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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Vaccinations for Smaller Dogs

As most of you know, there is great controversy among some people about vaccinations. Without going into the actual arguments themselves, I am somewhat concerned about the rabies vaccine. The same dosage is used on every dog no matter the size.

I am not an alarmist. I have talked with my vet several times about titers and he explained why that was not the method to trust (titer is okay don't vaccinate) because one never knew when the titer was going to drop.

Most of what I have read is written by individuals who are not veterinarians. Some have other motives. Some just do not believe in vaccinations of any kind for any creature (including humans). I do not fall into this category. I live in a rural area with hundreds of acres and must vaccinate for my dogs' protection.

But I am worried about the rabies being able to cover a 100 pound dog being given to a 10 pound dog. But, it sure didn't cause any problem for my 9 pound chihuahua. I've seen some havanese owners post how sick their dogs were after vaccinations.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:02 AM
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I can only speak for my dog but from the time he was a puppy, he never responded well to the various shots recommended including rabies. The rabies shot would knock him out for 2-3 days, he had a fever, he was lethargic, would vomit, it was horrible.

Months later, he was diagnosed with Addisons (not related to the rabies shot of course). In the last 8 years, since his Addisons diagnosis, he has not had a single vaccination for anything. He has been tittered for everything including rabies. I believe if my dog had a rabies shot today, it would kill him. I also know that if my dog was not diagnosed with Addisons, I would continue to have him tittered and avoid all immunizations.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 10:39 AM
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I have a very tiny Hav, barely 6 lbs. at 13 1/2 months old. She was probably about 4 lbs. when she was vaccinated for rabies. It was given alone, not with any other vaccines, and she had no side effects



Diane and Molly
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrotfeathers View Post
As most of you know, there is great controversy among some people about vaccinations. Without going into the actual arguments themselves, I am somewhat concerned about the rabies vaccine. The same dosage is used on every dog no matter the size.

I am not an alarmist. I have talked with my vet several times about titers and he explained why that was not the method to trust (titer is okay don't vaccinate) because one never knew when the titer was going to drop.

Most of what I have read is written by individuals who are not veterinarians. Some have other motives. Some just do not believe in vaccinations of any kind for any creature (including humans). I do not fall into this category. I live in a rural area with hundreds of acres and must vaccinate for my dogs' protection.

But I am worried about the rabies being able to cover a 100 pound dog being given to a 10 pound dog. But, it sure didn't cause any problem for my 9 pound chihuahua. I've seen some havanese owners post how sick their dogs were after vaccinations.

Any thoughts?
While I am all for titering for other diseases and not subjecting my dog to unnecessary vaccines, Rabies is different. YOu have to look at the consequences of NOT vaccinating. If your dog is not current on its Rabies vaccination under your state law, and someone SAYS your dog bit them (whether this actually happened or not) they can immediately destroy your dog to test its brain for Rabies because of the threat to human health. This isn't an "it could happen" scenario… I actually know someone who chose not to vaccinate her dog with an auto-immune disease. Her dog did NOT bite anyone, but through a case of mistaken identity (all Goldens look alike!) was "fingered" as the dog that bit. Her dog was taken from her and euthanized.

So, you have to weigh the consequences of giving the dog the shot with the consequences of what could happen if you didn't. With an otherwise healthy dog, who had shown no signs of vaccine intolerance, I would do minimal vaccines for everything else, and still do Rabies as required by law, making sure they were given Lysin before and after to minimize side effects. If I had a dog that had a chronic illness where Rabies vaccine was ill-advised (like Django's Addison's disease) or if I had a dog who had a previous bad reaction to Rabies vaccine specifically, I would have to think long and hard about which way to go.

I DO have a dog who had a very bad reaction to his last Rabies booster. I have 2 more years before I need to decide what to do. I had been very sure that I would titer rather than give him another booster… Until I found out about my friend's Golden. Now I'm not sure.

