Recently the news and social media channels have been full of the news that there’s a parvo outbreak in Western Washington. Several dog parks in Snohomish County have been temporarily closed and dog owners are asking if they need to have their dogs revaccinated.
We lost our puppy Riley to Canine Parvovirus in May 2012. Our fully vaccinated littermates, Rodrigo and Sydney, were exposed to the virus, but two veterinarians informed us that they were protected. We now have a third puppy, who is also fully vaccinated.
I happen to believe that our pets are over vaccinated and I have concerns about people forcing unnecessary chemicals into their dog’s system, because the news of the parvo virus has them running scared.
The below information is from Dr. Vanessa Rucker, DVM, Animal Hospital of Lynnwood, (425) 771-6300
The current recommendation is that all pets be current on their DAPP boosters. Depending on the clinic, manufacturer, etc, this vaccine needs to be boostered every 1 to 3 years Additional boosters are unnecessary, and could potentially lead to an increased risk of a vaccine reaction. Pets that have never had a vaccine reaction would probably be fine, but anytime you give a vaccine there is a risk of a reaction, and why take the risk unnecessarily?
The especially concerning issue with this particular outbreak is that some dogs getting parvo virus have had a good vaccination history. So keeping current on the vaccine, as well as avoiding areas frequented by dogs with unknown histories (i.e. dog parks, feed stores, etc) is the recommendation the Puget Sound area for now. Avoiding these pet areas will likely be of much greater benefit than extra vaccine boosters.
I’m confident in not having our dogs revaccinated for canine parvo virus and I encourage dog owners to contact their vet to get a recommendation. Although social media has created a great community for dog owners to find support, it’s not the best place to go for urgent medical questions. If you’re concerned about your dog’s risk of exposure to parvo, you need to find out:
What was the last vaccination date for your dog and what vaccinations were given? I have an organizer that holds each of our dogs’ (and cats’) vaccination and medical records. If you don’t have the records, ask your veterinarian if you can get copies; it’s not too late to start keeping up to date records.
How long does the vaccination last? Some vaccinations last 1 year, some last 3 years. Find out which schedule your dog is on AND ask the difference.
Are titer test available? A titer test will allow you and your veterinarian know the levels currently in your dog’s system. A test is expensive, but if you can afford it, it’s worth looking into to avoid over vaccination.
What is your dog’s risk of exposure? Share your dog’s recent outings with your veterinarian and discuss your dog’s exposure. Where did you go? Who did you encounter? Did your dog play with dogs that may not have been vaccinated?
If your veterinarian is busy, schedule a time to call back so that you can ask all of your questions. I often write down a list of my concerns and schedule a time for a chat. By keeping my thoughts organized, I’m only taking up 10 minutes of the doctor’s time.
If your veterinarian isn’t receptive to questions, considering finding a new doctor.
If you want to learn more about Canine Parvovirus, please visit the page I created when we experienced the virus in our home.
With Mommy Bloggers being all the rage, Kimberly Gauthier writes about dogs and being a Fur Mom. She don't have kids, so she's been on the receiving end of the "it'll happen" statements and looks of pity when people realize that she's made it to the big FOUR OH without conceiving. Fur Mommy Bloggers have a voice too and Gauthier intends to profile her journey with "The Fur Mom" feature on the Girl Power Hour blog. She says, we spoil our kids, we worry about nutrition and we schedule play dates...just as fur mom's do. And let's face it, puppy classes are a lot less spendy than private school. Follow Kimberly on Twitter at @TheFurMom
* This post is from a Girl Power Hour featured blogger. It is not written, edited or endorsed by Girl Power Hour. The authors are solely responsible for content.
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