View Full Version : Advice needed for puppy vaccines

18th July 2008, 05:21 PM
Holly is almost 16 weeks old and due for her third, and final, round of puppy vaccinations. Last round my vet did parvo/distemper and I also allowed her to do lepto as there were 3 dogs in my clinic with lepto and others in area clinics. She is due for a boost of all three now. I did lepto seperate from the others as I have read lepto may cause the most problems with reactions. Holly has not had any adverse vaccine reactions so far.

My quandry now is that my vet is strongly urging me to also vaccinate Holly for rabies at 16 weeks (or shortly thereafter). I told her I was not comfortable with this and would prefer waiting until Holly is at least 6 months, if not a year old. The problem is that we have had two reported cases of rabid skunks in my area -- one in the county and just recently one in my town. In one case, an unvaccinated puppy was exposed and is now in quarantine.

I've spoken with my breeder and she would like me to wait until 6 months for rabies, but says she trusts my judgment in this situation. I am very worried with Holly having an adverse reaction to a vaccine, but also want to protect her from any potential health risk.

I would really appreciate any opinions on my situation. Thank you so much!!

18th July 2008, 05:31 PM
These are UC Davis guidelines.


18th July 2008, 05:42 PM
If you are willing to keep your puppy on the lead at all times when not confined to your house, and never allow her free into the back garden alone -- in other words, at arm's reach access when not inside the house -- then certainly consider whether to go ahead and wait. But not in a million years would I take a dog unvaccinated out with *known* cases of rabies in the area (and I would be reluctant to walk the dog away from built up areas as well as rabid animals will attack -- it isn't a matter of the dog finding the animal and having an encounter). Not only is there the risk of your puppy dying a very painful death, but of possibly causing a public health issue if your dog in turn bites a human -- especially a child -- who must then undergo the very painful rabies series even if there is any suspected risk of transmission. It is a very big responsibility and you should also check whether there are legal implications -- many areas will not allow you to wait on vaccination for rabies.

Confining and controlling your dog would not be that difficult, but it depends on how able you feel to do this at all times until the point when she is vaccinated. :thmbsup:

Excuse my cynicicm too (and this is not a personal comment on your breeder as I've no idea who s/he is!), but it amazes me how many breeders are hugely concerned about the spacing of vaccines or whether to give them at all, yet may not MRI a single one of their breeding dogs for SM status nor use cardiologists to check hearts, and may regularly breed earlier that the MVD protocol. As far as the health of the breed goes, these issues greatly outweigh when dogs should be vaccinated as the they both have by comparison a massive influence on the health and longevity of a given dog as well as entire breeding lines.

19th July 2008, 02:29 AM
Both of mine were vaccinated for rabies at age 4 months and did not experience any ill effects. If anything, the other boosters (lepto and such) were more painful and caused some ill effects. I would vaccinate at this time if my vet were recommending AND has experienced actual cases in the region. I wasn't going to vaccinate for lepto, but there are many dogs in the city coming down with it because mice and rats are passing it in urine in city backyards!

19th July 2008, 02:45 AM
There are just so many things you can vaccinate for-- the thing is, is more better??


19th July 2008, 06:46 AM
less vaccine seems to be more these days, and one breeder I have talked to voids her health guarantee if you vaccinate beyond the very minimal schedule she gives you. (she is a highly recommended, CKCSC affiliated breeder) She also doesn't do the first vaccine until pups are weaned. For one, they are protected by the mother's antibodies in the milk up until them and also, the vaccine is just neutralized by the antibodies from the mother's milk if you give the shots while pup is still nursing. She doesn't recommend any other vaccines for LIFE after those first few shots. She only does titer tests to make sure they maintain immunity (which, she insists, they do) year after year. Apparently, annual vaccines are causing all types of autoimmune problems. Think about it, we don't go get shots every year. We had them LONG ago, and most of them last a lifetime.

19th July 2008, 04:31 PM
Tybalt gets his rabies shot in August. He will be five months old at the time. Our vet only gives the standard puppy immunizations, after that he tests their blood yearly to see that they have maintained immunity. The only shot he gives annually after the required puppy immunization shots are rabies shots (they are required yearly in Missouri) UNLESS the test titers come back negative, then they get boosters.

Is this not the way most other vets do it?

The only drawback (I don't even know if you could call it a drawback) is that the titers can't tell the difference if the immunity was natural or created by the vaccine.

21st July 2008, 09:43 PM
My mom's pup had a bad reaction to the rabies. They gave him some sort of pretreatment for his following vaccines and he did great :-)

Cathy T
22nd July 2008, 01:42 AM
Here's my reminder for Whole Dog Journal ;) August's edition features an excellent article on Vaccinations 101 by Dr. Schulz. Everything you wanted to know about vaccinations spelled out in plain english.

22nd July 2008, 03:56 AM
Thank you everyone for your help. This morning I called Dr. Jean Dodds in California and she was incredibly nice and helpful. I was stunned when my call was answered by a "hello," and it was Dr. Dodds herself! I can't even reach my own vet that easily:rolleyes:.

I explained my situation and she asked for Holly's vaccine history. After hearing what Holly has received and when, Dr. Dodds recommended that I go ahead and get the lepto booster follwed in two weeks with an initial rabies vaccine. She asked if Holly ever went outside, and I said yes but mainly in our fenced in yard. Dr. Dodds said that with reported cases of rabid skunks in the area, she would absolutely recommend vaccinating for rabies earlier than I had initally planned.

So, I'm going ahead with Dr. Dodds' and my vet's advice. Cathy -- I have been thinking for some time of subscribing to Whole Dog Journal. This situation just gave me the impetus to do so. Thanks again for the reminder!

I so appreciate you all taking the time to consider my questions!