VCA Animal Hospitals

Why did my dog's vaccination fail?

Published: Aug 10, 2012

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Dog vaccinations are some of the most useful tools for keeping your canine healthy. There are many different types of vaccinations for a wealth of health issues and illnesses that your canine could face, which is why it's essential to take your dog to the vet regularly to make sure she is up to date on her shots. However, vaccinations aren't 100 percent foolproof, and there are a few circumstances, though rare, when a vaccine will fail. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, there are five main reasons why vaccinations will be ineffective.

The vaccine was no longer effective

Vaccines are created in laboratories, and are typically very potent shortly after they're created. However, they can lose their potency over time, especially if they are not kept cold. This is why it's essential to visit a veterinary hospital and have a professional administer the vaccine. Purchasing dog vaccinations over the internet increases the risk of a vaccine become ineffective.

The vaccine did not produce full immunity

Though most vaccines will be successful, VCA notes that no vaccine can give 100 percent immunity. This means even dogs who are vaccinated have the very rare chance of contracting the disease which the vaccine was meant to prevent.

Your canine was unhealthy

A dog with a weakened immune system may not respond well to a vaccine. If your dog has a fever when you take her into the vet's office, her immune system will be focused on fighting off the infection, rendering the vaccine ineffective.

Your dog's breed came into play

Believe it or not, your dog's breed may be a factor when it comes time for dog vaccines. Some canines are more susceptible to certain viruses. According to VCA, Rottweiler puppies may be particularly likely to develop parvovirus, even after they've been vaccinated. 

Maternal antibodies caused an issue

This is perhaps the most complex reason for a vaccination failure. Puppies receive passive immunity from their mothers when they're born, known as maternal antibodies. These antibodies keep the puppy safe from diseases from which the mother herself was protected. These antibodies will protect the newborn for a certain amount of time, depending on how strong the mother's immunity was. While this is a good thing, these antibodies can also fight off vaccinations. That's why it's important for puppies to get a series of vaccinations, as it's best to inoculate them just before their maternal antibodies are gone.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.