So lets start with the basics, so that people can understand what vaccines their dog has received.

Understanding your pet's Record of Vaccination.

When you take your dog to the vets for the first vaccination, the vet will give you a Record of Vaccination card. If you take on a rescue dog or rehome a dog, then you should ask the Rescue organisation or previous owner for the dog's vaccination record in case it is available.

Vaccines are kept in small bottles, which are stored in the vet's fridge. Each bottle has a label, which includes the manufacturer's name, vaccine type, batch, and expiry date.

Once the vaccine has been given, the vet will peel off the bottle's labels and place them in the dog's vaccination record. So remember to take your pet's Record of Vaccination along with you.

Usually, Lepto and Canine Coronavirus vaccines are transported in a separate bottle to other vaccine. The vet will transfer both parts into one bottle, shake to mix, and inject the whole substance into the pet.
So to say as an example Pi + L2 means vaccines from 2 bottles were mixed together and administered as one injection.

This record shows that the dog received a vaccine made by Nobivac, and received DHPPi + (and also) Lepto 2 as one injection.

Dog vaccination record
Marked the vaccines in red Lepto vaccination record

So we can see that this dog had vaccines DHPPi + Lepto 2 in 2008, Pi + Lepto in 2009, and Pi and Lepto 2 in 2010

vaccine examples

Dog vaccine information at dorsetdog.com

Vaccination

In the UK there are generally 7 different vaccines administered

It is important to speak to your vet should you have any problems with a vaccination. There is a lot of information on the internet, but not all of it is factual or based on scientific research. And I am realising that not all vets know about vaccines.


 Identifying Initial
 Vaccine Also Known As Frequency given
 D =  Distemper    CDV   3 years
 H also known as A
=  Canine Hepatitis (Adenovirus)    CAV   3 years
 P =  Parvovirus    CPV   3 years
 Pi =  Parainfluenza
 Cpi   1 year
 +
 Plus
   
 L =  Leptospirosis
 Lepto   1 year
 C =  Canine coronavirus    CCov   1 year
Some also give
 KC =  Kennel Cough    BB  
For dogs travelling abroad, or being bought into the UK - the dog should be vaccinated against rabies. Minimum age of 3 months old
 Rabies =  Rabies      
So vaccines are referred to by the Identifying Initial, which makes it a lot easier to list ;)

The vaccines D, H, and P are combined into one vaccine, as can D, H, P and Pi. It is true and should be remembered that the DHP vaccine should only be given once every three years.

Duramune DAPPi and Nobivac DHPPi
DHP is called DAP by some pharmaceutical companies. So this pup had Duramune DAPPI + LC, and 2 weeks later had Nobivac DHPPi + L2. The only real difference between the two is that the pup received C (Canine Coronavirus) vaccine in the first injection.






L and C can be combined into one vaccine, LC. Not all pharmaceutical companies make the C vaccine.

Pi and L (or LC) should both be given every year, as those vaccines only provide 12 months cover at this time.

If you pet should suffer any adverse effects, then you should contact DEFRA. Click on this link to go to DEFRA's Adverse Reaction Reporting page www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/adversereactionreporting

the Government's list of approved vaccines and medicines can be found by going to this page
www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaccination-of-dogs

Dog vaccine regime information at dorsetdog.com

Vaccination regimes

Traditionally, your dog would have a series of immunisation vaccines as a puppy. These will be DHPPi and L (or LC) at 6 to 8 weeks, and again 2 weeks later.

But modern thinking is that so long as you don't let your dogs out in public places until vaccinating, then vaccinating once at 14 weeks is better for the dog. By vaccinating at 14 weeks with DHPPi + L helps the dog to actually take and use the vaccine. It is recommended that the pup have L and Pi 2 weeks after the initial vaccination, but there is no need to have DHP again if the pup was vaccinated after 14 weeks.

12 months later (aged 1 year) the dog should have DHPPi and L (or LC). 

It is recommended that the dog have Pi and L (or LC) at 2 years and 3 years of age.

And then DHPPi and L for one year at aged 4 years, followed by Pi and L or (LC) for 2 years (aged 5 and 6 years). However, people are not Titre testing to see if the dog needs DHP, or has enough immunity against the disease that it doesn't need DHP yet.

If your dog has the KC, then it would be DHP, KC and L for one year, followed by KC and L (or LC) for 2 consecutive years.
KC by Nobivac and others includes Pi and is given as a nasal spray rather than injection. It is more commonly given to dogs that are regularly kennelled or in the show ring. 

