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Canine Vaccine/Test Protocols

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Canine Vaccine/Test Protocols

If you would like a vaccine-free dog, look no further! We can discuss your risks and Dr. Truli is happy to forego vaccines for your pet (when legally possible.)

Dr. Truli offers packages of vaccines and tests geared toward Tampa Bay Area pet needs.  These protocols are chosen to be as safe and effective as possible.  However, each pet is different and your lifestyle may vary from that of your neighbor.

By discussing past vaccination history and current needs we will develop an effective vaccination schedule for your pet.

Rabies Vaccine

Cats and dogs in Pinellas County are required to be vaccinated against rabies virus. Laws vary in different counties. Some, like Hillsborough county also require ferret rabies vaccines. Contact your local government for the laws in your jurisdiction. (There are links in the right sidebar to Tampa Bay Area authorities on the subject.) Dr Truli recommends strictly following the law. Vaccinate at 12 weeks or older, then 9-12 months later, then every 3 years.

Facts you need to weigh heavily about Rabies:

  • Rabies is real
  • Rabies is deadly
  • The only way to test for rabies is to kill the suspected being and test the brain
  • Rabies can lie silent for 6 or more months before becoming contagious. Science does not know how long this period could be in every individual and every species of animal that gets rabies
  • Certain countries (mostly islands) and the State of Hawaii are Rabies free. That is why they are SOOOO strict about importation of your pets to their country (or state.) They do not want Rabies!
  • Post-exposure rabies vaccines are painful and expensive. Better to vaccinate all pets.
  • Post-exposure rabies vaccines will not work once someone starts to show signs of Rabies, They will die within 10 days.
  • The vast majority of bats carry Rabies. They have a special immune system that can spread it, but they do not die of it for years.
  • Our household pets think Bats are definitely something to check out, and sniff, and lick, and get bit…
  • Bats can disarticulate their shoulders and slide under doors and also slide down chimneys. They get into houses. There are Bats all over the Tampa Bay.
  • While you may believe that the regulatory authorities and the scientists guiding them are downplaying the risks of the vaccine causing illness for your pet, at the same time, you must consider, through ignorance, inexperience, and sheer disbelief, you are likely downplaying the effects  Rabies virus can have on your pets, your human family, and your community.
  • In countries where there is no National Rabies Vaccination strategy, there are epidemics of rabies in humans. Some 80% of the cases come from dogs and they are 100% fatal to the humans. See the NIH report on the rabies epidemic in China 2007-2011. (It is ongoing.)

Puppies Suggested “Distemper-Parvo Vaccine” Schedule

6-8 weeks old 1st DHPP
9-11 weeks old 2nd DHPP
12-14 weeks old 3rd DHPP
15-17 weeks old 4th DHPP

If puppy starts series later than 9-11 weeks of age than they will get a series of 2 or 3 DHPP inoculations

Did you know?

Doberman, Rottweilers, and other purebred puppies should be vaccinated with Parvo vaccination up until 22 weeks of age.

Fecal tests should be run on all puppies at least twice.

Parvo Vaccine

All puppies need parvovirus protection starting at 2-4 weeks for puppies hand-raised by humans and 6 weeks for puppies fed natural dog mother’s milk.  They need boosters every 3-4 weeks until they are at least 16 weeks old.  Why?  Because the mother’s natural immunity fights the vaccine in the beginning.  Sometime around 8-12 weeks old, the mother’s immunity given to the puppies wears off and then the pups are open to infection.

We cannot tell when the natural protection from the mother’s colostrum will wear off in each puppy.  Therefore, we have to start at 6-8 weeks to be sure there is protection from the vaccine during the critical exposure times.  Then, we must boost the vaccine every 3-4 weeks to keep the immunity strong.

Most adult dogs need a parvovirus vaccine every 1-3 years, depending on lifestyle risk factors and the prevalence of parvovirus in your community.

Distemper Vaccine

Every dog should receive adequate DAPP vaccines (Distemper, Parvovirus, Pneumonia, Parainfluenza).  For puppies, this means a booster every 3-4 weeks until they are at least 16 weeks old. For many dogs, this means every 3 year booster shots.

What Are Titers?

Titers are blood tests that determine the level of protection from antibodies on the blood. Positive titers for distemper and parvo virus mean your dog is likely to be protected from the natural disease. Dr Truli will counsel you if your dog’s titers are negative. The cell-mediated immunity part of the immune system might protect from the diseases even of the test does not find any measurable antibodies.

“More and more kennels and groomers are accepting proof of positive titers instead of demanding vaccines for their dog clients,” says Dr Truli.

