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 Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy

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hypers987
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PostSubject: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:00 am

Since I work in the veterinary world, I thought I would periodically post general medical threads that will be helpful for current and new members. It may come in handy for first-time dog owners as well. Very Happy It took me a while to put this together, so I hope people find it informative and useful.


Vaccinations


Many of the serious diseases of dogs can be prevented by vaccination. With over 50 million pet dogs in the United States alone, your pet is bound to come in contact with an infectious disease at some time. Even if you always keep your pet indoors, your dog (or cat) can be exposed to viruses carried in the air, in dust, or on clothing. Vaccination is inexpensive protection against costly treatment, or even premature death.

Distemper

Distemper is one of the two most important diseases of dogs. It is very widespread, and nearly every dog will be exposed to distemper within the first year of life. Signs include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, and discharges from the eyes and/or nose. "Squinting" of the eyes is often the first sign observed. Once the virus enters the nervous system, convulsions, twitches, or partial paralysis become evident. It is spread through all body secretions and is highly contagious and is usually fatal without immediate medical treatment.

Parvovirus

Since its devastating worldwide appearance in 1978, most dog owners have heard of "Parvo". It is transmitted through direct contact with an infected dog's feces. A dog that recovers from the disease remains a "carrier" spreading the virus in it's bowel movements for 1-3 months. Signs include vomiting, fever, depression, and diarrhea, which often will contain large amounts of blood. The virus destroys the lining of the intestines. There is another form where the virus attacks the heart muscle causing a heart attack and death. The younger the pet, the GREATER the chance of death. The death rate is very high in dogs under 4-6 months of age.

Dogs remain susceptible to Parvovirus infection until two weeks AFTER THE LAST INJECTION in the vaccination series. This is the most serious and fatal disease we see today.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis affects the dog's liver. Spread through an infected dog's urine, exposure can mean anything from a mild infection to death. Puppies are at the most risk with this disease. Vaccination has controlled this disease for several years, making it rarely seen by veterinarians today.

Leptospirosis

"Lepto" is a bacterial infection that affects the dog's kidneys. It can reside as a low-level infection for months or years, infecting other dogs (and wild-life) while weakening your pet. It is transmitted by your pet drinking infected urine in stagnate water. It is controlled by vaccination.

Canine Cough Complex (or Bordetella Bronchiseptica)

Technically know as "tracheobronchitis," it is an upper respiratory infection with the major sign being a persistent, dry, hacking cough. It often lasts several weeks and is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS. It is cause by several viruses and bacteria, which are included in the vaccinations.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus is an intestinal infection resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and depression. It is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS and can be FATAL. Research shows that it often co-exists with "Parvo" at the same time in many dogs.

Rabies

Rabies is a FATAL INFECTION of the nervous system that attacks all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Rabies has become synonymous with the image of a vicious dog, although some dogs may appear to be in a "stupor" in it's beginning stages . Rabies is a public health hazard and a personal risk to all pet owners. Many states require vaccination against rabies, and most veterinarians recommend vaccination for all dogs and cats, regardless of state law. Rabies can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, including humans. Even dogs kept indoors can come in contact with a Rabies carrier in a basement, garage, or attic. Because there is no cure for Rabies, vaccination is you pet's only protection against the virus.

In closing- Distemper, Hepatits, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, and Coronavirus are all available in one subcutaneous injection. A SERIES of injections are required to develop a high level of immunity. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:23 am

Great post, Brooke! I know you specified "puppy" in your title but I would like to take this opportunity to also address vaccination in adults as well.

I would like to add that while I am wholeheartedly for vaccination, I am also not a proponent of over-vaccination in adult dogs which many traditional vets tend to push. Most, if not all, vaccines do NOT need to be given every year like many vets will tell people and over-vaccination can actually be counterproductive. The only vaccination required by law to be given annually (or every 3 yrs if you get the 3 yr vaccine) is rabies.

I and many others subscribe to Dr. Jean Dodds' Vaccination Schedule which you can view here:
Dr Jean Dodds' Recommended Vaccination Schedule

I definitely recommend completing all the puppy series of vaccines plus the one year boosters. Beyond that I would only get the 3 yr rabies as required by law and titer test annually for the rest. No sense pumping adult dogs full of unnecessary vaccines that are not needed.

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hypers987
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PostSubject: Re: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:12 am

^ I agree completely with Val. It is extremely important to bring in your pets (dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.) yearly for their preventative exams, but vaccines, in my opinion, do not need to be given every year (for adults that have already gone through a full puppy series AND boosters a year later). Titer testing is available on Parvo, lepto, and distemper. Because Rabies is a public health hazard, I recommend keeping up with it every 3 years. Titer testing is available for Rabies as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:42 am

Okay just for this to make more sense what does it cost to have titer testing compared to just having the vaccination?

