Havanese Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!! I hope you are all doing exceedingly well and enjoying summer. Ernie is going in to see his vet on Monday and I’m considering having his blood drawn for titer tests. I haven’t done this before and I’m curious to hear everyone’s opinions. We would test for distemper and parvo. It’s been 6 months since he was vaccinated at 16 weeks. My hope is he will have the antibodies and we can avoid boostering his puppy shots for years to come. Would love to hear your advice and experience with titer testing. TIA!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Really good question🙂 Before I joined the forum I had never heard of titer testing so will be really interested in the responses you get!
 

·
Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
28,950 Posts
I agree with Tom. I would not bother titering at 6 months. I titer in place of the one year booster, and then annually after that. Some people feel that they never need titers again, others feel that titers every 3 years are sufficient. (I think that is Dr. Dodd’s position) My vet is more comfortable with annual titers, and since they absolutely HAVE to have annual heart worm and tick titers, so they are drawing the blood anyway, I figure it can’t hurt. But Kodi is 12 now and still has a robust titer for both parvo and distemper! (So do the girls, but they are 5 and 6) . Interestingly, Tge girls were in the period before we got this newer, more virulent form of parvo, so they only got two doses of distemper/parvo. They didn’t even get a third parvo, and they, also had great titers at a year, which have continued since!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with Tom. I would not bother titering at 6 months. I titer in place of the one year booster, and then annually after that. Some people feel that they never need titers again, others feel that titers every 3 years are sufficient. (I think that is Dr. Dodd’s position) My vet is more comfortable with annual titers, and since they absolutely HAVE to have annual heart worm and tick titers, so they are drawing the blood anyway, I figure it can’t hurt. But Kodi is 12 now and still has a robust titer for both parvo and distemper! (So do the girls, but they are 5 and 6) . Interestingly, Tge girls were in the period before we got this newer, more virulent form of parvo, so they only got two doses of distemper/parvo. They didn’t even get a third parvo, and they, also had great titers at a year, which have continued since!
We opted to only do a single round of puppy shots at 16 weeks. Our vet really wants to booster him (we are actually on a waitlist for a more holistic vet that I’m very much looking forward to seeing) which is why I’m considering doing titers on Monday. His apt. on Monday is sort of a pre neuter wellness check. Would your advice change knowing he’s only had 1 dose of the parvo/distemper combo?
 

·
Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
28,950 Posts
We opted to only do a single round of puppy shots at 16 weeks. Our vet really wants to booster him (we are actually on a waitlist for a more holistic vet that I’m very much looking forward to seeing) which is why I’m considering doing titers on Monday. His apt. on Monday is sort of a pre neuter wellness check. Would your advice change knowing he’s only had 1 dose of the parvo/distemper combo?
Ah! If he has only had a single dose, a titer is not a bad idea, just for peace of mind. Isn't he still kind of young to be neutered, though?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ah! If he has only had a single dose, a titer is not a bad idea, just for peace of mind. Isn't he still kind of young to be neutered, though?
Ok good to know your thoughts on this, I think I’ll go ahead and do it. Ernie turns 1 October 13th
Ah! If he has only had a single dose, a titer is not a bad idea, just for peace of mind. Isn't he still kind of young to be neutered, though?
Ok good to know your thoughts on this, I think I’ll go ahead and do it. Ernie turns 1 on October 13th. We will schedule is appointment out a few weeks and probably do it mid September. DH is convinced it will help with some of his less desirable behaviors (humping, marking outside constantly, minor aggression issues), I’m not so sure. We’ve made a lot of progress on resource guarding but he still exhibits aggression on occasion. He’s very tolerant of the kids and I do believe it’s improving. His groomer actually uses a muzzle and when a new man is in our house he gets a little aggressive (my fault for not socializing him enough). My dad was here over the weekend and they made friends but Ernie’s initial reaction wasn’t good. My dad worked with him a lot.. we are all learning. I also want to time it right w his grooming so his coat is short when he has surgery. I wanted to wait till after his birthday but I think 11 months but be a good compromise.
 

