Medications & Vaccines

In 2011, the American Animal Hospital Association published updated vaccine guidelines. The AAHA Canine Vaccination Task Force developed the 2011 Guidelines in a manner consistent with best vaccination practices. The Guidelines include expert opinion supported by scientific study and encompass all canine vaccines currently licensed in the US and Canada.

Vaccines are separated into Core (required) and Non-core Vaccines (optional based on your pet’s risk factors).

Canine Parvo Virus (CPV), Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) are Core Vaccines. The initial series is started after 6 weeks of age and requires at least 2 vaccines given 2-4 weeks apart with the last vaccine between 14 and 16 weeks of age. After this initial series, re-vaccination can occur every 3 years.

Rabies Virus (Rv) Vaccine is also considered a Core Vaccine and is required to comply with State, Provincial and/or local laws. It can be given after 12 weeks of age and is effective for 1 or 3 years depending on product labels. All re-vaccination schedules are also subject to State, Provincial and/ or local requirements. Waivers may be permissible with your veterinarian’s certification in certain medical cases, but their legality is subject to local laws.

Additional Vaccines such as Leptospirosis, Lyme and Canine Influenza vaccinations are considered Non-Core Vaccines and should be discussed with your vet as these are specific to your pet’s lifestyle.

Bordatella brochniseptica (Canine Cough) is a Non-Core Vaccine available in injectable and intranasal forms. It may be given prior to your pet’s exposure to other animals such as when out for walks, grooming, training classes, dog shows, boarding, training and field trials. Bordetella is labelled for 1 year but may be given more frequently in high exposure situations.

  1. American Animal Hospital Association, 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines.
  2. AVMA Rabies Vaccination – State and Local guidelines


Human Medications:

“If it good enough for me it is good enough for my dog” –DON’T BELIEVE IT! A single Tylenol pill can cause acute kidney failure and life-threatening liver dysfunction often fatal to your dog. Tylenol, Advil (ibuprofen), and pain killing medications that are safe for humans can be lethal to dogs. Do not give any medication or drug to your dog without first consulting with your vet.


Heartworm Prevention:

The fact is that heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states, and risk factors are impossible to predict. Multiple variables, from climate variations to the presence of wildlife carriers, cause rates of infections to vary dramatically from year to year—even within communities. And because infected mosquitoes can come inside, both outdoor and indoor pets are at risk. For that reason, the American Heartworm Society is recommending you use a year-round prevention program, but talk to your veterinarian to discuss what’s best for your dog, your region and your lifestyle.



NOTE: These Webpages are provided as information only and do NOT represent Veterinary medical advice. Owners should discuss their pet’s needs with their Veterinarian who will be up to date on current protocols and advances in Veterinary Medicine.