BlueMyst Australian Shepherds

Dave and Laura Fuller





Bringing Your New Puppy Home

What Now? Vaccinations

Updated on 4-14-10

When you go to your veterinarian, you will be given a vaccination schedule to follow. If your puppy is sick, don't vaccinate until your puppy is well again.

This basic vaccination schedule works well for us in Southern California. You may have to adjust the coverage for your specific areas of need. Your veterinarian may be able to provide you with a schedule that works best in your area.

Puppies should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity lasts until 8-14 weeks of age, so being vaccinated at 6 weeks will neutralize the vaccine and only give (0-38%) protection. Vaccination at 6 weeks will also delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine.

Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system.

Three series of vaccinations may be given starting at 8 weeks, given 4 weeks apart, to about 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 mo) will provide a lifetime of immunity.

Even in light of the recent vaccination controversies, and the option to avoid the traditional vaccines that have become dangerous to our pets, by using a more holistic approach, most of us still feel that we are not taking good care of our pets if we don't vaccinate them.

Compromise by only giving what is absolutely necessary. Here in our area, we only need the puppy vaccinations for Parvo, Distemper, and by law, the 3 year rabies vaccinations. The holistic approach can then be used when needed. Try to find vaccines without adjuvants, and request that they be given individually, stay away from the combination vaccines. If your vet can not honor your request, find a vet who will.

You are the one who decides on what vaccinations that your pet receives. Most vaccinations are not required by law.

The only vaccine required by law is the rabies vaccine. Our pets need us to speak out against being over-vaccinated with the rabies vaccine. Even the 3 year rabies vaccine is overdoing it, when one single vaccination of either the 1 year or the 3 years vaccine actually protects for 7+ years.

Example Puppy Vaccination Schedule 3 sets, one month apart (some say 3-4 weeks apart)

  8 weeks - distemper, parvo, (hepatitis, parinfluenze - included in combination vaccines, not necessary)

12 weeks - distemper, parvo, (hepatitis, parinfluenze - included in combination vaccines, not necessary)

16 weeks - distemper, parvo, (hepatitis, parinfluenze - included in combination vaccines, not necessary)

20 weeks - rabies at 4 months or older, older is better (at 6 mo. old, the immune system is mature, so a rabies vaccination at this age or older provides 7+ years of protection, and even a lifetime of protection)

In all states, rabies vaccinations are required by law. The first rabies vaccination is good for one year. In many states subsequent vaccinations are good for three years. In other states, they are only valid for one year by law. Please check with your vet to determine the legal requirements in your state.

In 2007, approximately 6,500 reactions were reported for the canine rabies vaccine alone. If as suggested only 1% of reactions were reported, approximately 650,000 reactions likely occurred. And there are still more than a dozen other vaccines causing reactions.

Whombo combos, mumbo jumbos: that’s what veterinarians who understand immunology call combination shots. Unlike a vaccine such as rabies, which contains a single virus, combination vaccines contain multiple “modified live” viruses mixed with various bacteria. Think of them as toxic soups, biochemical wolves in sheep’s clothing. When your vet sends out reminders to bring your dog “up to date on shots,” expect the whombo combo. Are vaccines safe?

You’ve probably seen combo shots listed on your vet bill as DHLPP, DHLPPC, DA2LPPC, 5-Way, 6-Way, 7-Way, 7 in 1 or the like. After you learn more about them, you won’t want to see them again.

A puppy's immune system matures fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces an immunity which is good for the life of the pet (ie: canine distemper, parvo).

Dogs no longer need to be vaccinated against distemper and parvo every year. Once the initial series of puppy vaccinations and first annual vaccinations are completed, immunity from modified live virus (MLV) vaccines persists for life.

If another modified live virus (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.

Repeated doses of the same vaccine increase the risk of reaction. The risk of allergic reactions has been reported to increase after three or four injections of a vaccine. Don't automatically re-vaccinate. Get a simple blood test called a titer test.

What is titer testing? A titer test (pronounced TIGHT er) is a laboratory test measuring the existence and level of antibodies to disease in blood. Antibodies are produced when an antigen (like a virus or bacteria) provokes a response from the immune system. This response can come from natural exposure or from vaccination. (Note: titering is also called serum vaccine antibody titering and serologic vaccine titering.)

Not only are annual boosters unnecessary for parvo and distemper, 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. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks.

Note: If your dog has been over vaccinated and wormed, you can use this product to help cleanse the body of chemical toxins, Vaccination and Wormer Detox.

Distemper (A story about Jack) and Parvo (A story about Copper),"According to Dr. Schultz, AVMA, 8-15-95, when a vaccinations series given at 2, 3 & 4 months and again at 1 year with a MLV, puppies and kitten program memory cells that survive for life, providing lifelong immunity." Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against challenge at 2-10 years for canine distemper & 4 years for parvovirus. Studies for longer duration are pending. There are no new strains of parvovirus as one mfg. would like to suggest. Parvovirus vaccination provides cross immunity for all types.

Parvo is a puppy disease, and does not harm healthy adult canines. So adult canines do not need to be revaccinated for the Parvovirus.

Note: Natural products called Parvaid and Distempaid are available to help treat and prevent Parvo and Distemper.

Hepatitis (Adenovirus) is one of the agents known to be a cause of kennel cough. Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as CAV- 1 vaccines carry the risk of "hepatitis blue-eye" reactions & kidney damage.

Para influenza must be an inexpensive virus to include in vaccines. It is in almost all the combination vaccines even though it is probably only a minor contributor to the problem of tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) in dogs. Vaccine reactions to this virus seem rare.

Bordetella Para influenza is commonly called "Kennel Cough" and is not needed by most dogs, it is recommended only for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs. The intranasal vaccine provides more complete and more rapid onset of immunity with less chance of reaction. Immunity requires 72 hours and does not protect from every cause of kennel cough. Immunity is of short duration (4 to 6 months).

The Rabies Vaccine is the only legally-required vaccine for companion animals in the United States. It’s administered primarily to protect humans from their pets should those pets be bitten by rabid bats, coyotes, raccoons, foxes or other animals. This is all well and good EXCEPT that the vaccine is known to cause serious side effects in dogs.

The Rabies Vaccine is arguably the most dangerous shot our dogs get. Because it’s required by law, it’s a difficult shot to avoid. Because the vaccine is made from a “killed” virus, rather than “modified live” virus as are the other important “core” vaccines, manufacturers add dangerous “adjuvant's” to boost effectiveness. These adjuvants too often cause adverse reactions, some of which occur quickly, but many of which occur days, weeks or even months after vaccination. A “killed” vaccine (rather than one from a modified live virus), the rabies vaccine contains adjuvants (chemical boosters) to enhance the immunological response. In 1999, the World Health Organization “classified veterinary vaccine adjuvants as Class III/IV carcinogens with Class IV being the highest risk.”

If you go to our "Links" page, you will find web sites with additional information on vaccinations.