·
Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
28,950 Posts
Ok good to know your thoughts on this, I think I’ll go ahead and do it. Ernie turns 1 October 13th

Ok good to know your thoughts on this, I think I’ll go ahead and do it. Ernie turns 1 on October 13th. We will schedule is appointment out a few weeks and probably do it mid September. DH is convinced it will help with some of his less desirable behaviors (humping, marking outside constantly, minor aggression issues), I’m not so sure. We’ve made a lot of progress on resource guarding but he still exhibits aggression on occasion. He’s very tolerant of the kids and I do believe it’s improving. His groomer actually uses a muzzle and when a new man is in our house he gets a little aggressive (my fault for not socializing him enough). My dad was here over the weekend and they made friends but Ernie’s initial reaction wasn’t good. My dad worked with him a lot.. we are all learning. I also want to time it right w his grooming so his coat is short when he has surgery. I wanted to wait till after his birthday but I think 11 months but be a good compromise.
It probably WON'T help a lot with those things. Maturity will, and he IS getting toward the end of adolescence. SO you will probably see them start to wane, whether you neuter him or not. So don't let your husband attribute any improvement to the neutering. ;)

Unfortunately, he was a full-on "Covid puppy". You got him right at the hardest part of the Covid isolation if I remember correctly. Not your fault, all you can do is keep chipping away at it. And you CAN! There are ZILLIONS of owners of young dogs in exactly the same boat right now. So I think that is probably what is to blame for his "aggression", which is most likely based in fearfulness. It almost always is in Havanese. (other than the resource guarding, but it sounds like you are working on that, and have a plan) Neither resource guarding nor fear aggression are based in the sex or lack of sex of the animal. In fact, there have been studies done that tend to show the opposite when it comes to fear based aggression. That spayed/neutered animals show somewhat more than intact animals.

All this is NOT to say you should change your mind on neutering... it is a totally personal decision as far as I'm concerned. Just wanted to make sure you have all the data points! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It probably WON'T help a lot with those things. Maturity will, and he IS getting toward the end of adolescence. SO you will probably see them start to wane, whether you neuter him or not. So don't let your husband attribute any improvement to the neutering. ;)



Unfortunately, he was a full-on "Covid puppy". You got him right at the hardest part of the Covid isolation if I remember correctly. Not your fault, all you can do is keep chipping away at it. And you CAN! There are ZILLIONS of owners of young dogs in exactly the same boat right now. So I think that is probably what is to blame for his "aggression", which is most likely based in fearfulness. It almost always is in Havanese. (other than the resource guarding, but it sounds like you are working on that, and have a plan) Neither resource guarding nor fear aggression are based in the sex or lack of sex of the animal. In fact, there have been studies done that tend to show the opposite when it comes to fear based aggression. That spayed/neutered animals show somewhat more than intact animals.

All this is NOT to say you should change your mind on neutering... it is a totally personal decision as far as I'm concerned. Just wanted to make sure you have all the data points! :)
Ok this is interesting. I’m curious to hear our vet’s opinion on this as well, although to be honest I’m less than thrilled with her. I’m hoping the holistic vet will be more able to give me feedback on things like his diet and be open to us doing the bare minimum on vaccines. I’d love to speak with a holistic vet on neutering although you are providing me lots of great insight. Just curious…. when do you plan on having adorable Ducky neutered? I guess one advantage to making ALL the appointments is having the final say ;)
 

·
Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
28,950 Posts
Ok this is interesting. I’m curious to hear our vet’s opinion on this as well, although to be honest I’m less than thrilled with her. I’m hoping the holistic vet will be more able to give me feedback on things like his diet and be open to us doing the bare minimum on vaccines. I’d love to speak with a holistic vet on neutering although you are providing me lots of great insight. Just curious…. when do you plan on having adorable Ducky neutered? I guess one advantage to making ALL the appointments is having the final say ;)
Well, Ducky has plans as a show dog and potential stud dog, as long as he passes all his health testing. So he will keep his family jewels pretty much indefinitely. 😉. But if I DIDN’T plan to use him as a show and potential breeding dog, I would still not plan on neutering him before 18 months.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mama Mills

·
Owned by a Havallon
Joined
·
2,617 Posts
A true holistic vet is hard to find. It looks like there are only two in Colorado located in Colorado Springs. I am not sure if these are the ones you are looking at.

