Now that we have clarified
what vaccinations are, and which vaccination side effects, vaccination risks and vaccination benefits they bear, we can get briefly back to the vaccination controversy:
What are the
extreme positions in the vaccination controversy?
older, not up-to-date) veterinarians still believe that sufficient puppy immunization does not take place before 4.5 months of age, and thus this would be the earliest time for puppies to be safely taken outside to public places and to be socialized with people and other dogs. Some dog breeders, owners, and (typically
younger, recently trained) veterinarians know that the above view is unfounded, because many of them have successfully raised generations of dogs without any vaccinations at all, while letting the puppies explore public places and interact with other dogs from as early as 7 weeks of age.
Regarding the first group: As
Ian Dunbar highlighted in his 2001 publication of After you get your puppy, the life-long behavior problems (and dog bite risks for the public!) as a lack of early socialization should get our priority - rather than the remote possibility for the puppy to catch a disease, particularly if it isn't even endemic in the dog owner's geography, or not even possible given the individual dog's living environment.
The living environment of the majority of dogs is confined to observed on-leash walks, where it is very hard for a dog to catch a disease, even if it is prevalent in that geography. - Seen Paris Hilton, how she walks her dog?
It is a fact that very few dog owners dare to consider to
unleash the dog (see Dogs Unleashed). Their obedience-training mindset (much less a local law) makes them keep their dog on a short leash all the time.
Regarding the second group: Raising a
German Shepherd in the countryside is a bit different to say, carrying a Chihuahua on your arms through Paris or Hollywood. Being a herding breed, a GSD has to get the chance daily to roam freely, and so we may have to consider vaccinations that Paris wouldn't and shouldn't. The laws are the same regardless of breed, living environment and lifestyle (another sign how stupid it is to have laws on topics like vaccination!), but the dog's living environment and its lifestyle may make some vaccinations sensible that aren't even legally required.
For toy breeds I would certainly do nothing but what is legally required (and subject to certain conditions being met, I wouldn't even do that). In most countries this is only Rabies. Conversely for a GSD - depending on the prevalent diseases in your geography and your dog's lifestyle - you may also want to consider Distemper and/or Parvo (see the next chapter). If your local vet doesn't know if these are prevalent in your geography, then I would change the vet in a flash!
In any case, given the
vaccination risks and vaccination side effects, again it is sensible to do only what seems absolutely necessary. Typical Dog Vaccinations Explained
If after studying this entire Periodical you feel that your local vet appears not up-to-date, it would be wise to consult another local vet (to get a second opinion). Nonetheless, it is helpful if you know of the typical basic immunization at
average veterinarians yourself, so here it is.
In many geographies the typical
basic immunization at is the multivalent vaccine average veterinarians DHLPPCv (see below). In addition, rabies vaccination typically is legally required and lyme vaccination should be considered where relevant.
Yes, the average (mediocre) veterinarian* gives
vaccine cocktails like DHLPPCv.
* How to find a good veterinarian will be covered in a future Periodical
What is DHLPPCv?
DHLPPCv is a
six-pack vaccination cocktail combining:
Distemper - a viral infection of the nervous system that can cause anything from gastrointestinal upset to pneumonia, seizures and tremors (no known cure!)
Hepatitis - a viral infection of the liver that can cause acute liver failure
Leptospirosis - a bacterial infection of liver and kidneys that can increase the chances of death 30 to 40 fold (and can infect humans too!)
Parainfluenza - a viral infection of the upper respiratory system that causes the infamous kennel cough and can also cause pneumonia
Parvovirus - in many geographies the most prevalent viral infection of all. It affects the lining of the intestinal tract which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea, and hence weaken the immune system, thus often causing secondary infections that affect the entire body (often fatal!)
Coronavirus - a viral infection similar to Parvovirus, but with a different effect on the intestinal tract and typically
However, depending on your geography and your dog's living environment, you may only even need to
consider Distemper, Parvo, and Rabies. And only one vaccination of each you decide on! And never a multivalent vaccine (vaccine cocktail)! And always leaving several weeks between two vaccinations. An early discussion with a holistic local vet is invaluable.
Then ultimately YOU as now informed dog owner should decide. No one, not even five different vets, can take this right and responsibility off you. You should
make this educated decision yourself, after taking all views as well as local laws into account (your local vet should know).
