How long do dog vaccines really last? A Comprehensive Guide

Why Not Get a Titer Test?

I thought about titer testing my dogs, however, the cost is too much. Its over $600 per dog where I live. I can have blood samples sent to Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet for a lower cost, but I havent taken this step yet because it would only be a personal confirmation. Washington State doesnt currently accept titer test results in lieu of a rabies vaccination despite the fact that we dont have an issue with rabies in our state.

Vaccine Research

Veterinary immunologist Ronald Schultz PhD chaired the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Pathobiological Sciences. He spent his career as a veterinary immunologist at the forefront of vaccine research.

The vaccines Schultz studied include …

  • Canine distemper vaccine
  • Canine parvovirus vaccine
  • Feline panleukopenia vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Feline rhinotracheitis
  • Feline calicivirus
  • In a 1999 paper, Dr Schultz outlined the duration of immunity for several vaccines. In other words … how long they will protect your pet.

    Leptospirosis is different.

    In the UK it is recommended that Leptospirosis is also considered a core vaccination as it is relatively common. Leptospirosis is a disease caused by a group of bacteria. It is usually caught from rats, farm animals or stagnant water contaminated by animal urine. The disease causes severe liver and kidney damage and in its most severe form can be fatal. It is also important as a zoonosis. This means that it is a disease that can be contracted by humans from animals. For these reasons it is very important to keep your pet’s leptospirosis vaccinations up to date.

    The problem with leptospirosis vaccines is that they do not produce the same long lived immunity as the viral infections we vaccinate against. Data shows that for most dogs the length of time they are immune following vaccination for Leptospirosis is less than 18 months and often closer to 12 months. If your pet runs over the due date for their leptospirosis vaccine by more than a few months it is necessary to give the full primary course of two vaccinations again. This is to ensure they are fully protected.

    Dog rabies vaccine how long does it last

    The majority of pet owners will have received numerous vaccinations themselves over the course of their lives. For most infectious human diseases, after an initial course as babies or young children no further vaccines are required; or maybe a single booster shot every decade or so. It can be hard to understand why our pets need much more frequent vaccination. And why, when those vaccinations lapse they sometimes need to restart the whole course.

    The current climate has meant that many pets have had their yearly vaccination appointments cancelled or delayed. If your pet’s vaccinations are overdue by more than around 3 months, your veterinary surgeon is likely to recommend that your dog restarts their vaccination course. This generally means that they repeat the vaccination course that they had as a puppy – two injections usually 2-4 weeks apart. It can feel like there is lots of varying advice as to whether this is really necessary. But it comes down to just a few factors.

    In the UK we recommend almost all dogs receive regular vaccinations against four major canine infectious diseases. These are Canine Parvovirus (CPV), Canine distemper virus (CDV), Canine adenovirus (CAV) and Leptospirosis.