VetFinder – Find a Holistic Veterinarian – American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

I think the term “holistic vet” can be confusing. For example, I took my dogs to a holistic vet for many years. The only difference between her and many conventional vets is that they support raw feeding and believe in minimal vaccines. My dogs were already neutered so not sure what she would have said about that. Other than these things, there was no way to tell if this vet was holistic. She still pushed flea/tick “preventatives” (Simparica flea pills) and even suggested that a dog may need to be “boosted” if a titer is low which I completely disagree with. ANY titer level is good enough IMO. They were not very knowledgeable about the treatment of IVDD. They gave antibiotics “just in case” for teeth cleanings which I also disagree with. Now if a dog has allergies or something like that, perhaps they may have tried some natural means of dealing with this vs. Apoquel and Cytopoint which just suppress the symptoms, however mine do not have allergies.

My current vet is conventional but very up to date and knowledgeable. She does not say one word about raw feeding, she never gives antibiotics “just in case”, she respects my desire to never vaccinate my dogs again (regardless of titer level). The vet’s office does offer various therapies like acupuncture, massage, chiropractic and water therapy.

I guess what I am saying is that when searching for a good vet, I would not rule out a good conventional vet. I would take a good conventional vet over a not so good holistic vet.

We are moving soon and unfortunately I will have to find a new vet or face a two hour drive. One of the only two holistic vets in the state is near where I am moving. He is the integrative type of holistic vet and sounds promising, however time will tell.

We all need a good vet, however we also need to take control of our pet’s health ourselves and make some of our own decisions. For example, holistic vet or not, I am not giving my dog “flea pills” and they are not getting any more vaccines. I will not follow a vet blindly. With regard to neutering, I would make my own decision on that too. There is enough information out there now to help with that very important decision that can have a big impact on a dog’s health. One of my big regrets…mine were both neutered way too soon.
 

·
Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
28,950 Posts
I guess what I am saying is that when searching for a good vet, I would not rule out a good conventional vet. I would take a good conventional vet over a not so good holistic vet.
Agreed!

The only vet in our area that advertises as "Holistic" is a NUT CASE!!! She has a very bad reputation with vets who have had to clean up her messes after she has made some animals very very sick. She is also the reason that the towns in our area have become so strict about their requirements for Rabies waivers. She was giving them to every one of her clients' dogs, on the grounds that she didn't think that ANY dog should have a Rabies vaccine!

My vet practice bills itself as a "integrative" practice. They definitely use western medicine, but also have acupuncture, chiro and reiki specialists, and a whole sports medicine/rehab clinic available as part of their services. Their PRACTICE is to suggest minimal vaccines and later spay/neuter unless the client wants something different. Then they will discuss the pros and cons with them. When vaccines are given, the dog is always sent home with a homeopathic to counteract side effects. How much these help? Who knows. But they CAN'T hurt, and if they even help a bit, it's worth it, and they do not charge extra or it. ...And the fact that they EDUCATE themselves about these other modalities, to me, is a good thing.

They also know their limits and are quick to refer out. When I was going to breed Panda, my vet helped me choose the best Therio (reproductive) practice in the area, as well as targeting several emergency practices in case she suddenly needed THOSE services in the middle of the night. thankfully we didn't need to test those!)

And while I do think the practice I currently use is exceptional, the one I used before them was also a "traditional" practice, run by an older vet, but one who was very well educated and always RIGHT up to date on what was going on. I could talk to him about my thoughts/ideas/questions about anything, and he would give me his opinions, then follow my wishes. I left there because of the superior sports medicine understanding at the place I'm at now, NOT because one was more "holistic" than the other.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mudpuppymama

·
Owned by a Havallon
Joined
·
2,617 Posts
I would also caution people against thinking all holistic vets are voodoo doctors. Prejudice either way is NOT good. Let’s look at the individual please.
 

·
Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
28,950 Posts
I would also caution people against thinking all holistic vets are voodoo doctors. Prejudice either way is NOT good. Let’s look at the individual please.
Oh, ABSOLUTELY true!!! I was saying that this PARTICULAR one is a nutcase!!! I have a VERY good friend, the owner of Ducky's sire, who is much closer to wholistic than "western" in her veterinary practice. She is also a veterinary behaviorist. And she was EXTREMELY helpful to me in those first few weeks when Panda was struggling with her milk supply... In part because she was so calm and level headed.

I was agreeing with your point that you have to assess each one individually, There are good and bad breeders, good and bad rescues.

