Duramune and Other Multivalent Dog Vaccines Explained

Duramune is a multivalent vaccine that stimulates several types of antibodies in your dog to prevent multiple diseases and illnesses. These combination vaccines can be used on puppies and dogs to vaccinate against three or more diseases like canine distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus and coronavirus by using a mix of killed and modified live vaccines.

Multivalent Vaccines Are Inexpensive and Convenient

Multivalent vaccines are often used because they are inexpensive, convenient and time-saving. Administering a high number of viral antigens at a time, however, is considered a dangerous shortcut that can lead to infection and inefficient immunization according to some veterinarians. Others believe that normal dogs with healthy immune systems can handle a large amount of stimulation from multivalent vaccines.

A major problem with combination vaccines is that many dogs don't need all the vaccines that are included, which can include over seven different antigens. Finding individual vaccines can be a problem too, so knowing the best vaccines for your dog at his age and lifestyle is essential.

Core and Non-Core Vaccines

There are a large number of vaccines available to veterinarians, breeders and pet owners, and it is important to choose the right one for your dog. Vaccines can be generally categorized into necessary core vaccines and non-core vaccines that are not recommended for every dog but may be appropriate under certain circumstances. Multivalent vaccines that include non-core vaccines may be excessive for your pet.

Core vaccines include:

  • Rabies
  • Canine distemper
  • Adenovirus-2
  • Parvovirus

Non-core vaccines include:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)
  • Parainfluenza
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Giardia
  • Coronavirus

The Right Vaccines at the Right Time

Combining multiple vaccines at a time may seem like the most efficient way to vaccinate your dog, but owners and vets should take the dog's breed, geographic location, age and lifestyle into consideration before setting up a vaccination schedule. Dogs that live in cities and rarely leave their owner's apartment will not require the same vaccines as a hunting dog that spends most days in the woods.

Parainfluenza and coranavirus vaccines are generally recommended for dogs in shelters, kennels, dog shows and groups, but aren't relevant for indoor pets that aren't exposed to other dogs. In another example, the crotalus atrox vaccine protects against rattlesnake bites and obviously should not be given to dogs with no chance of meeting a snake. Lyme vaccines are only recommended for animals in high risk areas such as the northeast and upper Midwest of the United States. Leptospirosis is another disease that should be vaccinated against in dogs that are at a higher risk of infection but may cause harmful side effects in puppies and toy breeds.

Administering more than one antigen at a time is not always a bad idea. Grouping vaccines together in one shot is a useful and efficient way to immunize pets with less stress on the animal but there are limits to the amount of antibodies that should be given and how often, especially if your dog is not at risk of exposure to certain diseases.