I seem to recall reading on here some concern about vaccinating puppies, either that there's too many or doing it too soon, etc. I've been googling it a little bit. Now I'm worried. My puppies had their first vaccinations at 7 weeks by the breeder the day before I got them. They are now 10 weeks and the vet's calling me wanting to schedule booster shots. Like I said, I've heard vaccines can actually suppress their immune system, so now I don't know what to think. Should I do the recommended boosters every month? How often and how many vaccines should I allow? I want to protect them, obviously, but not make them more sick.
They are 10 week old toy poodles and are about 2 and a half pounds right now.
Can someone please tell me what vaccines are absolutely necessary and which ones I should avoid and at what age they should get what? Thank you. I'll wait to call the vet back till I get a bit more information.
Take them for their shots. They need that first shot and the booster shot, that's not going to harm them. Right now, they only have about half the immunity they need to fight off the diseases that are protected against by the vaccinations. Let me start at the beginning so I can explain the whole chain of events to you.
When the puppies are born, the first milk they get from their mother is called colostrum. Colostrum is the watery whitish milk that is provided for the first 24 hours after the puppies are born. This contains maternal antibodies, or antibodies provided by the mother to protect the puppies while they are still nursing and too small to vaccinate. As long as they are nursing off their mother, they receive protection from her against any diseases, provided, of course, SHE has been vaccinated against those diseases. She can only provide immunity to diseases that she has been vaccinated against.
When the puppies are weaned onto solid food, they still retain a certain amount of maternal antibodies for a week or maybe even two weeks, but at that point they need to be vaccinated so that their immune systems can set up their own immunity against the diseases. It's really not good to vaccinate them while they are still nursing on their mother because the antibodies they get from her can prevent the antibodies in the vaccines from being able to take hold properly, so after they are weaned, they receive a shot, and then three to four weeks later they should receive another one, because it would be too much on their little bodies to give them all those antigens in one shot.
So you need to give them this second shot so that their own immune systems can finish setting up their own immunities against disease. NEXT YEAR, however, when it comes time for the yearly vaccination, rather than automatically just vaccinating them against everything again, it's best to draw blood and run titers to see what their immunity level is. It should still be high enough that you don't have to worry about vaccinating them again. But don't worry about giving them this shot, because right now it is a necessary thing. It's the next year's yearly booster that you can be concerned about, because if you run titers and find that their immunity is sufficient, then if you had vaccinated them at that point, it would have been an unnecessary vaccination.
Monthly boosters up to 16 weeks sounds about right. Then when they are six months old, they can have their first rabies vaccine. Rabies is the only vaccine that is or can be mandated by anyone for you to get for them, because rabies poses a threat to the health of the public. The other diseases, while they pose a threat to the individual animals, are not anything that can affect humans, so while it is your own responsibility to make sure your pets are protected, you cannot be forced to vaccinate your pets unless you choose to. It is only wise, however, to make sure they are protected.
I took the puppies in to get their booster shots. The vet said they will need to come in three more times in the next three months and then they can just get their rabies and go yearly after that. He said they added one more booster because there's such a high rate of Parvo here. I do want to protect them.
He wanted to know if I wanted the heartworm medicine. I'm wondering if I should just wait till next Summer for that? Most people here only give it during the Summer months. I'm thinking about it. They are now 11 weeks and one is 2.6 pounds and the other 3 pounds! They are growing! :)
If you choose to give it seasonally, its not as simple as just giving it during the summer months. You would actually only NOT give it during the coldest of the winter months. You give it very early spring-late fall, if you want to be safe.
Yeah, here we don't have much of a Spring or Fall. We seem to have Summer and Winter! No kidding! But I will consider that. I wish they had the injection still at our vets. They used to give an injection that would last 6 months but they stopped doing that. I don't remember why. Now they're just back to the chewable pills that they take once a month.
I just wasn't sure about starting them this early. They still are so tiny. I will think about whether I will start this Summer or next. Thanks Peek.
Ok, Peek has convinced me to get them started on the heartworm. I thought I had read something on here about not starting them so young but I can't remember now what I read. I do want them protected, though, especially if I put them in a puppy class like I'm thinking. I know they'll be around other dogs then. Thanks Peek!
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