Do NOT fall for the insanely immature and dangerous 'advice' that you can find in internet discussion forums and similar premium 'knowledge bases', namely to
"get those cheap DIY vaccines". I can only warn you of cheap dog vaccinations and low cost pet vaccinations and ads for free vaccinations for dogs.
Among many backyard breeders, homesteaders, and ueber-confident dog owners seems to rule the
opinion that "giving a shot is easy, it doesn't take a DVM" (quote from one of those forums). Yes, giving the shot is fairly easy, but fact is that then possibly having to cope with the life-threatening vaccination risks listed above does take a DVM (and often two)!
I have never seen any breeder, farmer, or homesteader that was able to save the life of a puppy or dog that experienced say, an anaphylactic shock after vaccination. But I know of countless cases where exactly those 'wannabe DVMs' dumped their half-dead or entirely dead puppies in bins, canals, or the woods!
Another reason not to attempt self-vaccination of your dog is summarized in this dog owner's advice for her DIY-vaccinating friends:
"Know several pups who have died from ... after such vaccines and I am guessing the vaccines weren't stored properly. One was a friends 2000$ french bulldog pup. Bet they wish they'd have spent the extra 10 bucks to get a vaccine that works."
While the second factor (vaccines from dubious sources or in dubious condition) is somewhat controllable, the first factor isn't: Even vets with decades of experience are (obviously) 'surprised' each time they have to attend to an acute allergic reaction after vaccination.
cannot know which dog will have one, and which won't! I would suggest to save on the Starbucks coffee or Saturday's Cinema, but not on the vet-administered vaccination of YOUR DOG.
Whenever you hear of "
series of vaccines" or "booster", take a deep breath and remember this . MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL
See again above why many people still recommend to serialize vaccinations - and then reflect why that is bad advice!
Vaccination Research Recent Results!
vaccination research, mainly undertaken since the turn of the millennium, led to many surprises regarding the efficacy, frequency, and timing of vaccinations, and documented that the majority of today's (canine and human!) vaccinations are useless over-vaccination, and thus high-risk (see above).
Puppies of a healthy dam assume all the immunization of their mother as
maternal antibodies with the colostrum (breast milk). - Also note that puppies of wild dogs as well as wolves etc never get a vaccination, nonetheless their mortality rate due to diseases is not worryingly high. The maternal antibodies
reduce over time once weaned, but the rate of reduction differs between pathogens, dog breeds and even individual dogs. Thus there can be no 'chart' or 'table' that would describe the situation for the German Shepherd dog breed, or indeed for your GSD. As long as the maternal antibodies are still numerous, they
inactivate not only attacking pathogens but also administered vaccines - which is why vaccinating healthy young puppies has no benefit at all! And vaccinating a dog that is not healthy must never happen anyway - note that even the leaflet that accompanies every vaccine delivery clearly states: "Must only be administered to healthy dogs!" Note that while vaccinating healthy young puppies has
no benefit at all, it does cause serious harm to the puppy's immune system as vaccines are not that pure: they also contain potent chemical adjuvants as well as cells from the tissue culture they were grown on. The first leads to Allergies and (gastrointestinal) sensitivities, and the second leads to Arthritis, cancer, etc! To be of any benefit,
puppy vaccination has to be undertaken at the individually identified point in time when the blood concentration of maternal antibodies is sufficient low not to block the particular vaccine (titer test), and before the puppy is then exposed to the particular pathogen in the environment (thus that ideally the pup benefits from continuous immunization) Only ONE vaccination for the most prevalent diseases should be undertaken (ie no further boosters), and LATER than what is still common practice: Where a dog owner refuses to pay for a preceeding titer, the first vaccination should be
at age 12 weeks. This age has been identified to offer the overall greatest chance to really protect the puppy, while up until this age the pup's maternal antibodies are likely to inactivate the vaccine, and after this age they become too weak to fight off the actual pathogen. Note however that the natural weakening of maternal antibodies
differs immensely between different dogs (even of the same breed) and different pathogens. Hence the vaccination at age 12 weeks gives the best immunization overall, but obviously not in each individual case. Hence why preceeding individual titer tests are highly recommended! However, also note that four different veterinarians may give you four different opinions whether or not the titer result indicates a vaccination should be undertaken or not.
