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Nanda & Nelson

Vaccinating older puppy

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About a month ago we got an unvaccinated puppy (she was dewormed and microchipped). We took her to a vet the next day and got her DHPP and rabiea shots. The vet said to repeat a set of shot in 4 weeks (this week). 

We are not currently in our home country and not visiting our regular vet.

I do not want to over- or under vaccinate of course. And thus wondering if anyone knows why she has to have another round again so soon after the first? 

There isn't much info to be found on the topic of how to deal with first vaccinations in 'older' puppy's.

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Since you don't say how old the puppy was when she got her first shot, it's kinda hard to say.

If she was older than 15 weeks for the DHLPP or 24 weeks for the rabies, my understanding of Dr. Jean Dodds' vaccination protocol would be that she doesn't need any boosters for a year.

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1 hour ago, GentleLake said:

Since you don't say how old the puppy was when she got her first shot, it's kinda hard to say.

If she was older than 15 weeks for the DHLPP or 24 weeks for the rabies, my understanding of Dr. Jean Dodds' vaccination protocol would be that she doesn't need any boosters for a year.

She got no vaccinations until 6 months (when we got her, she got her first shots).
It is now the fourth week since those and can't find any info on whether another dose - like the vet said - is needed.
BTW this is not a cost issue at all, just curious to hear people's thoughts on what may or may not be needed.

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I'm with GL, if she's had nothing, then this, no more per Dr Dodds protocol, until she's a year.

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1 hour ago, Journey said:

I'm with GL, if she's had nothing, then this, no more per Dr Dodds protocol, until she's a year.

Actually, Dr. Dodds' protocol is for one year after the last puppy shots (or first vaccines if the pup or dog is older), so that would mean she'll be 18 months old before she needs a booster.

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15 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

Actually, Dr. Dodds' protocol is for one year after the last puppy shots (or first vaccines if the pup or dog is older), so that would mean she'll be 18 months old before she needs a booster.

Yep, bad math/verbiage..one year from what she just got!

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57 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

Actually, Dr. Dodds' protocol is for one year after the last puppy shots (or first vaccines if the pup or dog is older), so that would mean she'll be 18 months old before she needs a booster.

So to repeat the DHPP isn't 'necessary' but she will need a booster shot at 18 months - correct? Or do you mean she does need the repeat (according to that protocol - and yes I know you guys arent vets) and then not again until 18 months?

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If she had the first shots at 6 months, she doesn't need anything else until she's 18 months old.

Then, depending on your vaccination philosophy, she won't need anything else for another 3 years . . . or only the rabies required by law (unless the laws catch up with science before then). You can titer for the components of the DHLPP if you like, but she should have immunity for most of them for life after that booster at (for her) 18 months of age.

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One thing I will caution you of is that while what you're being told here is correct for purposes of immunity-

 

It may well not be 'up to date' for legal purposes - ie: if you intend to travel across country borders with her, or enroll her in classes or daycare. 

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54 minutes ago, CptJack said:

It may well not be 'up to date' for legal purposes - ie: if you intend to travel across country borders with her, or enroll her in classes or daycare. 

Eh, details, details...aside from crossing borders of other countries, rabies is the only legal one required. That may differ state to state but most are now 3 year. Daycare isn't something that would hit my radar, you may be right there.

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In general, vaccines schedules are set for a couple reasons: hitting what is considered a sweet spot in terms of maximizing number of individuals who successfully become immune, while minimizing the amount of adverse events and reactions, and retaining that immunity so most individuals don’t have gaps in time where they have reduced or no immunity. Many vaccines need to have repeated exposures for many or even most immune systems to generate immunity. The immune system has to learn, and vaccines are so safe for the immune system that a trade off is that you need a bit more lessons to learn.  So a lot of diseases, both for people and dogs, get multiple, more closely spaced doses when you first vaccinate, which generates a solid basis for immunity. Then, you enter a follow-up cycle where you only periodically remind the immune system what it learned during that first set of exposures (boosters). Personally, I would take her back when you can and get the next recommended set.  She may not be protected otherwise. 

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Thank you for both your opinions.

We are currently travelling Europe with her for a year and she is allowed to cross borders with the vaccinations she has. 

She had 0 shots until 6 months (not bt my choice, as I got her at that age). What I did read is that they do build a an immune system in those 6 months as well and are less vulnerable.

I am going to read into it a bit more, as I mentioned she now has had one round plus rabbies. So we definitely will vaccinate and keep doing so but trying to figure out 'the schedule".

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While you're investigating, be sure to look into the work of Dr. Ron Schultz, the immunologist who's been behind most of the studies on duration of immunity including for rabies, and Dr. Jean Dodds, who's also been very involved in this kind of research.

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17 hours ago, Nanda & Nelson said:

She had 0 shots until 6 months (not bt my choice, as I got her at that age). What I did read is that they do build a an immune system in those 6 months as well and are less vulnerable.

I am going to read into it a bit more, as I mentioned she now has had one round plus rabbies. So we definitely will vaccinate and keep doing so but trying to figure out 'the schedule".

Just to be clear, one (humans, dogs, etc.) do not "build" an immune system in the absence of antigen. I believe what you may be trying to say is that her immune system has matured during the first 6 months (which is probably pretty close to correct timing for dogs without having to refer to the literature). A normal, mature immune system will respond to antigens (vaccinations, infections) in a complete manner. An immature immune system may be missing some components, which may result in an incomplete immune response upon antigenic exposure.

If an animal lives in a germ-free environment (is never exposed to antigens), their immune system is considered naive.

Since your pup is happy and well at 6 months without vaccinations, that is great. If it was my dog, I would do one boost at 3-4 weeks after the first vaccination, then another booster one year after that. After that, it is up to you. Vaccinate yearly (which I don't recommend, but some people and vets still like to do it), vaccinate every 3 years, vaccinate every 4-5 years (what I do) or  not ever again.

As CptJack mentioned, the main problem I have had is with vets or kennels or rescue groups (when I applied to be a foster) who still expect a yearly vaccination. [I was turned down as a foster.]

I am on the fence about leaving my vet over the vaccination issue. I really like her and the practice. BUT...when I had a dog neutered, they wanted him to have a Bordatella shot a week before. I said no and chose to use another vet for the procedure. Every time I go in, I am reminded that my pets are overdue. I am often handed a reminder page with a list of all the vaccinations my animals need (i.e. are overdue). Their vet software automatically generates it. And just 2 days ago, I was in the lobby when a couple brought in a senior dog for boarding. They had reserved the boarding time. The receptionist told them that the dog was overdue for DHPP, but they didn't want to vaccinate. They were then told that they had to have the dog vaccinated if he was to stay. They were flustered because they had not been informed about this policy when they reserved for boarding. They had to agree because they were leaving town for a few days. I felt bad for them.

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