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Old April 2nd, 2012, 11:22 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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Distemper shots for older dogs

Our dog is a border collie/lab who is almost 13. She is due for her heartworm test, and the vet wants to give her a three year distemper shot. She never leaves our yard, and doesn't come in contact with other dogs. Because of her age I think I'm going to stick with getting her the mandated rabies shots from now on, and skip distemper, etc. Is this a bad idea?
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 02:47 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Location: California, usa
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I think skipping any and all possible vaccines is an excellent idea. Do stick to your guns and don't let the vet scare you into giving the vaccines. It sounds like your dog has been regularly vaccinated, and since those vaccinations last long after the 3 years, she should still be protected.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 07:31 AM
TokyoParrot TokyoParrot is offline
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
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If I had dogs going on long hikes in the mountains, there might be some shots/precautions I might consider. For an elderly dog that stays in the yard, the risk analysis is different, and in my view in your case the risks far outweigh the possible benefits.

I personally would skip the distemper shot, being fully conscious that failure to get the shot could potentially cause problems.

There are always trade offs, risk of "Occurrence A" happening vs. risk of "Occurrence B" happening.

Risk is not avoidable, so it's better to come to peace with the fact that sickness may result from NOT getting the shots, knowing at the same time that the risk of getting sick from the shots is even higher.

Plus, MaxaLisa is right, your dog is highly likely to still be protected for longer than the 3 years stated.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 08:23 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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I agree she is probably protected. You could be sure by having her titred if you like. Where I live, and most places I think, only the rabies is mandated by law and it's your choice what other vaccinations you do. My dog is only 4 and I think I will titre this year. As per my Vet's suggestion I no longer vaccinate my elderly cats, 19 and 17 years old, for anything, not even rabies.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Goldfields Goldfields is offline
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Location: Australia
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One vet here won't vaccinate any dog older than 10. I thought they were saying vaccinations can work for 7 years , if not longer?
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 01:33 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Location: Calgary, AB
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Good article at this link on canine vaccinations: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com...bout-vaccines/

I would definitely avoid any further vax (except rabies where applicable by law, but even with that one I'd be inclined to get a medical waiver from my vet).
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 01:34 PM
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erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Canada
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My one dog hasn't been vaccinated for anything other than her 3 year rabies for almost 7 years now. I ran a few titers over the years and she never needed anything. She's 9.5 now and most likely will never be picked by another needle for the rest of her life.
Vets will try to pressure you into it but they can't force anything.
When I get questioned about not doing things like heartworm or preventative vaccines, I have my own very valid reasons and alternatives to pumping my dogs with either chemicals or viruses that I have come to with full support of my vet ( thankfully i have one that doesn't pressure but educates)
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways. ~John Wayne
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