Over-vaccination is responsible for the high incidence of arthritis, skin problems, behavior problems, Epilepsy, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and allergies.
Vaccinations for puppies are a controversial subject in veterinary science as well as for responsible breeders. Vaccinating practices vary and involve the following factors:
1. Your puppy's environment
2. Your puppy's age when he received his first shot
3. The interval between vaccines
4. The kinds and types of vaccines best for your area of the country.
In addition, the veterinarian's (and breeders) training, beliefs and opinions also play into this. The first point to consider should be safety. Vaccines can be harmful and we should be vaccinating because the advantages outweigh the risks.
HOW VACCINES WORK
In short, a vaccination stimulates a dog's immune system to protect itself against disease. When the antigen or infectious agent enters the dog's body, it is recognized as foreign and antibodies are produced to destroy it. Even though the invader is gone, the cells that manufactured the antibodies "remember" it and will respond more quickly the next time the same agent is confronted. We support a more holistic and natural approach to the wellness of our dogs.
We are on a more conservative schedule in regard to vaccinations, and here's why: Puppies receive antibodies through their mother’s milk. This natural protection stays with the puppy for 8-14 weeks. If a puppy is vaccinated before 8 weeks of age, the natural maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little or no protection will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, in fact, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. According to more recent, updated practices, a series of vaccinations should be given starting at 8 weeks and then 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (at 1 year 4 mo) usually will provide a lifetime of immunity.
HELPFUL OR HARMFUL?
We know of many well meaning pet owners as well as competent breeders who feel that if they give vaccinations starting early at 4-6 weeks and on a 2 week schedule, they are protecting their pet or pups in a responsible manner. Unfortunately what they don't realize is they may very well be harming the animal instead.
If a puppy is given vaccinations too early, the immunities received from the mother will neutralize the vaccine and little to no protection will be the result. Remember vaccination at 6 weeks will delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system.
New Vaccine Protocol
The following is information concerning vaccines and protocol as well as Dr. W. Jean Dodds' 2004 vaccination protocol regarding modified live virus vaccines (distemper, hepatitis and parvo vaccines are MLV's, rabies is a killed vaccine), Dr. Dodds and Dr. Ronald Schultz are two of the nation's leading experts and veterinary research scientists on vaccinations. Dr. Schultz has been vaccinating his own pets on a very limited basis since 1974. He gives them puppy vaccines, and then uses a blood test to check if their systems have produced antibodies in response to the vaccines. After that, he doesn't vaccinate them again, except for rabies as required by law.
To sum it up, two of the countries top veterinary vaccine experts don't give MLV booster vaccinations after the age of one year. In human terms, none of us who received the modified live polio virus vaccinations as children get yearly, biennial, triennial, etc. boosters for the rest of our lives.
VACCINATION PROTOCOL by Dr. Jean Dodd
All 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs. Some of this information will present an ethical & economic challenge to Vets, and there will be skeptics. Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years to appease those who fear loss of income vs. those concerned about potential side effects. Politics, traditions, or the doctor’s economic well-being should not be a factor in a medical decision.
Excerpts from the August 2004 issue of Veterinary Economics:
"Many veterinarians derive a substantial percent of their total incomes from vaccinating dogs and cats... So changing your vaccine protocols could have a significant effect on practice finances. How big a hit will you take?"
NEW PRINCIPLES OF IMMUNOLOGY
Dogs immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces immunity, which is good for the life of the pet (i.e.: canine distemper, parvo,). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not “boosted” nor are more memory cells induced. Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines.
Puppies receive antibodies through their mother’s milk. Puppies should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, DELAY the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart SUPPRESS rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at l year 4 mo) will provide LIFETIME IMMUNITY.
We follow the core schedule recommended by WSU of Veterinary Medicine
(FOR MINIMAL VACCINE USE PROGRAM)
AGE OF PUPPY VACCINE TYPE
12 weeks, Parvo
(Please, no Lepto. Our breed has been known to have adverse reactions)
12-16 weeks Rabies (killed vaccine preferred)
1 year Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)
Note: This vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend and should not interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice.
