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Can we talk vaccines for dogs?


Lenie
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I've been researching vaccines for dogs and I'm curious everyone's thoughts on when to vaccinate (is six weeks too early?), which vaccines are essential, and if there are vaccines commonly given that you would not give your dog.

I've also been looking into the vaccine for Leptospirosis. It seems likely that Lottie will be exposed at some point since we spend so much time in the woods. However, it seems that the vaccine isn't necessarily effective and there have been reactions to the vaccine. Have you/would you vaccinate for Leptospirosis? 

While I'm on the subject, do you give your dog's flea and tick prevention year around or only in the warmer months?

Thanks everyone.

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I follow Dr. Jean Dodds recommendations: https://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/147595920886/dodds-vaccination-protocol-dogs-2016#.XBstpNXn-Uk 

I believe this is the most recent one she has published.  Note that this is presuming that puppies get some antibodies from their mother, but if mom was a stray/unknown history, it might need to be different.

Hemopet will also do distemper and parvo titers - $52 for both.  That's what I do after the first year, as recommended.

I personally don't vax for Lepto, but I don't think it is very common where I live.  And neither are fleas or ticks - thank doG.  I *hate* that preventative!  Though if I lived where it was a big issue, I'd likely feel differently. 

Now if we could just "prove" that a 3 year rabies vax is enough for most dogs for life....but that's yet to come.

diane

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^^ Ditto what Diane said. I also follow Dr. Dodd's vax protocol but didn't have time to look it up last night.

I also hate flea & tick preventatives. I really believe they're toxic to the dog and pose a real risk of other consequences. And I really hate hat the two chemicals are always (or almost always) doubled up in the same product. I don't want flea preventative. I don't feel it's necessary for my dogs. I haven't had a flea infestation for many years and if they do get them I can deal with it. But ticks are awful where I live and Lyme incidence is increasing yearly. I've used Seresto collars successfully in the past. Ticks weren't bad this summer here but I used K9Advantix II in the fall when they came out en masse. But I still took ticks off one of my dogs who's a tick magnet. I'm gonna try Earth Animal Herbal Flea & Tick collar next year. Local "holistic" pet store sells them and says they've had good results w/ them.

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Thank you, I hadn't heard of Dr. Dodd's protocol.

GentleLake, thanks for the link. 

I haven't checked into the effectiveness/safeness for dogs but I have heard some have good results using a drop of the essential oil rose geranium on the collar of a dog to repel ticks.  I've been meaning to research it but I'm cautious about essential oils given the variety of pets I have and the danger of any of them possibly ingesting it. I have to make sure anything I use is safe for different species to potentially come into contact with it. ;) Quite the undertaking with my menagerie.

GentleLake and Diane Allen, what are your thoughts on heart worm prevention?

I'm concerned about the flea and tick prevention as well. I used to not use them and picked the ticks off but then I did get a flea infestation and it took a very long time to get rid of them! Are you doing anything else to prevent fleas or are they not common where you live?

Re: 3 year rabies vax... it took a very long time for where I currently live to allow the 3 year one! Before that, rabies vaccines were required every year. :rolleyes:

 

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Dr. Dodds has worked along with Dr. Ron Schultz doing the research that's extended the proven duration of immunity for most pet vaccines, including the Rabies Challenge. If you plug his name into your search engine you'll find a ton of information.

My concern about rose geranium oil is that it needs to be reapplied very often to be effective and one of my dogs hates it with a passion. If I put any EOs on him he rolls on the floor or in the dirt in a desperate attempt to get it off. :rolleyes: I'm thinking the Earth Animal collars probably uses EOs so I'm not sure how well he'll tolerate them.

Re: HW preventatives it would very much depend on the HW incidence in your area. I'm in southern upstate NY and I don't use it. I monitor the incidence maps and test regularly. My vets tell me that the only HW+ cases they see are in dogs either imported from the South or that have spent time there. If it increases where I live or if I were to travel to a high incidence area I'd reconsider my approach, but as it stands I'm not going to make my dogs ingest poison for something that's really not a great threat where they live. I tracked the temps here last summer and there was only a period of 4 or 5 weeks maximum that the temps were high enough fr a sustained period for HW to develop where I live.

You might find these threads helpful:

 

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We give our pup a monthly dose of wormer (tablet) and K9 Advantix (topical). Vets try and push the tablet version of tick and flea but I don’t want my pup to ingest insecticide :0

As for vaccines, as well as the usual suspects we did Lepto as there have been several cases locally and we have a ton of wildlife in our yard that are known for being Lepto carriers. 