Why just test to make sure the dog has the antibodies as to receiving the yearly (or 3 yr.) vaccines, pro and or cons would be appreciated.

Myself I just get the vaccines as suggested by my vet mainly because we seem to board the Huskies at least once a year and every kennel I've been to required proof of vaccination. (Only once have I not had to show proof of kennel cough.)
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PostSubject: Re: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:51 am

Good questions, Len. I know that titer testing, at least for me, is considerably more expensive than just getting the vaccinations. Titer testing involves a blood test and usually runs us between about $120 to under $150. So it does cost more but I would rather pay more for that than compromise my dogs' health. After all, plenty of vaccinations have proven to provide immunity for the life of the dog via titer testing. You actually do NOT need to titer test every year though, Dr Jean Dodd recommends titer testing every 3 years which, depending on how much you spend annually on vaccines and how much your vet charges for titer tests, may or may not be comparable or cheaper. Price varies from place to place so to be fair you'd have to know what your vet charges.

People that board and go to doggy daycare will be required to have certain vaccinations and/or titer test results to prove immunity. I don't use such services specifically because I do not want to be forced to vaccinate, to each his own. But if you were required to vaccinate or titer test annually to meet such establishment requirements, then I would expect titer testing to cost considerably more than just vaccinating, although I don't know how much you spend per year on vaccinations.

I am on my phone at the moment so am unable to provide supportive info as far as pros and cons right now. Perhaps Brooke will be better able to provide insight on this than I can. If not, I would gladly add when I have time later. But I will say it irks me that annual vaccinations are pushed for pets so heavily when duration of immunity has been proven for many years. We humans don't need vaccinations every year, neither do our dogs.

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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:10 pm

I titer test. For me its about 45 for distemper/parvo.  Which is the only one i bother titering.  I vaccinate rabies every three years.



EDIT:  I do ALL puppy vaccines and 1 year boosters.  Just wanted to make that clear Smile


Last edited by mbarnard0429 on Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:11 pm

Our kennel accepts titters for any vaccines. Most will do the same, some accept waivers.

Personally- I do not vaccine beyond the 1st annual booster anymore. I get the "3 year" Rabies as required by law (you can't titer out of that in the counties eyes- yet you can waiver out?) and thats it. KC is a joke of a vaccine IMO. We get so many new boarders who wind up with KC because the dogs never go out and get exposed to other dogs. And they are "vaccinated." If you have a healthy dog and expose them often to other dogs at parks or just walking about, the dog does build up an immunity. If they do come down with KC a normal healthy dog can recover with rest and a watchful eye. Just because I have to say it- you shouldn't take a dog out and expose them to other dogs if they have KC.

Some kennels don't accept self vaccinations (such as Megan suggested) as I know we don't.

There is a lot of research on the effect of over vaccination. And the way vaccines are administered and the amount administered at once. Coming from a human healthcare POV it makes ZERO sense to vaccinate such as the traditional vet does. "Immunity" doesn't "expire" a year from the date the dog Is inoculated.

The dogs body is exposed to the threat (the vaccine) and builds up defenses against it. Pumping the dog full of 8-9 vaccines in a row (such as I've seen plenty of vets do via paperwork) is insane on the dogs body. And to do that year after year?

I don't do that. I can't even tell you the last time I had a vaccine besides tetanus. Why are the vets trying to convince everyone that dogs are so different?

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PostSubject: Re: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:08 am

I have a question about Leptospirosis. Our ver recommended this vaccine with our puppy's next round of vaccinations, in the next two/three weeks. We spend two out of four weekends a month in the Poconos, PA, and there's plenty of wildlife around there. We also leave outside a small town, with a nature path we take our dogs on, and we've seen deer & even foxes on our walks. The vet says the vaccine is not obligatory, but recommended if the dog is going to be exposed to wildlife-frequented areas. First I was thinking this may be a good thing to do for Luna, but then read more about the vaccine, and found out this may have really bad side effects for huskies, plus it's not a 100% effective, as the strands of the virus vary in different areas.

So, I'm kind of confused - I don't want my puppy to get the virus, but I also don't want to risk her health for something that may not even work.

One more thing - when is the best time to do the rabies vaccine? Luna will turn 13 weeks old in two days. I've read on some sites that it should be done between 12-16 week, and on others that it shouldn't be done earlier than 16 weeks.

I'd appreciate your thoughts!
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LMS
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PostSubject: Re: Why Should You Vaccinate Your Puppy   Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:32 pm

Ripley is getting her 2nd set of vaccines tomorrow (I think we're a week late, since she turned 3 months old on the 15th). I'll be asking my vet this question but thought I'd ask here too: when can she start going to public places such as the pet food store, puppy classes, parks etc?
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