Info about the Vaccines and De-Worming
(Also read our page about parasites for more details HERE)
Parasites AKA 'Worms' are common with all dogs. There are many different products to combat worms simply because dogs must be dewormed regularly. Many parasites become resistent to a particular product, so companies recommend following a regime of using different products at different times to hopefully overcome medication resistence.
We follow a regime to control worms in our parents. Our dogs are family pets and enjoy walks, hikes and the great outdoors. We want our doggies to have a full life so we prefer to follow a deworming regime that allows them to have the fun they deserve and not live in little 'doggy bubbles'.
We worm pups at two, four, six, weeks of age with Nemix 2 or Strangid T. At 7 weeks we also do a 5 day worming of PANACUR. If needed, we will give ALBON x 7 days as a prophylactic against Coccidosis or Giardia. We have done all we can to control parasites in our puppies by following the regime recommended by our Veterinarion. That being said, if the medication missed the complete lifecycle of the parasite (or in cases of product resistance), occasionally a puppy can have a positive fecal exam after coming home. This is no reason to be alarmed at all---- your vet will prescribe an appropriate medication and your puppy will be just fine. Coccidia, Giardia and parasites can all be easily transmitted from the grass, bird droppings, other dogs, cats, rodents, etc. It doesn't take much exposure for your dog to contract a parasite. Keep in mind young puppies tend to chew and put things in their mouths, lick their paws....you get the idea! Keeping up with a worming schedule recommended by your Veterinarian will help control any parasites they may pick up, and allow your pup to have the opportunity to explore the great outdoors.
We use a monthly preventative called Revolution on our adults when needed. It prevents heartworm disease and protects your pup against roundworms, hookworms and whipworms, as well as external mites and fleas. A monthly dose of Interceptor or Revolution is recommended if you live in an area that has mosquitoes. Heartworm can be an issue in many areas. We will give your puppy his or her first monthly dose if puppy goes home anytime during the Spring-Summer months.
Lyme Disease Vaccine
There is no evidence at this time that if treated, infection of Lyme leads to any significant chronic disease problem in dogs or that infected dogs are public health risks. Vaccine reactions occur occasionally and may outweigh health benefits. The vaccine also interferes with interpretation of titers possibly for years after vaccination. In other words, after having received the vaccine, your pup can test positive to the disease when he/she never really had it to begin with!
Canine Corona Virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting and dogs get well in 3 days without treatment. Usually, it is not an adult dog illness.
Bordetella (kennel cough) Vaccine
Used in kennel situations where a problem exists. It is a good idea to use this vaccine if you plan to board your dog within the following 6 month period or if you routinely use a "Doggie Daycare", however we have had a few pups have a reaction to this vaccine, so we recommend waiting until it is needed only.
Please take the time to read these articles and select a veterinarian that offers vaccinations without Lepto, before you make your appointment. We receive emails and calls every litter from families who are at their vet appointments, asking why we don't recommend it. Don't be one of those who didn't educate themselves before the appointment.
The following articles have info on the dangers of vaccinating, and the simple way this disease can be treated, if ever infected. Its not prevalent in the US, and vaccinated dogs are shedding the disease, more than it being found in nature.
This disease is very treatable, but the vaccine causes severe reaction in our dogs. Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice and has the ability, even in renal compromise, to effectively rid the urinary tract of leptospira infection. Doxycycline can be safely administered to dogs with renal insufficiency and will clear the organism from the kidneys, making it effective in both the infection of the blood and urine
Only found to be partially effective as there are several strains of this bacteria and the vaccine doesn't cover all of them. It is short lived and it can cause severe reactions and lasting complications in puppies. Most breeders do not guarantee puppies given this vaccine, and we absolutely do not advocate giving this to our puppies! We have seen this vaccine cause problems in our puppies, and so have other breeders we know. Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks. Please inform your veterinarian that our breed is known to have vaccine related reactions to Lepto. We had three cases in 2012 of puppies receiving LEPTO and having reactions, one resulting in death, and at least 2 cases a year of pups reacting to this vaccine when families don't make the effort to find a veterinarian who stocks vaccines without Lepto.
Information on Vaccinations and Vaccinosis
These are our opinions about vaccinations, we have given you resources to study from Dr. Dodds, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, and the AAHA. Please consult your veterinarian and research this issue to make your own decisions. It is a highly controversial subject, and one that everyone with an animal should look into.