Some areas and some vets will suggest Kennel Cough, which includes and replaces Pi

A guide to the dog vaccines administered in the UK

Nobivac is used as an example, but other vaccine brands exists

This is an extract from the DHP label

Nobivac frequency of DHP canine vaccines

The full label can be viewed by clicking on this link Nobivac DHP label

Duramune is another manufacturer of dog vaccines

Duramune is another canine dog vaccine manufacturer


Dog vaccine types information at dorsetdog.com

Lepto in the UK

There is much debate on Lepto 2 and Lepto 4 on the internet, and I have read some amazing stories that pet owners claim their vets have been telling them. The equivalent of Lepto in dogs is called Weil's disease in humans - carried by rats etc and can make you go blind. People and dogs have been known to die from this.

Disclaimer
I am not a vet or medically trained in any way. The information that I provided below is based on logic, not on medical training and knowledge. I welcome and encourage any proof by any source that is backed by scientific evidence that Leptospira australis and/or Leptospira grippotyphosa have been identified in dogs in the UK at this time.
I ask for this evidence to help clarify and dispel the rumours and myths – because I’ve been advised of some appalling claims by some people's vets.

This article has been put together as a part of my research into canine vaccination, and the rising concern that dogs who live in the United Kingdom and Ireland are being vaccinated with Nobivac’s lepto 4.

Lepto 2 verses Lepto 4

DEFRA Zoonoses report 2012
According to DEFRA's Zoonoses 2012 report (published Sept 2013) Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae is the main serovar causing human disease. Click on the pdf icon and go to page 44 (PDF page 49) to read about Lepto in the UK.
Zoonoses is the Government report on infections on human and animals during 2012.

In the UK, we can find Leptospira canicola and Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae in dogs. Vets have been vaccinating with Lepto 2 (L2) vaccine for some years. Lepto 2 covers Leptospira canicola and Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, both of which are found in the UK and Europe.

Nobivac introduced their European vaccine Lepto 4 (L4) in to the UK market a couple of years ago. Lepto 4 covers Leptospira canicola and Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae - but also vaccinates against Leptospira australis and Leptospira grippotyphosa. This vaccine is different to the L4 that Nobivac distribute in America. There have been a number of reported reactions and even claims of death from the Nobivac vaccine.

Late in 2014 a chain of vets in the Bristol and North Somerset areas called Highcroft vets reported an outbreak of Lepto. Highcroft claim that the dogs had already been vaccinated with L2, but had still been infected with a Lepto strain. Highcroft claim that L Bratislava was found in some of the dogs infected.

It has now been confirmed by other sources that L Bratislava has been found in dogs in the South west, and one presumes that other vets will  be following in using L4 instead of L2. But it appears that the Nobivac L4 vaccine allows the dog to shed the disease through it's urine. It is suggested that the infected dogs diagnosed be Highcroft had been infected by dogs that had recently been vaccinated with Nobivac L4 and who shed the disease in public areas.

L4 is now manufactured by a number of pharmaceutical companies.

My own dogs received their first L4 vaccination in February 2016, which was Versican Plus (Zoetis) Pi L4. Both had reactions which prevented me from grooming them for 2 days. However, the 9 year old had a significant reaction to the vaccine which resulted in his breathing changing significantly and vet confirmed his murmur going from 3 out of 5 to 5 out of 5. One month later when he had his second L4 injection, his lungs and abdomen suddenly filled with fluids and died as a result of that.

The 2012 Zoonoses report suggest that Leptospira australis has been seen in 6 human cases in the UK, and DEFRA have advised that people contracted the disease whilst abroad.

This is an extract of the Zoonoses report from 2012


DEFRA extract on Lepto

Highcroft vet claim that there was a outbreak of Lepto around December 2014. Strains of Lepto found during the outbreak were identified by the University of Bristol. Highcroft are due to release a list of Lepto strains found during the outbreak, which includes the Lepto Australis serovar of Bratislava. Highcroft have a blog to help owners understand the situation at - www.highcroftvet.co.uk/blog/leptospirosis-outbreak

Comments passed to me of unfounded vet's advice about Lepto has included

I've been assured there are no more cases of reactions to Lepto 4 than to the Lepto 2 (she has seen ONE reaction) Lepto 2 they won't be bringing back as its only approx 30% affective against the two while Lepto 4 is 80% effective, she said if it comes to the choice of giving and possible side effects or not and possible Lepto she said she vaccinated her dogs the Lepto 4 as a vet she weighed up what she sees..... So I did give my dog Lepto 4 on the strength of that talk!

They are currently using Lepto 2 here. But seems to think some country vets are using Lepto 4 for working dogs because they think there is a risk from cattle. How correct that is I'm not sure, but happy they are using lepto 2.

Cattle Lepto is Leptospira Hardjo, which isn't covered by Lepto 4


Dog vaccine types information at dorsetdog.com

You should always talk to your vet before making decision about vaccination regimes. These videos are provided to give you some information on vaccines, vaccination and immunisation. Dr Schultz is a leading vaccine research and teaching professor in America.