We have deer in our yard (hence why we use K9) but so far we haven’t vaccinated for Lymes. Ticks have to feed to pass on Lymes and so far we haven’t found ticks on our pup - either because the K9 is doing its job or perhaps the ticks stay on the deer! 

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5 hours ago, ShellyF said:

K9 Advantix (topical). Vets try and push the tablet version of tick and flea but I don’t want my pup to ingest insecticide

Where do you think the topical stuff goes? It doesn't stay on the surface of their skin; it's absorbed into the body by the largest organ. It's no less toxic applied to the skin than it is by oral ingestion.

Believe me, I understand your dilemma. As I said in a previous post I give in during tick season and use something I'd much rather not. But don't fool yourself into thinking one method of absorption's any less toxic than others.

BTW, the Lyme vax is notoriously ineffective. Why do you think it's not given to humans?

And is there a good reason for you to give your pup a monthly wormer, I assume without doing fecal tests to see if s/he actually has worms? You say you don't want your pup to inject insecticides. What do you think wormers are?  I haven't had to use chemical wormers on my dogs for many years. I have fecals done and they have no worms, so why would I give them poisons for no good reason? Besides, there are other non-toxic things like food grade diatomaceous earth and/or pumpkin seeds I'd use first. Chemical wormers would be my very last option, and never ever without being absolutely certain my dogs actually had worms (some of which aren't even really dangerous).

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I agree @GentleLake it’s not a perfect alternative but the topical doesn’t get absorbed into the bloodstream/brain in the same way that the ingestible alternative does. Also, the topical has a shorter life span and once you cease to administer it clears the body quicker. Ticks die upon contact with the fur as opposed to having to bite the animal before they die (with the ingested version). 

I wish we didn’t have to use the stuff but there are less neurological issues with the topical one. 

I know our vet prefers the ingested type but when I questioned why he could only come up with ‘some dogs get irritated skin with the topical one’ ! 

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I am just posting this to give some context because what has been said is obviously well-researched and reasoned. I live in South Louisiana. I've had 1-2 semi-major flea infestations in the last year just from the indoor cat not being treated (and I treat the yard too). I use trifexis year round and my best friend once missed/forgot her dose by a week and her dog got heartworms. The fleas here actually developed a tolerance to most of the topical meds (which caused the largest flea infestation I ever had--a month of vacuuming daily, spraying house and the cats refusing to come downstairs for two months for fear of being bitten). 

I lost a puppy to Parvo in the late 1990s when it ravaged my neighborhood before people thought to vaccinate for it here. We vaccinate for everything and treat fleas aggressively. Such is live in a sub-tropical climate.

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Literally the only thing that works for fleas for my dog is the oral stuff. Tried feeding garlic, using DE, that Wondercide stuff everybody seems to like, and a whole host of other things, but for her, this is the only thing that works. I think the natural stuff is great though if you live in an area where it works for you and I'd never discourage anyone from giving it a try, especially since much of it is fairly inexpensive. Except the Wondercide. That stuff ain't cheap. ;)

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@WaveProfesora, you may have noticed that I said I live in upstate NY and that if I were to move to or even visit the South I'd do things differently WRT HW preventative.

I do vaccinate for parvo. And for distemper. I'm not anti-vax but I am against unnecessary "boosters" that run contrary to all scientific evidence and expose my pets to needless risk as a result of over exposure. There's no evidence of "booster" effects once immunity has been achieved. It can't be made stronger.

If my dogs get fleas or worms I'll treat them, starting with the least dangerous products instead of bring out the big guns right off the bat, and I sure won't be putting poisons in their bodies for things they don't even have in a misguided attempt to prevent them.

Obviously people need to make decisions based on their own locations and risks. But your risks in LA are no reason for me in an entirely different location to expose my dogs to potentially dangerous chemicals unnecessarily just because the pharmaceutical industry does such an excellent job using scare tactics to sell their products.

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Climate and location are, of course, why I posted the parasite prevalence maps so that people can do their own research based on their own specific circumstances and not blindly give their dogs whatever their vets may push. (Note: I Know not all vets do, but far too many are guilty of it.) And also, of course, so that they can provide solid information when they're opting not to comply with the recommendations.

