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Published: Aug 10, 2012

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.