Titers generally cost several times more than the vaccine booster. The titer eliminates the vaccine and any adjuvants it carries that may trigger inflammation and other reactions in the body.

Heartworm Preventative

Q: Why does my dog need a heartworm test every year when I always give the preventative on time?

A: There are 6 Stages of the heartworm’s life cycle, each of which hide in the muscles, blood, or heart for varying months.  The first heartworm test might miss an infection that is less than 5 months in the body.  Then, you would never know if you never got another heartworm test.  The second test 7 months to 1 year after the first, is more likely to pick up any heartworm infection.

Also, any vomiting, diarrhea or other digestive disturbance can alter the absorption of the preventative, causing a gap in coverage.

For these reasons, the American Heart worm Association recommends yearly heart worm testing.

Did you know?

When you adopt a dog, you should have him r her tested for heart worms if the dog is 6 months or older.  Then re-test 4 months later to catch any prepatent infection. Prepatent means a form of the worm which does not trigger the test was present in the first place.  Rather than wait a year to catch it, test in 4 months.

Lyme Disease Vaccine

Lyme disease vaccination is a 2 shot series 3 weeks apart when 1st given, then yearly.  Pets who travel, live, or visit Lyme endemic areas (meaning Lyme disease naturally transmits in that county or state), need the Lyme vaccine series before exposure.

Bordetella “Kennel Cough” Vaccine

Bordetella vaccine is about 75-85% protective against a complex of bacteria that combine with viruses to cause tracheobronchitis (pronounced tray-key-oh-bron-kite-iss), aka “kennel cough.”  After the injection, the vaccine takes 72 hours to be at maximum effectiveness.

Who needs the bordetella vaacine?  Ideally, any dog hanging out with dogs of unknown health status, especially indoors in enclosed spaces with recirculated air.  Like grooming parlors, boarding kennels, indoor play group, and sometimes, even a busy dog park can spread kennel cough.

Tru Tip

Most pets go to boarding or the groomer’s place around holidays so they look nice for visitors or board while the family takes care of holiday business.  Plan your grooming at a slightly inconvenient time, further from the holiday, to avoid new puppies and their colds and dogs visiting from other cities who carry new cold viruses your dog might be susceptible to.

What’s the “L” in DHLPP?

Leptospirosis vaccine.  Leptospirosis is a bacterial spirochete (spiral-shaped) bacterium that gets into standing water and puddles from the urine of  infected wildlife like squirrels.  Your dog drinks or licks the water and becomes infected.  This disease is zoonotic, meaning people can become infected and ill or even die if they get it from their sick dog.

Many dog breeders say their breed is “sensitive” to the Leptospirosis vaccine.  First, there are newer, less reactive vaccines. Second, Leptospirosis can be deadly and your children can get sick, so a vaccine makes sense.  Third, the breed thought to possibly have a genetic predisposition to a Lepto vaccine reaction is Miniature Dachshunds.

What About Dog Flu?

As of June, 2017, there is an upsurge in news coverage about the dog flu, H3N2. There is also an H3N8 dog flu. It is spread like a cold. 100% of dogs exposed become infected; there is not natural immunity. 20% may show no signs. 20% may need to be hospitalized, including intensive care. 60% development a cough and cold-like symptoms for up to a few weeks. Symptoms for H3N2 may appear within a few days, for H3N8 it takes 1-2 weeks after exposure. If your dog is thought to be at risk for kennel cough, then they are at risk for dog flu. It is the same risk factor.

A vaccine is available that “helps manage” both of them. It is an injection that stimulates the parts of the immune system involved in deep tissue invasion- like pneumonia. There is no intra nasal vaccine in the US as of June 2017. Intra nasal would stimulate the part of the immune system that first sees the virus. The injection does not. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers herbal formulas that can stop or minimize the invasion into the body.

You can read the University of Florida pet owner information.

Intestinal Parasite Check (“Fecal”)

Dogs in the Tampa Bay area in Florida in general often carry roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.  They sometimes become infected with coccidia and giardia and other fecal parasites.  Parasites like e coli O157 and Salmonella are especially dangerous to pets and people.

Clean up immediately after your dog defecates.  Do not let the dog play/defecate in playgrounds or parks where children play.  Do not let them defecate in the gardens or sandboxes.  Many of the intestinal worm infections are zoonotic, meaning they infect humans from the dogs.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that about 60% of the human population in the United States carry intestinal worms!  Do your part!  Clean up after your dog, even in your own yard.  Have your dog tested every 6-12 months.  Give a monthly preventive that includes intestinal parasite protection like Iverhart or Heartgard.

Truli Holistic Veterinary Services

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Call toll-free  1 (877) DR TRULI      (877) 378-7854