Modern vaccination management in dogs in practice

(20.09.2022) "Vaccinate as many dogs as possible, but only as often as necessary" is the motto of experts worldwide, such as the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) or the Standing Commission on Vaccination in Veterinary Medicine (StIKo Vet).

With this demand, the current vaccination management in the veterinary sector must be generally reconsidered and modernised. But how can this demand of the experts be implemented in practice and how can a modern, holistic vaccination management be established for the dog?

Vaccination management in dogs in practice Discussions about the frequency of vaccinations are becoming increasingly vocal in society. There is a broad consensus that the necessity of the recommended vaccinations is generally undisputed and necessary. As many animals as possible should be given the core vaccines and build up sufficient immunity.

According to the WSAVA, the core vaccines should not be administered more frequently than every three years after the first vaccination series. Thus, a booster vaccination should be given after three years at the earliest. However, this only applies to animals that no longer have any immune protection and for which a booster vaccination is therefore actually necessary.

The reason why not all animals have to be revaccinated across the board after 3 years is simple: the duration of immunity (DOI) is many years and can last until the end of the animal's life. Above all, according to the WSAVA, it is completely pointless to vaccinate animals more frequently than necessary in order to increase the antibody titre.

In the case of existing immune protection, too early booster vaccinations do not increase the antibody titre level and thus do not generate additional immune protection.

On this basis, modern vaccination management dictates that each individual animal should be vaccinated as infrequently as necessary. But how can this be implemented in practice?

First, it must be determined individually whether the individual animal has sufficient immune protection. Current guidelines (for example, from the WSAVA) confirm that the presence of antibodies against parvo, distemper and adenovirus, regardless of the titre level, indicates protective immunity and immunological memory.

For these 3 parameters, the demand of the Vaccination Commission for individual vaccination management in dogs can thus be implemented in practice by determining the antibodies present.

For the so-called antibody titer test, the individual antibodies of the dog are determined in a blood sample. In the opinion of the WSAVA, vaccination against parvo, distemper and adenovirus should only be carried out if the titre test is negative. It should be noted that only vaccinations against parvovirus and distemper are considered core vaccines.

First test, then vaccinate! This is the conclusion of the experts and should form the basis of modern vaccination management in dogs. With this strategy, the need for vaccination of each individual animal can be checked directly in practice.

The antibody titer test thus forms the basis for the establishment of an individual vaccination management and can either be carried out directly in the practice with a rapid test within a few minutes or a laboratory examination can be requested.

In order to meet the demand of the experts from the vaccination commissions and to build up an individual vaccination management, the demand remains at this point to the pharmaceutical industry, but also to the licensing authorities, that all 3 vaccines must be available and licensed individually, so that the practitioner can also implement the demand of the WSAVA in practice.