Dr. W. Jean Dodd’s vaccination protocol is now being adopted by ALL 27 North American veterinary  schools. 

Vaccination Recommendations News Flash

All 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats. Some of this information will present an ethical &  economic challenge to vets, and there will be skeptics.

Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years to appease those who fear loss of income vs. those concerned about potential side effects. Politics,  traditions, or the doctor’s economic well being should not be factors in any medical decision.


Research proves dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces an immunity which is good for the life of the pet (ie: canine distemper,parvo, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine  neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine, and there is little or no effect.

The titer is not “boosted”  nor are more memory cells induced. Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune‐mediated hemolytic anemia. There is no scientific documentation to back up manufacturers' label claims for annual  administration of MLV vaccines.

Puppies receive antibodies through their mother’s milk. This natural  protection can last 8‐14weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at less than 8 weeks.  Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0‐38%) will be produced. 

Vaccinations given just 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations given at 9-10 weeks and 14-15 weeks and parvo at 18 weeks of age fully and effectively provide immunity from parvo and distemper. Another vaccination ("booster") given at 1 year and 4 months of age provides lifetime immunity.

Immunization Schedules

We do not begin a vaccination program while maternal antibodies are still active and present in the puppy from the mother’s  colostrum. This is because the maternal antibodies identify the vaccines as infectious organisms and destroy them before they can stimulate an immune response.


Parvovirus infection in dogs was first clinically recognized in 1978. It was and is distinct from the B-19 strain of human parvovirus first recognized in Australia in 1974.

It can be spread through direct dog-to-dog contact or contact with contaminated feces (stool) or fomites. Additionally, once parvovirus is exposed to the environment, it can last for years in soil.  Parvovirus is deadly because the constant diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, damage the intestines and immune system, and lead to septic shock.


It has been suspected that canine distemper was imported from Peru into Spain during the 17th century.  It was well-described in 1746 by Antonio de Ulloa. During the mid-18th century, it was first reported in Spain, followed by England, Italy (1764) and Russia (1770).  Canine distemper virus (CDV) is closely related to the measles, and causes a highly contagious illness.  CDV is a serious threat to endangered wildlife. Recent large outbreaks in nonhuman primates suggest the virus has adapted to these animals, and that the potential exists for it to infect humans.

Initially, infected dogs will develop watery to pus-like discharge from their eyes. They then develop fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, and vomiting. As the virus attacks the nervous system, infected dogs develop circling behavior, head tilt, muscle twitches, convulsions with jaw chewing movements and salivation (“chewing gum fits”), seizures, and partial or complete paralysis.

Distemper is often fatal, and dogs that survive usually have permanent, irreparable nervous system damage.

Veterinarians diagnose canine distemper through clinical appearance and laboratory testing. There is no cure for canine distemper infection.  Treatment typically consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections; control vomiting, diarrhea and neurologic symptoms; and combat dehydration through administration of fluids. Dogs infected with canine distemper must be separated from other dogs to prevent spreading the disease. 

It is clear that immunity from distemper is very important. However, establishing proper and adequate immunity is not the same as intentional over-vaccination because of "tradition". 

This is why we follow Dr. Dodd's vaccination protocol. Deviation from this protocol, whether insisted upon by a veterinarian or by choice, voids our health guarantee. 

Dr. Dodds’ Vaccination Protocol

The following is Dr. Dodds’ latest vaccination protocol.

9 – 10 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
e.g. Merck Nobivac (Intervet Progard) Puppy DPV

14 – 15 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

18 weeks of age
Parvovirus only, MLV
Note: New research states that last puppy parvovirus vaccine should be at 18 weeks old.

1 year old
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
This is an optional booster or measure serum antibody titers. If the client prefers not to give this optional booster or plans to retest titers in another three years, giving this optional booster at puberty is wise.

Perform serum vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM  HEMOPET 
938 Stanford Street 
Santa Monica, CA 90403 
310/ 828‐4804  fax: 310/ 828‐8251 

Previous Vaccine Protocol

Dr. Dodds’ earlier canine vaccine protocol did not include a parvovirus booster shot at 18 weeks of age; only parvo/distemper vaccinations at 9-10 and 14-16 weeks of age. Due to the virulent parvovirus variants and to reach effective protection against the variants based on new research, she now advises an additional vaccination against parvovirus at 18 weeks of age.


I use only the killed 3 year rabies vaccine for adults, and never allow it to be given at the same time as any other vaccine, surgery, or other occasion where the dog is not perfectly healthy.   The rabies vaccine is separated from other vaccines by at least 3‐4 weeks.


I do NOT use Bordetella (except on show dogs actively attending shows, but not after they have ended their show careers) corona virus, leptospirosis, hepatitis, adenovirus, or Lyme vaccines. If your vet indicates they are "needed" inquire whether these diseases are endemic in your local area, or from a specific kennel/breeder. If not, they are not "needed" nor recommended.  Surprisingly, the currently licensed leptospira bacterins do not  contain the serovars which cause the majority of clinical leptospirosis infections today. This means the lepto vaccine is worthless in helping to prevent the majority of infections that rarely occur.