Dr Becker interviews Dr Schultz in 2013 - Part 1

Dr Becker interviews Dr Schultz in 2013 - Part 2

Dog vaccination screening information at dorsetdog.com

 

Dr Becker interviews Dr Dodds on titre tests in 2013

Titre test 

also know as Vaccine Serology screen,
and as Pre booster test


The Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine can do a pre booster vaccine serology screen to see if your dog needs a vaccination booster. Normally it is cheaper to just do the booster, but the titre test can be useful for where a dog is rescued or purchased, and no records exist of the dog's history

The Glasgow School of veterinary Medicine have all the information on line for you to down load. However, I have shared it here for your convenience. 

You will need to speak to your vet in order for the blood sample to be drawn and sent to Glasgow. The documents are added for reference only in January 2014. You are advised to contact the school for newer information and price of the test.

Click on the links below to view the information from the Glasgow school of Veterinary Medicine (GSVM)
You will need Adobe Reader to view these files

The titre test is at the bottom of page 1 on the form

GSVM Titre test for dog vaccines

Click on this link to see the full request form GSVM Test request form

pre vaccination antibody screen - titre test for dog vaccines

How to interpret pre-vaccination antibody test

The entire sheet can be seen by clicking on this link GSVM How to interpret the test results


Overview of titre results for my 2 cavaliers. - Remember, titre cannot test for Lepto immunity

Dog's  name
DHP given
 Date of Titre  CPV result (Parvovirus)  CDV result (Distemper)
 CAV2 result (Hepatitis)
 Alfie  March 2013
 Feb 2014  >4096  256  91
 Alfie  March 2013  Feb 2015
 512  128  362
    Went to South Wales 4 times between Oct 15 and Jan 16
 Alfie  March 2013  Feb 2016  256  1024  181
Sadly Alfie passed away after L4 in March 2016
           
Dog's  name
DHP given
 Date of Titre  CPV result (Parvovirus)  CDV result (Distemper)
 CAV2 result (Hepatitis)
 Lexie  Dec 2012  Feb 2014  >4096  512  362
 Lexie  Dec 2012  Feb 2015  256  128  362
    Went to South Wales 4 times between Oct 15 and Jan 16
 Lexie  Dec 2012
 Feb 2016
 >4096  362
 2048
 Lexie  Dec 2012  Feb 2017  1024 128  256
 Lexie    2018      
           
Dog's  name
DHP given
 Date of Titre  CPV result (Parvovirus)  CDV result (Distemper)
 CAV2 result (Hepatitis)
 Katie  Nov 2015  Feb 2017 >4096  362  362
 Katie    2018      

Below is the Titre results of my dogs since 2014
Or go directly to the folder here

Vaccination Titre results of my dogs since 2014



  Link to Glasgow University price list in February 2017 Glasgow Veterinary School price List



The GSVM website is at www.gla.ac.uk/schools/vet

The GSVM Diagnostic Services page is at hwww.gla.ac.uk/schools/vet/cad/ourprices/

Pre booster vaccine serology screen of my own dogs

I took both dogs into the vets at the same time. Lexie was due her booster, and I'd found that Alfie had received DHP for three years on the trot.

Vaccine Serology Screen, Titre test, pre booster test shaved legs
The procedure is very simple;
  • The nurse holds the dog still whilst the vet shaves the front leg, and then slowly draws 2 ml of blood from the dog with the use of a syringe.
  • The practice then post the samples to Glasgow. As Glasgow is not the laboratory that my vets usually use, then they have to post the samples off by Royal Mail. So it is best to have an early appointment, so that the staff can get the samples to the Post Office before last post. It is also best to do it early in the week
Dog's shaved leg from blood sample for Vaccine Serology Screen titre test
I am currently waiting for the results :)

As I was already paying for Lexie to have her yearly booster vaccines, the cost of both serology screens was £102. That includes the taking of the blood sample, postage, and the tests at Glasgow.

This was in January 2014. I will repeat the serology screen in 2016, to see how the levels are




Dog vaccine types information at dorsetdog.com

Some useful website links

The UK Government department for animal health is controlled by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) of the Deparment for Environmentt, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), whose new website is currently here

http://www.gov.uk/vmd

The Guidance and Vaccinaition of dogs informaion is here

www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaccination-of-dogs

The Product Information Database with the latest list of approved vaccines and medicines is here

www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/ProductInformationDatabase/ 

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) have a website here

www.wsava.org/

WSAVA have guidance on dog vaccination regimes here

www.wsava.org/guidelines/vaccination-guidelines


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Dog vaccination information at dorsetdog.com