I know that doesn't help you make the decision, but it gives you my thought process on a difficult subject. When it comes to Bordatella, Lyme and Lepto, to me there is absolutely NO way that I would give them to my dog. Instead I control for those diseases in other ways. Parvo and Distemper are things I definitely WANT my dog protected against, but in the least invasive way as possible. So Kodi had his puppy shots and one year boosters and since then has had only titers. When I get my new puppy, I will do the puppy series, but will titer rather than giving one year boosters also.


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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molly120213 View Post
I have a very tiny Hav, barely 6 lbs. at 13 1/2 months old. She was probably about 4 lbs. when she was vaccinated for rabies. It was given alone, not with any other vaccines, and she had no side effects
And the fact is, the MAJORITY of dogs, even is the small and vaccine sensitive breeds, DO do fine with "standard" vaccination schedules. It's just that the consequences can be very bad for those who don't.


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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 11:08 AM
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I was vaccinated for rabies last October at 9 months old and 10 pounds and absolutely no side effects.

Since I'm an international traveler, crossing over the border several times a year, rabies vaccinations (current within 6 months) are mandatory by US Immigration, there are no exceptions. My Vet says that there are no "controlled studies" that show that rabies vaccinations cause harm to small breed dogs.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 11:47 AM
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Karen, the law varies from state to state on destroying an animal suspected of having rabies. In my great state of South Carolina, which still is reasonable with its laws, we quarantine an animal before unnecessarily putting down. So, everyone should know their state's law and sometimes county's law in the case of states like Ohio and Georgia, when making serious decisions like vaccinating a sick dog.


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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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In a rural area with wild animals everywhere, I have to vaccinate for lepto and lyme. I was walking the dogs around the farm 2 days ago and came upon a very nasty raccoon. As for rabies, yes, it is a mandatory injection. Here in Mississippi the law states yearly but the vaccine itself is a 3 year vaccine, which I will honor. I do not vaccinate my old farm girls--13 is the oldest. They can barely get off the porch so there is no danger of them wandering off the farm into the 1,000 acres of woods next to me.

Parvo--yes I have to do that also for puppyhood. Perhaps not adult. But parvo was here 13 years ago near my barn where we housed a litter of stray pups and may still be.

Thanks for all the comments.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 12:44 PM
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2013 and 2014 Canine Vaccination Protocol - W. Jean Dodds, DVM

Dr. Dodds has made only slight, minor changes to the basic, core Canine Vaccination Protocol she established in previous years. Dr. Dodds bases her decisions on numerous factors such as presence of maternal immunity, prevalence of viruses or other infectious agents in the region, number of reported occurrences of the viruses and other infectious agents, how these agents are spread, and the typical environmental conditions and exposure risk activities of companion animals.

Dr. Dodds considers infectious canine hepatitis (adenovirus-1), canine adenovirus-2, bordetella, canine influenza, canine coronavirus, leptospirosis, and Lyme regional and situational. Please research the prevalence in your area, and discuss it with your veterinarian.

2013 and 2014 Vaccination Protocol
Note: The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one Dr. Dodds recommends and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It’s a matter of professional judgment and choice.

9-10 Weeks Old:
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Merck Nobivac [Intervet Progard] Puppy DPV)

14-16 Weeks:
Same as above

20 Weeks or Older (if allowable by law):
Rabies

1 Year:
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (optional = titer)

1 Year after the initial dose:
Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request.

Jeanne and Emmie

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 12:49 PM
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Frequently Asked Questions about Titers and Vaccination Protocol by Dr. Dodds

We frequently receive questions regarding Dr. Dodds’ Canine Vaccination Protocol and thought we would put together a short FAQ to help your dog. We also invite you to explore the section tagged “Vaccines" on our blog as we have several posts about specific vaccines, viruses, and titers.

Question: The breeder vaccinated before nine weeks of age. How do I start your vaccination protocol now?
Answer: Just continue with the regular minimum vaccine protocol of Distemper and Parvovirus at 9 and 14 weeks.

