How Many Parvo Vaccines Should Puppies Have Before Transport?
Preventing the transmission of canine parvovirus (CPV) during transport is of utmost importance to both source and destination shelters, which is why vaccinating puppies is so important. A new report sheds some light on what practices – including the number of pre-transport vaccinations – are important in ensuring healthy animal transports.
The ASPCA® wanted to find out if the number of vaccinations before transport affected the number of cases of canine parvovirus (CPV) in transported puppies by conducting a study analyzing a large-scale ground transport program.
After reviewing the medical records for over 4,000 transported puppies, only 94 cases of CPV were reported. Relocated puppies received a median of one modified-live virus vaccination against CPV before transport and there was no difference in expected CPV diagnoses between puppies who received one vaccination or more than one vaccination before transport.
What Does It Mean?
Modified-live vaccination of all puppies and dogs (regardless of whether or not they are a relocation candidate) against CPV and canine distemper upon entry to the shelter is critical to keeping disease rates low, but it’s not the only factor. Effective sanitation protocols that incorporate parvocidal disinfectants and the ability to isolate sick animals from the general population are additional tools needed for success.
Length of Stay vs. Disease Prevention
Because the longer an animal stays in a shelter setting, the more likely their health or behavior is to deteriorate, you must balance each animal’s length of stay with their likelihood of getting or spreading disease to other animals. It is tempting to hold puppies at a relocation source shelter and allow them to receive additional vaccinations; however, there are many risks of increasing the length of stay of animals in the shelter system.
In the study population described above, there was no difference in expected CPV cases based on the number of days between shelter intake and transport. When the risk of exposure during transport is low, there is no added benefit in reducing CPV cases by holding puppies at a relocation source shelter solely for the purpose of additional vaccinations.
Read the full report (PDF) and watch the video below for more information from Dr. Brian DiGangi, Senior Director of Shelter Medicine, about vaccination protocols for relocated puppies.