Breeders Education

As part of the Breeder’s Education component of the GSCA, I will be submitting articles that may be of interests to breeders of our beloved Gordon Setters. Our committee hopes that you find these upcoming articles useful to the art and science of breeding.

This article will discuss vaccines and vaccination protocols.

Vaccines are essential for the health and well being of any domestic animal. Farm animals as well as pets are vaccinated against disease and potential threats of infections. It is meant to protect against pathogen upon re-exposures. The purpose of re-vaccinations is to maintain the immune system’s “memory” of that pathogen so that the vaccinated animal continues to attack every exposure so that infectious agents do not result in a disease.

There are several types of vaccines. They include the following:

Modified Live

It mimics natural infections and is based on the reduction of virulence of the original virus that is limited in their ability to cause illness. The vaccine virus follows the same path as the original virus does as it replicates and is distributed throughout the body while exposing all parts of the immune system to the pathogens against the disease that is being vaccinated. This type of vaccine is useful because it provides a long lasting immunity. However, it can inadvertently cause disease if the vaccine does not reduce the virulence.

Killed Vaccine

This vaccine is made of a virus or a strain related to a virus that has been treated to make a non-viable, or incapable of replicating or causing a disease. The advantage of this system it so that the immune system can be subjected to all of the viral components that can cause the disease, however, re-vaccination is needed because of the short duration of immunity.

DNA Vaccines

This process entails injecting highly specific DNA sequences into the muscle in a manner that leads to the production of specific proteins. They are effective because they elicit both the humoral (antibodies) and cell-mediated immunity. The only DNA vaccine licensed for the use of dogs is approved as an aid in the treatment, (not prevention) of oral melanoma.

Core Vaccines

These are vaccines that are recommended for all dogs, with the exception of those with special circumstances. These vaccines include but not limited to:
Distemper, Parvovirus, Canine Adenovirus I/II and Rabies. Parainfluenza is no longer consider a core vaccine but it is generally included in the combination of core vaccines.

Non-Core Vaccines

These vaccines are recommended based on the lifestyle and location of animals in question. They include but not limited to: Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Bronchiseptica, Lyme disease and Parainfluenza virus.

So how do we decide on which vaccines should be given to our dogs? Your veterinarians should help you determine what risks are pertinent with each dog, based on his or her needs and treat the individual patient accordingly.

Happy Tails

Barbara Burns, Amy Johnson and Virginia Radonis.
Breeder’s Education

Barbara Burns

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