Over the last decade, publication of vaccination guidelines for the dog and cat have represented an effort on behalf of scientists,
academicians, industry, and practicing veterinarians to develop recommendations based on the most current scientific studies
available. Although the guidelines were originally written for veterinarians practicing in North America, it has become apparent
they are being read and used by veterinarians in several countries. In 2007, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association
(WSAVA) first published canine and feline vaccine guidelines for countries outside of North America. WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines
have recently been updated (2010). All published recommendations can be accessed on-line at no cost.1
For veterinarians who practice in the US, the decision to implement either the AAHA or AAFP Vaccine Guidelines is optional...the
Guidelines are merely recommendations. Furthermore, the Vaccine Guidelines are not a universal protocol applicable to all
dogs and all cats. Instead, they are intended to guide decisions leading to the development of a rational vaccination protocol.
Today, however, the AAHA and AAFP Vaccination Guidelines do appear to represent an emerging Standard of Care for the profession.
This 2-part presentation centers on both ISSUES and CONTROVERSIES surrounding the selection and use of vaccines for companion
animals. PART I (ISSUES) provides insight on vaccination protocols representative of those used by veterinarians (US) who
follow the AAHA and AAFP Vaccination Guidelines. PART II (CONTROVERSIES) is FAQ-based and addresses the most commonly asked,
and debated, questions regarding vaccine use and administration. The FAQs (Part II) are subdivided into 4 sections: Vaccine
Selection; Vaccine Administration; Core Vaccines; Non-Core Vaccines.
While much of the information included is derived from the 2010 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines (scheduled for publication
in Sept 2010), the 2006 AAFP Feline Vaccine Guidelines, and the 2010 Report of the WSAVA Vaccine Guidelines Group (VGG), some
information included below addresses questions has not specifically been addressed in published Guidelines.
The following tables illustrate representative vaccination protocols (dog & cat) that are currently in use by veterinarians
who follow the recommendations outlined in the AAHA and AAFP Vaccination Guidelines. NOTE: these protocols are not intended
to define or otherwise recommend a specific protocol; these are simply suggested formats that may be referred to when reviewing
or re-developing protocols.