I've found that when I'm informed with good reasons for the choices I make for my dogs that my vets don't interpret it as a challenge to their authority or knowledge and are much more willing to engage in frank discussions about health care and work with me. In fact, I've seen vets back down from an initially adversarial reaction when they understand that I've done my homework and and actually start agreeing with me or at least respecting my decisions and go the extra steps to work with me on it.

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Good information every, thanks!

And @GentleLake those threads are very helpful. Thank you! I wasn't aware there were maps with that information. It is interesting in one thread you mentioned that your local vets said most of the cases in your area were dogs from the South. I used to work for a dog rescue in the South and we sent most of our dogs to the North. All ours were tested for HW and treated if necessary before going on transport. I wonder if not all rescues had that policy and if dogs with HW are being transported without treatment.

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32 minutes ago, Lenie said:

I wonder if not all rescues had that policy and if dogs with HW are being transported without treatment.

Sadly I've heard there are "rescues" that load up truckloads of dogs from the South and bring them north making stops along the way and basically selling them for a so-called adoption fee to anyone who shows up and wants one, no application screening needed. There are also reputable rescues who do test and treat and do good checks on applicants too so I sure don't want to malign them in any way.

And of course people move from place to place and many bring their dogs with them. Or people travel in both directions with their pets. There are a number of ways it can happen and it's one of the reasons HW is spreading.

I love those maps. They've got a lot of useful information, are searchable down to the county level and are updated annually. Of course there are limitations, as I'm sure not all vets report, but at least it's something to go on for lay people to keep up to date on trends.

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7 hours ago, GentleLake said:

Sadly I've heard there are "rescues" that load up truckloads of dogs from the South and bring them north making stops along the way and basically selling them for a so-called adoption fee to anyone who shows up and wants one, no application screening needed. There are also reputable rescues who do test and treat and do good checks on applicants too so I sure don't want to malign them in any way.

Yes, we had several contacts with rescues in the North and sent our dogs directly to them. They handled the adoptions and screened the applications from there and the ones we worked with did a very good job. Our dogs were always spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and got a health certificate from the vet before they got on the transport to go to the northern rescues.

I thought health certificates were required for dogs to cross state lines but I could be wrong. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are people and rescues who aren't concerned about their health though.

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2 hours ago, Lenie said:

I thought health certificates were required for dogs to cross state lines...

It depends what state. The regional New England rescue I volunteer with now has some issues transferring foster dogs into some states. I live in NY and AFAIK there aren't any regs about dogs coming in from out of state.

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On 12/22/2018 at 7:55 PM, GentleLake said:

It depends what state. The regional New England rescue I volunteer with now has some issues transferring foster dogs into some states. I live in NY and AFAIK there aren't any regs about dogs coming in from out of state.

Ah, I suspect we just had a blanket policy to get health certificates for all the dogs because we sent to many different states and often sent a transport of dogs going different places. I think also the rescues in the North preferred the health certificates for obvious reasons although many of them we worked with so much knew we didn't ever hide issues with the dogs. We always told them about potential health issues or behavioral issues, if the dog had shown aggression towards other dogs or people, temperament, etc. We never had any "returns" because the rescues always knew exactly what they were getting into when they chose to get a dog from us.

I was very fortunate to work with a great group of rescues and never had to deal with any rescues that were poorly managed. 

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I live in an area that’s high risk for HW and moderate risk for Lyme and leptospirosis.

 

 I use H.W. prevention/flea and tick prevention about nine months a year. My intact male also gets the leptospirosis vaccine.

 

I use regular ivermectin for HW prevention and use an additional wormer 3-4x a year for other worms. 

 

I’m not a huge fan of most “natural” remedies for the above as most also have some level of toxicity. I’d rather use something that there’s some laboratory testing data on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am very fortunate to live in a country where rabies is essentially unknown, so no rabies vaccination (yay Australia for once! - we make up for it with snakes and spiders).  We do have parvo in my area, so vaccinations are necessary for that.

I am also fortunate to live in a country where Lyme disease does not exist (although some people beg to differ, it is not officially recognised).  We do however, have paralysis ticks, which can be and are frequently and rapidly fatal. https://www.ava.com.au/sites/default/files/Envenomation_Tick Paralysis_MCannon.pdf  

One of my brother's dogs died from a paralysis tick.

Again, I am fortunate not to live in an area where these ticks are endemic, but I would do anything, literally anything, necessary to protect my dog from a bite from one of these ticks. 

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