Question: I was told there is an outbreak of the Parvovirus in Pennsylvania. I haven’t vaccinated my adult dogs in years. I was told by a friend to do 3 sets of vaccines on adults to help in the event of Parvo. I am concerned to do that. What is your recommendation? Thanks so much for your time and help.
Dr. Dodds: Oh, my – that is overkill – every time you give a properly vaccinated adult dog another MLV canine parvovirus vaccine – especially if they are already immunized (protected), the vaccine can temporarily neutralize and reduce the existing antibody level for several days until the vaccine stimulates another immune response (in 3-10 days). It also takes three days, if you vaccinate a dog with MLV canine parvovirus vaccine when they have been exposed to the native live virus, before any protection will develop. [This is unlike canine distemper virus where native live virus exposure and simultaneous vaccination with MLV distemper vaccine will mount protection immediately.]
So, over-vaccinating well-immunized dogs because of fear of parvovirus disease with regional outbreaks (they are happening everywhere now with the virulent parvo2-c strain) can leave them more vulnerable to the live native virus. Realistic and safe options are: 1) measure parvovirus vaccine (can measure distemper titer at the same time for equal price; ~ $45-50) titers now on adult dogs; or, 2) give them just one booster of parvovirus only (e.g. NeoPar by NeoTech, available in single or more doses from Revival Animal Health, among other sources). Best for the Holidays! Jean Dodds, DVM