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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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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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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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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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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).
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 01:34 PM
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erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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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)
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 08:15 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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Glad that others agree with me, I wasn't sure if it was a good idea. She is doing so well for a dog over twelve, that I'd like to keep it that way. Sugarcatmom, that was a very good article, interesting to see that 100% of the dogs tested were still immunized at a minimum of 4-5 years, and after seeing the pictures of what can go wrong it definately helps you to decide. I have always given her heartworm tablets, am now wondering if I should keep that up or not. I have to take her in for a heartworm test Friday, I'm curious to see what the vet will say about no distemper shots.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 10:57 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindapalm View Post
Glad that others agree with me, I wasn't sure if it was a good idea. She is doing so well for a dog over twelve, that I'd like to keep it that way. Sugarcatmom, that was a very good article, interesting to see that 100% of the dogs tested were still immunized at a minimum of 4-5 years, and after seeing the pictures of what can go wrong it definately helps you to decide. I have always given her heartworm tablets, am now wondering if I should keep that up or not. I have to take her in for a heartworm test Friday, I'm curious to see what the vet will say about no distemper shots.
Right, Schultz's work has shown that if a dog has been vaccinated *once* after 16 weeks, then that provides long-term, possibly lifelong immunity in nearly all dogs. So, imagine a dog that has received more......My girl didn't get any vaccinations for the last 10 years of her life, and my boy in the last 8 years of his life, and I took them everywhere.....

For the HW, I would use one with the least amount of "stuff" in it, but if you are in a HW area, I would give it. It's a nasty disease, and currently the meds to properly fight it aren't even available, at least I think they are still not available.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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Heartworm is treatable, its really expensive and takes time but treatable.
It boils down to a personal choice, here we test annually and should they ever have it clearly we would treat it. Financially though we are blessed to be able to make that call if finances were more of an issue I would use preventatives.
We are in a heart worm area but take very drastic measures to keep the dogs out of mosquitos as best as we can. It is far more of a hassle but to us, worth it
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Old April 4th, 2012, 06:18 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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I have been using Heartgard, and the vet now switched to Iverheart? We moved in the country two years ago and haven't noticed many mosquitos, but we do have a pond near by and there is a swamp 1/4 of a mile away, so that might not be too good.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Our dogs are 11 and 13 and when I asked our vet about skipping all vaccines now she was fine with it. I wasn't sure if she would support this but our younger dog was ill with a tick disease and she doesn't think she should be vaccinated ever again but our other dog (13), is just older and she was fine not giving her any more. I'm still going to give heartworm pills but only if we have a lot of mosquitoes this year. Last year was dry and I didn't give any heartworm pills so had them tested and they were both negative so depends on your area and whether you have higher incident of heartworm.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 02:56 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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Not only I would skip the distemper I would consider skipping the rabies but only if you can get a vet to issue a certificate stating she should not be vaccinated for rabies.

http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/l...ination-policy
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