September 19-21, 2003

By : Leona Domino ( chair )


The bi-annual conference was held at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis, Mo. Starting in 1997, this is 

the fourth meeting and was supported and sponsored by Nestle-Purina.  Accommodations were excellent and this 

was a weekend of interesting, intense lectures.  Notable scientists, veterinarians, physicians, and geneticists

presented a variety of topics.


Subjects included: Popular Sire Syndrome, Reproduction, Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, Cancer, Cardiology,

Behavior Training, Probiotics, Alternative and Complementary Therapies and Canine Genome Sequencing to list 

just a few.


Of particular interest to the club members was one lecture “Vaccine Update: Controversial Issues”. 

This was a vaccination summary regarding a 3-year study of vaccine effectiveness.


Due to the conflicting opinions of the AVMA (recommend yearly) and AAHA ( recommend every 3 years ), 

this study was to determine effectiveness of the three core vaccines during 3 years. (adenovirus, distemper 

and parvo)


The conclusion was that after one year 85% of the vaccines retained effectiveness, at the end of two years 

72.6% were effective and after three years 50% were determined by titer to be effective.

Puppies were difficult to assess after one year due to drop out. ( Failure of owners to complete the three year study ) 

however after one year ( 2 vaccines, two weeks apart ) 93% were protected.


It should be noted that this study revealed that some hunting breed, notably the Fox Hound, did not have 

acceptable levels of immunity throughout the study .


The researcher was Saralyn Smith-Carr, DVM, PhD, DACVIM and her presentation helped this writer to decide that

certainly every two years was necessary, however it is highly individual between the owner, veterinarian, 

and depends on the circumstances of each dog.  Pets, show dogs, city versus country living should have an important

part of the decision to vaccinate. The statistic of 85% effectness after one year leads to the question, 

“what about the other 15%?” It is definitely an individual decision.


Leona Domino, 

Genetic Research Committee