Therefore, note what top
immunologists have confirmed to me: 1) There is nothing more practical than a titer test to prevent harmful over-vaccination, and 2) if there is any reaction at all, NO vaccination should be undertaken, because the reaction proves that the body knows the particular antigen and will react - thus the quantitative titer result is irrelevant. And 3) to vaccinate based on rigid timetables that don't even
consider the dog's living environment, lifestyle, and health status is foolish! Canine vaccines have dramatically improved over time (similar to human vaccines, but less so). Immunization has become much quicker and always lasts much longer.
immunization lasts for the life of the animal, unless:
the animal was sick at the time of vaccination - in which case immunization was unsuccessful from the start!
or the animal has been treated with lab medicaments at any time during its life (the
longer, the more problematic) - particularly dangerous to the immune system are (in this order): corticosteroids and other steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, painkillers or the animal was sick at any time during its life
with impact on its immune system (thus even if untreated) With many pathogens, incubation lengthened (the time from infection to symptom visibility and disease outbreak)
An infection that doesn't kill
improves the body's defenses and allows to thwart off future attacks, both of the same pathogen and of other pathogens! There is a BIG difference between life-threatening infections (life-threatening for the dog and/or for the dog owner?), and transitory and curable infections (curable for the dog and/or for the dog owner?)
The risk of infection (both with life-threatening and with non-life-threatening pathogens) is very different depending on geography (some pathogens are only endemic in certain geographies),
and depending on the dog's individual lifestyle (some dogs are 95% indoors, other dogs are 100% on the owner's premises, some dogs share life with children and/or other animals, other dogs visit dog parks, some dogs live on a farm or freely roam the wilderness, etc) Due to over-vaccination in the past (and present!), many pathogens have had ample opportunity to adapt (
mutate) and to become resistant to vaccines that have in the past been (and often are still!) considered to provide protection against a particular disease - such that now these very vaccines are no longer effective! The chemical adjuvants used in vaccines to stimulate ('guarantee') immune response
intoxicate the dog's body - whether or not the vaccine is effective! This
intoxication already at puppy age and then throughout the dog's life, plus the widespread blanket treatment with antibiotics, corticosteroids, etc is now considered to be the prime reason for the alarming increase in : canine autoimmune disorders skin allergies, food allergies, and drug allergies, gastrointestinal hypersensitivity and digestive disorders, joint disorders like Arthritis, Hypothyroidism, and cancer!
Do you see now how
all our frequent warnings:
Antibiotics → GI tract
Corticosteroids → Allergies
Intoxication → Tumors
lead into each other?
Great! - Thanks.
This Periodical alone should by now have 10,000 comments (thank-you's), but look what it has! What an UNGRATEFUL society we have these days, how disappointing.
Again, the cumulative knowledge in this
cannot be found anywhere else (unless someone fraudulently MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL copied our intellectual property). I know because I searched intensely. Thus, if you truly mean well for your dog-owning friends(?), share this with fellow dog lovers so that more dog owners at last take the right vaccination decisions and stop this vaccination frenzy! Puppy Vaccinations Recommendations
Vaccinations for puppies should only be undertaken:
after the pup's blood test results indicate that the particular vaccine is now likely to be effective (the concentration of maternal antibodies is sufficient low)
and after the individual pup's living environment has been put into perspective with the prevalence of the particular disease in the dog owner's geography (and at the anticipated travel destinations)
and after the pup's medical assessment gives green light that the puppy is healthy at the time of vaccination!
What vaccinations do puppies need?
This depends on the endemic diseases in the
dog owner's geography, and on the individual dog's lifestyle: eg indoor dog, roaming the wilderness, or what?
you must discuss this with your local vet, not on some internet discussion forum. More see above: Typical Dog Vaccinations Explained. Puppy Vaccination Schedule
Vaccination Schedule for Puppies is very simple:
After initial vaccination (
where needed), a vaccine booster should be reserved for the exceptional situation where a titer indicates that the dog no longer has antibodies for the antigen of the pathogen in question (say because lab medicaments or illness have impaired the immune system). Puppy Vaccinations Cost
how much are puppy vaccinations?
This really depends entirely on where you live, and how desperate your municipality is to get the endemic diseases under control (if there are any), ie do they subsidize, and how much?
At a suburban vet practice in the USA or the UK a vaccination shot (whether multivalent or individual) costs typically between 15 to 45 USD or Pounds (equivalent buying power) - and this includes the vet's skill, experience, and time(!) to attend to any unforeseen vaccination complications. How much it is say in Australia, India, or elsewhere I don't know -
but over time our FREE(!) subscribers will hopefully leave their comments below. Or not?