There are good and bad "traditional" vets and good and bad holistic and integrative practices. Do your homework on whatever type of practice you choose. DON'T just assume that whoever you choose"knows everything. YOU are still the one ultimately responsible for decisions about your animal!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
294 Posts
Hi everyone!! I hope you are all doing exceedingly well and enjoying summer. Ernie is going in to see his vet on Monday and I’m considering having his blood drawn for titer tests. I haven’t done this before and I’m curious to hear everyone’s opinions. We would test for distemper and parvo. It’s been 6 months since he was vaccinated at 16 weeks. My hope is he will have the antibodies and we can avoid boostering his puppy shots for years to come. Would love to hear your advice and experience with titer testing. TIA!
We have been titer testing for distemper and parvo for many years on an annual basis. It has been an excellent method for ensuring that Boo is protected against deadly diseases, while, at the same time, preventing any adverse effects of overvaccination.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We have been titer testing for distemper and parvo for many years on an annual basis. It has been an excellent method for ensuring that Boo is protected against deadly diseases, while, at the same time, preventing any adverse effects of overvaccination.
Ernie had blood taken yesterday and I’m hoping to get the results back tomorrow. Our vet was skeptical since he’s only had the one dose. Fingers crossed he has the antibodies, I’m hopeful.

You and handsome Boo are such an inspiration. I would love to hear more about how you’ve cared for him over the years to extend his longevity. Im especially interested in his diet - am I remembering correctly that you said he ate Ziwi Peaks when he was younger? That’s what Ernie gets. The high fat levels concern me a little. Do you give Boo supplements?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
294 Posts
Ernie had blood taken yesterday and I’m hoping to get the results back tomorrow. Our vet was skeptical since he’s only had the one dose. Fingers crossed he has the antibodies, I’m hopeful.

You and handsome Boo are such an inspiration. I would love to hear more about how you’ve cared for him over the years to extend his longevity. Im especially interested in his diet - am I remembering correctly that you said he ate Ziwi Peaks when he was younger? That’s what Ernie gets. The high fat levels concern me a little. Do you give Boo supplements?
MamaMills - Yes, Boo did eat Ziwi Peak until he was 13 or 14. He enjoyed the air dried version, both the lamb and venison formulas. They are high in calorie. So, you have to monitor food intake to avoid excessive weight gain. Boo also ate Stella and Chewy freeze dried patties. He never took any supplements until 2020. Now, he takes a B12 supplement with Folate. He did have yearly or bi-yearly teeth cleanings. I suspect that helped him to keep all of his original teeth to date. For the past two years, I have just used a dental rinse, as anesthesia might result in subsequent organ failure, due to his advanced age. So far, no signs of dental infection or loose teeth (but he does have moderate tartar).

Currently, Boo is doing fairly well. He does have more anxiety (whining) and has become less affectionate. As I mentioned in previous posts, his vision and hearing also are impaired. Still, veterinary workup has not revealed any signs of a significant arthritic process or heart/lung/kidney issues. His IBD is mostly controlled with medication and diet. Blood and urine are good for his age. He also walks like a much younger dog.

I attribute his long life to a combination of things, good genes, quality food, regular veterinary care, weekly grooming, and monitored socialization. Boo always has visited the vet twice a year for checkups and blood/urine/imaging (now he goes every 3 months). The frequent vet care has avoided any unexpected surprises but has cost a king's ransom. Weekly visits to the groomed til age 17 (now once a month is all he can handle) also helped maintain a beautiful coat to this date. He also went to daycare for many years, and trained with a celebrity trainer (but only for fun).

All the time and money spent have been worth it. I hope Boo gets to 21!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I’ve been waiting several weeks for a call from the vet to go over his blood test results (she said I’d hear from her within a few days). I’ve actually called three different times and requested a call back with no response, very frustrating. I did get this email and I thought maybe someone on here could help me interpret the results. TIA!
Font Material property Parallel Screenshot Number
 

·
Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
28,950 Posts
I ran this by a vet friend of mine for you. She agreed with my initial take when I read it. This is not an adequate INITIAL response. If this were an older dog, who had shown a strong INITIAL response and then antibodies were waning, it would be a different story. But this is a puppy who has not yet mounted a strong initial response to either of these diseases.

I am REALLY opposed to over vaccinating, as you know. If this were my puppy, and ESPECIALLY considering the deadliness of these two diseases, I would bpnot be comfortable with this level of protection. I would be boostering both.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top