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Puppy Vaccinations

The last thing new puppy owners want is for their adorable puppy to get sick. There are effective vaccines that have been developed. In addition, the mother's first milk, colostrum, is miraculously designed to pass Mom's antibodies to her puppies.

Between the two though, a dilemma arises. The antibodies from the colostrum gradually wear off in the puppies. While they're still present vaccines aren't effective. The mom's antibodies, in effect, block the vaccines. So timing vaccinations is critical to making them effective.

It's important to understand that as Mom's antibodies are wearing off, and the level at which a vaccination will be effective is a window where the puppies are vulnerable to diseases. We want to maximize the effect of the vaccinations, and minimize the"at risk" window.

A nomograph helps us to do that. The dam's blood is drawn, and sent to a lab. That lab analyzes her antibodies and gives a recommended vaccination schedule unique to that litter of puppies. This is the nomograph for the Hunter x Luna litter. A copy of it will go home with each puppy. Take it with you to your vet so that she'll have the information to continue your puppies unique protocol.

As you can see, at 7 weeks the vaccination for Parvo, (which can come in on your shoes) will give good protection. However, the puppies will be at risk for Distemper (which fortunately is more difficult to catch. It requires almost coming in contact with a sick dog) until their vaccination at 16 weeks of age.

This litter will be given the combination Parvo/Distemper vaccine at 7 weeks of age. The combo will be given simply because they don't make a single, Parvo vaccine. Just know that the Distemper factor won't give any real protection to your puppies.

Action plan: Take the puppies for vaccinations at 12 and 16 weeks of age. Test their titers at 18 weeks to be sure that they have immunity to these diseases. Don't just keep them at home, isolated until then though. The first 4 months of life are the critical time for them to experience the normal sights and sounds of modern life. Do take them out. Just avoid places where there are lots of dogs, some of whom could be sick or unvaccinated. Places like dog parks and dog community potty areas are high risk areas for your puppy. Let them play with healthy, "safe" dogs. Good dog training facilities require proof of vaccinations and may even have a bleach spray for human and dog feet to keep participants safe.

Have fun with your puppy, just be smart!


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