Question: It is difficult to find a veterinarian who gives only the DPV (Nobivac Puppy-DPv) per your vaccination protocol. Can you recommend a vet?
Answer: You or your veterinarian can purchase it online from such places as Revival Animal Health or KV Vet Supply. Your vet can then administer the shot.

Question: We purchased a puppy from a breeder who only vaccinates for Parvovirus. Should my dog also have Distemper?
Answer: Your dog does need a distemper virus shot – in fact two doses are needed 3-4 weeks apart. You can purchase it yourself. The only monovalent, single distemper shot on the market today is NeoVacc-D by NeoTech – available online from such places as Revival Animal Health or KV Vet Supply. (Note: you can also purchase a single shot of Parvovirus from the same places.)

Question:
What kind of rabies vaccine should I get?
Answer: The rabies vaccine should be thimerosal (mercury) – free – i.e. Merial IMRAB TF.

Question: Are there any methods to stop the potential side effects of vaccine reactions?
Answer: You can pre-treat dogs with the oral homeopathics, Thuja and Lyssin, to help blunt any adverse effects of the rabies vaccine. For other vaccines, just Thuja is needed. These homeopathics can be given the day before, the day of, and the day after the vaccine. Some product protocols suggest a different regimen for them.

Question:
Why won’t my state take my dog’s rabies titer test so he can avoid the vaccine?
Answer: At this time, no state will accept a rabies titer in lieu of the shot. Additionally, a rabies titer does not satisfy any state’s medical exemption clause. For a list of states with medical exemptions, please visit The Rabies Challenge Fund. There are currently 18 states that officially recognize exemptions from rabies booster, but only on a justified case-by-case basis and following the specific requirements of that state.

Question: What is the point of a rabies titer test if my state won’t accept it as a medical exemption?
Answer: There are two reasons:
1) Rabies titer results are required by many rabies-free countries or regions in order for dogs and cats to qualify for a reduced quarantine period prior to entry. Some of these regions are Hawaii, Guam, Japan, St. Kitts and Nevis, Australia, New Zealand, France, and the United Kingdom. Always check with the destination authority to verify the pet importation.
2) The CDC states that a rabies titer of 0.1 IU/mL or higher is acceptable to protect a person from rabies. Further, the results of the 5-year Rabies Challenge Fund Study showed that immunologic memory for rabies vaccination remains at or above that level of immunity. This information is helpful for pet guardian peace-of-mind in areas where clinical rabies cases occur, and the dog or cat is medically exempt from further rabies boosters.

Question: Every year, the titer shows them as low on their distemper antibodies. What should I do?
Answer: I suggest titer testing your dog every three years for both distemper and parvovirus. You can also titer for adenovirus, although we don’t routinely recommend it. There basically is no or minimal infectious canine hepatitis in North America at present; hasn’t been for 15 years except for one minor incident at the Canada/Maritime/US border.

Importantly, any measurable titer to a vaccine including distemper & parvovirus means that the dog has specific committed immune memory cells to respond and afford protection upon exposure. It really doesn’t matter how high the titer result is as long as it measures something. If your dogs consistently have no measurable titer to canine distemper virus, it means mean that they are distemper “non-or low-responders”, an heritable trait where they will never mount immunity to distemper and will always be susceptible. These dogs should not be used for breeding.

As non-or low-responders to distemper are rare (1:5000 cases), my suggestion is that you retest at least one of them at Hemopet.

Question: My veterinarian believes anytime dogs are in contact with water that they are at HIGH risk for contracting leptospirosis.
Answer: Not so. Most Leptospirosis strains (there are about 200) do not cause disease, and of the seven clinically important strains, only four — L. icterohaemorrhagiae, L. canicola, L. grippotyphosa, and L. pomona serovars — are found in today’s vaccines. So, exposure risk depends upon which serovars of Lepto have been documented to cause clinical leptospirosis in the area where you live. You can call the county health department or local animal control and ask.

Jeanne and Emmie


Last edited by MarinaGirl; 01-19-2015 at 12:53 PM.
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