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What are Non-Core Vaccines?

Vaccinations are an important part of your dog’s complete veterinary history. Vaccines also play a vital role in ensuring your dog’s overall health, preventing a variety of diseases and infections. While core vaccines are considered those that all dogs should receive, non-core vaccines are suggested for animals as optional, depending on your pet’s circumstances. Certain types of infections or diseases occur in some geographic areas and not others. In other cases, dogs may be more susceptible to infection due to health, breed, or a high degree of interaction with other dogs. While not absolutely required, non-core vaccines may be a good idea for your dog if they meet the general recommended guidelines.

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Non-Core Vaccines Procedure in Dogs

The administration of your dog’s non-core vaccine will begin with a thorough veterinary exam. During this exam your vet will assess your dog’s overall health, age, weight and lifestyle habits. Your vet may also administer core vaccines at this time.

You and your vet will discuss whether your dog will travel to areas that are prone to certain diseases, such as lepto, or whether your dog will come into contact with a large number of other animals such as if they participate in agility, group classes, or dog shows.

Once the appropriate non-core vaccines are determined, your vet will administer a shot using a sterile needle. Your dog may feel a quick pinch but should not experience any long-term pain. 

Efficacy of Non-Core Vaccines in Dogs

In general, non-core vaccines are very effective in preventing disease and illness. In some cases, such as canine influenza or bordetella, there are a variety of strains of the virus that could potentially cause infection. The vaccines are specifically designed to build immunity to the most common strains of these diseases. They will also mildly increase immunity to other strains. 

Non-Core Vaccines Recovery in Dogs

There will be little to no recovery time needed for your dog after administering non-core vaccinations. Your dog may be slightly sore or stiff at the site of the injection. If this occurs you can treat with warm compresses or ice packs. Any discomfort should go away within a few hours to days after injection.

Cost of Non-Core Vaccines in Dogs

Costs of non-core vaccines vary according to exact immunization, your dog’s weight and size, and the geographic region in which you are located. You can generally expect to pay between $35 and $65 per individual vaccination, plus the cost of the initial office visit.

Dog Non-Core Vaccines Considerations

As with any vaccines, there is a potential for side effects after your dog receives a non-core vaccination. Vaccinations contain dead or weakened versions of the viruses. This means that your dog may experience a milder version of the illness the vaccination has been designed to prevent. For this reason, veterinarians will typically only recommend non-core vaccines for dogs that are otherwise healthy and that do not have weakened immune systems.

Your dog will need regular booster shots of some vaccinations. In place of boosters you may be able to check titers. This involves withdrawing a small sample of your dog’s blood and sending it away to a lab to check for the presence of antibodies for specific illnesses. If the antibodies are present, your dog will not need a booster shot.

Non-Core Vaccines Prevention in Dogs

Non-core vaccines are vitally important for the prevention of a number of illnesses. Even if your dog does not come into contact with other animals, many conditions treated by non-core vaccines are carried by spores or other material found in dirt and water. In addition, vaccinating your dog ensures that they cannot pass along illness to other canines or even to humans in the case of cross-species affecting illness.