Tommy, a 5 month old mixed breed dog, has been adopted from a dog shelter and was considered fully vaccinated with all core-vaccines components: Canine Parvo Virus (CPV), Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and Canine Adeno Virus (CAV), according to the recommended protocol (from the age of 8 weeks, three vaccine injections at 3 week intervals).
About a week after receiving the last vaccine injection, Tommy began to show suspicious signs of Parvo Virus infection, such as loss of appetite, lethargy and watery diarrhea. A blood count test showed no signs (yet) of Parvo Virus infection.
Due to Tommy’s poor condition and the continuous suspicion for Parvo Virus infection, Tommy was hospitalized.
At that point Tommy’s blood sample was tested for core-vaccine immune response using VacciCheck. The results of the test revealed that Tommy’s immune system responded well to the Distemper Virus and to the Adenovirus components of the vaccine. However, and amazingly so, no response to the Parvo virus component was seen! leaving Tommy widely exposed to this life-threatening disease.
A possible reason for not responding to the vaccine, may be genetically based; Non-Responders who cannot respond specifically to one of the vaccine components (1: 1000 for Parvo, 1: 5000 for Distemper, and 1: 100,000 for Adenovirus). Potential additional reasons may be the presence of maternal antibodies that interfere with the vaccine (which is not common at the age of 5 months), or any other cause like improper vaccine manufacturing or storage which can lead to lack of response to the vaccine.
Two days after being hospitalized, Tommy’s blood count tests showed obvious signs of Parvo Virus infection (↓↓↓Whole Blood Count).
Thankfully, after extensive hospitalization, Tommy has recovered and sufficient Parvo Virus antibodies (VacciCheck measures of immune response) were found in his blood, showing the unlikelihood that Tommy is a genetic Non-Responder.
Parvo Virus is a very contagious disease, with high morbidity and mortality rates. The disease breaks out very quickly by attacking dividing cells, such as the cells of the intestine, causing severe diarrhea and bone marrow cells, which aggravate the condition due to secondary infections.
Untreated dogs could die within 2 days after signs of illness appear. The survival percentage in treated dogs is 68% – 92%.
The take home message: in order to ensure protection in your beloved puppies to this life threatening disease, it is possible to verify protection when finishing the vaccination protocol by a simple examination with VacciCheck, and so avoiding unnecessary suffering and long and expensive hospitalization.