Given that (as you now know) normally only
one vaccination should be administered for a particular disease (but at the right time!), even $50 must be considered a very good deal for your dog, no?
The preceding canine
titer test typically costs from $40 (individual titer) to $150 (total titer: DHLPPCv plus Rabies and Lyme), but the price will go down the more dog owners start to ask for that!
This cost will
very rarely be in addition (namely only if the titer result clearly suggests to vaccinate, ie if there was no reaction at all), most times the titer will save the cost of vaccination as well as all the ongoing cost of chronic diseases that result from over-vaccination! Dog Vaccinations Recommendations
Vaccinations for dogs should only be undertaken:
Ad Network: Dogs, Health, Food, Exercise, Training, Protection
after the dog's blood test result indicates that there is NO reaction to the vaccine-specific antigen
and after the individual dog's living environment has been put into perspective with the prevalence of the particular disease in the dog owner's geography (and at anticipated travel destinations)
and after the dog's medical assessment gives green light that the dog is healthy at the time of vaccination!
What vaccinations do dogs need?
Again, this depends on the endemic diseases in your geography and on your dog's lifestyle (see above).
You must discuss this with your local vet, see above: Typical Dog Vaccinations Explained. Dog Vaccination Schedule
Vaccination Schedule for Dogs is very simple as well:
If you've had your dog since puppyhood, you know your dog's
immunization status. If you adopted an adult dog and the prior owner or shelter couldn't document the dog's immunization status, you should start with a total titer during your next scheduled vet visit.
In both cases, it would be wise (see above why):
to get a booster vaccination
only if the preceeding titer indicates that there is NO reaction at all to the antigen in question to have other vaccinations done
only if there is a new disease outbreak in your geography, or you move to a different place, or you plan to travel with your dog, or it becomes a legal requirement (municipalities behave!) Dog Vaccinations Cost
how much are dog vaccinations?
Again, this depends entirely on where you live, and whether your municipality subsidizes particular canine vaccinations or not.
For more, please see above (
Puppy Vaccinations Cost), since the prices are the same for adult dogs.
Checklist * (see note at the bottom)
Vaccinations can help to prevent the outbreak or alleviate the impact of diseases Note that vaccinations do
not prevent the bite or sting, or stepping onto excrement, and hence do not prevent the infection The
purpose of vaccinations is to help prepare the body's immune system to fight a potential future invasion of a particular carrier of a life-threatening or chronic disease. Nothing else. Because, despite strengthening the body's defense against the
particular disease, every vaccination weakens the body's immune system overall In addition, there is a long list of
vaccination side effects and vaccination risks (see above)
Vaccination risks can almost be eliminated if you first order a titer test particular to the vaccine in question Most of the time you will then find that your dog does
not need to be vaccinated at this time Indeed, if instead of the routine blanket vaccinations that we have now,
routine blanket titers were performed, we could stop the widespread over-vaccination right now! Over-vaccination: The practice of entirely useless (but harmful!) booster vaccinations, and of vaccinating for diseases that are not even endemic in the dog owner's geography (and planned travel destinations), or that are impossible to contract given the dog's lifestyle!
Do not get this wrong: A
one-off vaccination against a chronic or life-threatening disease that could affect your dog or yourself, is sensible and should be undertaken. But what must be stopped immediately is to vaccinate even for
individually highly unlikely diseases, as well as for merely temporary indispositions, and then to undertake yearly boosters on top of it! This
vaccination frenzy entails significant risks, individually and for the society as a whole, without any benefit whatsoever Why vaccination frenzy? - Because: Vaccinations are a HUGE business, for some!
Once you feel informed,
at (and if needed against) your vet, and be willing to pay for a preceeding dare to speak up titer test You will then most of the time
save the money on vaccinations, and more importantly, you will save all the life-long medical cost, worries and stress of having to try to cure a dog with immune-mediated disorders! Above are countless lists of points to remember (and to share), of which the
Vaccination Research Recent Results are probably the ones worth learning to recall in your sleep Looks very promising:
Stop the Shots - Are Vaccinations Killing Our Pets? - If you get to this first, let me know below what you think of it And of course, the old-time classic:
Dog Owner's Veterinary Handbook. Highly useful in every regard. Though, did I give the hint? Yes, I did: old-time classic. Also, don't overlook that it's from an interest group: veterinarians.
But this you certainly don't need! Don't forget this:
==> Next edition: A related topic! Have a guess? <==
Can you give back a bit today?