Do dogs really need booster shots?

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by xpaeanx, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    So, for Midget I had decided to wait until he was about a year old to get his shots.

    After reading about vaccine reactions, I decided to wait until Midget was older to start his vaccine schedule.

    We're doing limited vaccines, DHPP & Rabies only.

    So my question is that as a puppy, dogs will recieve DHPP 3 times before they are "fully vaccinated."

    I brought Midget in at 1 year, as far as I know he has never recieved any kind of vaccine. He was given DHPP and the "expiration date" on my cert is 1 year out.

    So here's what I want to know, should I bring him back and have the DHPP done again because he never got the "booster" which dogs need? or should I not even bother because "boosters" are really just a way for vets to rape your wallet.

    I'm afraid to call the vet because I know they will tell me to bring him in and not give me the true answer... As was proved when I asked a local vet if there were any risks associated with neutering and he told me the ONLY risk was the risk involved with anastesia... and we all know that just isn't true.
     
  2. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    IMO, you should find a vet that is willing to titer test for you.
    This year my vet mentioned that Auggie will be due next year and I said I knew we had to do rabies to keep legal with the county, but I was thinking about titer testing for everything else. I wasn't sure what his response would be, so I was totally prepared to have a debate or even a fight about it... and he just said "Sure, we can titer!" I love my vet SO much.

    The titer test will basically tell you if a dog is still in the "safe" levels of immunity - either through the immunity built by injections or by a naturally developed immunity to the disease. If the dog is NOT in those levels, then the dog does need a booster to continue to be protected. But annual boosters, nope... not necessary IMO.
    You might have to call around a bit to find a vet who is willing to do this for you, or you might be pleasantly surprised with your vet. =>
     
  3. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    My vet in NY was a holistic vet and very much opposed to annual boosters. But she did believe in doing boosters at a year. After the one year boosters, they got nothing else.

    With Morgan, there's a good chance that she didn't get one year boosters. I was in the process of moving from St Louis to NY at the time. I think I forgot she was due and last year my vet was looking over some of her history and realized there was no record of it. Morgan was about 7 1/2 at that time. We ran titers and didn't vaccinate and her titers showed immunity.

    Now that I think about it, I don't think Ares was boostered at a year old either ~ because of his allergies. His titers have always been good.

    So maybe those one year boosters aren't needed. :dunno:

    I agree with Beanie -- get titers done.
     
  4. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    My vet does basically the same thing, boosters at a year.

    and then other than that rabies to keep things legal and bordatella (only because kenya goes to daycare and its a requirement)
     
  5. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    Thanks for your answers but what I'm actually asking is about the two week out boosters.


    As a puppy dogs get dhpp every two weeks(3times total) I'm JUST STARTING midget now. So he got his FIRST EVER dhpp shot. I want to know if I should get his booster in two weeks and then again in two weeks or not. His cert says the vaccine is good for one year prob bc they didn't realize he never recieved a dhpp shot before.

    I don't believe u can titer until a bit after the firsy shots. So if he needs a booster in two weeks I don't want to miss it. But I'm not a big fan of pumping a dog full of vaccines.
     
  6. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    You can titer any time, whether they've been vaccinated or not. The reason for doing a series with puppies is because the immunity from their mother can interfere with the vaccine taking effect. In your first post you said "as far as I know he has never recieved any kind of vaccine". But he has a cert saying that his vax expired. So he did get something. I would either do a single vaccine or titer him.
     
  7. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    No he doesn't when I took him yesterday the cert they gave me says 1 year and not two weeks.

    But I don't think they realized he never had vaccs.

    And he's a petshop pup. I know his previous house didn't vaccinate him. The person who gave him to me had a checkup done but no vaccs, and I doubt the pet store gave him anything.
     
  8. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Oh oh NOW I think I get it... you gave him the shot NOW without knowing where he was at before, and the certificate you have is from the shot you JUST gave him? Is that right?

    Ideally you could have done the titer before giving him this shot so you would know for sure where he was at, but I don't think you've done any harm in giving him the shot now. No, I don't think he needs a booster in a few weeks at all. He's not a puppy with puppy immunity or, like CP said, any kind of spillover from their mom. But if you're worried, go have a titer test done now - or in six months.
     
  9. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    If you don't want to (or find it hard to) titer, the easiest thing would be to give the DHPP then booster in 3-4 weeks. That's normal protocol for adult dogs with an unknown vaccine history ... the 3 vaccines series is typically recommended for puppies. Then after that, it's up to you. I personally booster again in 3 years, then nothing but a 3 yr rabies after that.
     
  10. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    Yes beanie, he's just starting now.

    I didn't know about the mother's milk thing messing w the immunity.

    I guess as per adult schedule I have 3-4 weeks to make up my mind.

    I plan on doing titers instead of 3 year shots.

    Does anyone know of any articles on developing inital immunity to dhpp?
     
  11. showluver

    showluver New Member

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    Even with puppies, the shot schedule generally runs 8 wks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks.
    Some start earlier, but the shots are done 3-4 weeks apart, not 2 weeks.

    From annual on it is all personal preference as there are many different studies/beliefs out there.
     
  12. dobesgalore

    dobesgalore New Member

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    It sounds like you have a REALLY good vet! Thats one to stay with.
     
  13. GlassOnion

    GlassOnion Thanks, and Gig 'em.

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    I can't cite you a specific article, just what's been put together from my immunology classes and the like.

    Basically when the mother gives birth, her first milk for the first 36 hours or so is called 'colostrum'. This is fundamentally different from regular milk in that it has a whole mess of antibodies in it (a few IgM, but more importantly a whole lot of IgG).

    IgM isn't really an issue, as it's a broad kind of antibody, but IgG is a very specific antibody and can drastically interfere with the vaccination procedure. The reason for this is the puppy has its own IgM floating around in its immune system and it needs those to come into contact with the antigens (virus, bacteria, whatever) you're vaccinating with so it can convert to memory cells/IgG of its own (thus giving long-term immunity).

    But if the mother's IgG antibodies come into contact with the antigens first, then they'll just bind to the antigen and have it killed before the puppy's own antibodies get a shot at it. Thus the vaccine may not 'take' and you have to do it over again to make sure.

    IgG has a half-life of about 3 months, thus why there's one giving as late as 16 weeks (and why the rabies is given at that time as well). You could theoretically hold off on all vaccinations until that point BUT that doesn't work in practice because the puppy needs to start building immunity right away since it has a limited amount of its mom's IgG. And if those are depleted, then the puppy/cat/calf/whatever is susceptible to everything the environment throws at it.

    Thus, the reasoning for booster shots.
     
  14. Doberdogs

    Doberdogs Living on Doberman Drive

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