All posts by Caryl Wolff

Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 18

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

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MY OPINION

In preparation for this article, I read several vaccination guidelines from several different organizations and many, many, many articles on the Internet.  So, here’s my opinion – Do I think dogs should be vaccinated against rabies as well as other diseases?  Absolutely.  It is because we vaccinate that we have fewer of these hideous diseases.  Our dogs need *at the very least* initial puppy shots, and every state requires rabies vaccines.   The risk of getting the disease outweighs the risks from the vaccines, especially with rabies.  We need to prevent our dogs from getting rabies and not wait to see if they get it.  If we wait for symptoms, we almost guarantee our dogs’ death.

Do I think this bill should be passed?  Absolutely NOT.  So I agree with Dr. Dodds – why is a law being written for something that may happen?  At NO time did I find anyone state anywhere that ANY puppy between the age of three and four months had contracted rabies – zero, zilch, nothing, nada!  I could understand the necessity for the law if three-month-old puppies were coming down with rabies, but there was nothing.  This bill falls into the same category as we should be protecting ourselves against an asteroid hitting the earth.

Responsible owners are going to vaccinate their puppy against rabies (as well as other diseases).  The law currently says the rabies vaccine should be given at four months.  Irresponsible dog owners and people owning cats do not vaccinate.   How is giving a vaccine earlier than necessary (and one that can affect a puppy the rest of his life both medically and behaviorally) going to help reduce the number of rabid bats?  The County Health Department admits and the data prove that cats are not required to be vaccinated and that more cats contract rabies than dogs.  Huh?  Where’s the logic?

Because I am dog trainer and behavior consultant, I understand why socialization is so important because it affects how the puppy will perceive the world for the rest of his life – the more experiences he has, the better adjusted he will be.  The socialization window closes at 14 weeks.  After that, puppies and dogs can still be introduced to new things, but it is not as effective.  Time is precious during this short period.  If the puppy is ill or simply feels lousy because of the vaccine, his socialization is affected because he cannot go out to see the real world; or if he does, because he does not feel well, the encounter will be negative.

There are a whole host of vaccines being given to puppies at one time.  Their immune system needs to build up a tolerance to each one of the diseases, and this takes time.  Why subject a puppy to yet another vaccine when its body is in the process of building up immunity when they are being stressed from both the vaccines and changes in their environment?  Is this bill making responsible owners any more responsible?  Is this bill giving any more protection to the puppy?

But, at the same time, is there causality between vaccines and future medical and/or behavioral problems?  We don’t know.  It would be difficult if not impossible to design and fund a study showing direct link.  Therefore, we rely on anecdotal evidence and the process of elimination.  It takes many years for information to go from an observation to talking to colleagues to see if they are encountering the same thing, then to performing tests on the hypothesis, and finally to an article to a scientific journal.

The vaccine debate is generally between traditional vets who look for double-blind studies and the holistic or homeopathic vets who use their experience and nontraditional approaches.  I think that nontraditional approaches are gaining ground – slowly – both in human and animal medicine.  Several years ago, human insurance carriers refused to pay for chiropractors, and now they do.

To sum up, yes, I think all dogs should be vaccinated.  No, I don’t think this bill should be passed.  It is unnecessary, ridiculous, and stupid. However, these are my opinions.  Please, please, please consult with your veterinarian for the best choices for your dog because your vet knows your dog, the local laws, and the risks involved.

What have I learned from writing this article?

  • A lot more about medical terminology
  • A lot more about vaccines
  • That it is difficult to change perceptions and opinions
  • There is so much more to learn
  • The quickest way to insanity is to believe everything I read on the Internet
  • That I don’t know how to edit myself
  • That I have trouble estimating the time a project is going to take (This one took well over 60 hours.)
  • That progress does not happen by maintaining the status quo.
  • That I have many, many, many more questions, but for now, this is THE END!

P.S. Well, almost the end.  Just as I was finishing this article, I learned of a new study by Dr. Ronald Schultz that said that distemper vaccines were effective if given to well-cared-for and healthy dogs the same day as the dogs were exposed to distemper and up to three days afterwards.  I have not had an opportunity go investigate.
http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/vet-distemper-dog/

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 17

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Why is there such a concern about giving the vaccines at three months versus four months?

 This information was taken from an interview of Dr. Dodds by Dr. Karen Becker.  Dr. Dodds said that she is against moving the vaccines from four months to three months because

 The purpose of vaccine is to stimulate the immune system so the immune system will produce antibodies.  Because a young puppy is going through a multitude of physical and psychological changes at this time (leaving his litter, going to a new home, interacting with new people and new animals, getting new food), this burdens and suppresses his immune system.

Twelve weeks critical age for socialization of puppies when they are introduced to the sights, sounds, and places they will be encountering during the rest of their lives.  The socialization process is stressful but necessary.

They are already getting combo puppy vaccines which can neutralize any existing antibody directed specifically against that same antigen for two reasons – their immune system is not yet developed yet because of the passive immunity from their mother and because they are trying to develop antibodies for several diseases at once, which actually leaves the puppy vulnerable.

There is no vaccination requirement for cats, and cats contract rabies more than dogs.  And only 40% of the dogs in California get any vaccines, period.  Since no dog has gotten rabies in several years, it seems like the current law is effective.

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

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Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 16

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Specifics about ABA 272

 This bill was introduced by Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez to amend the California Health and Safety Code to change the age that rabies vaccinations are given to puppies from four months to three months in response to an increase in rabies-infected bats in Los Angeles County.

According to Dr. Dodds, the bill seeks to address a problem in the canine community that does not exist, as the California Department of Public Health’s statistics in Reported Animal Rabies Data make abundantly clear:  bats and other wildlife pose the major threat of rabies transmission to the public, not dogs under the age of four months. As it currently stands, the law requiring puppies to be vaccinated at four months of age is and has been effective at controlling rabies in California’s canine population.

Why should it matter to me if I don’t live in California?

Many times trends start in California and spread to the rest of the country.

How did this bill come about?

The idea for the legislation seems to have originated with the acting director of the public health group in L.A. County, Dr. Karen Ehnert, a veterinarian. Apparently there’s been some concern about the increase in cases of bat rabies in the county, but according to Dr. Dodds, the numbers don’t add up.

Dr. Ehnert has stated there has been an increase of bat rabies in the past couple years, and we don’t know why.  However, Dr. Dodds makes clear, there have been no cases of dog rabies in the Los Angeles area since 2010.  Further, there were only three cases of dog rabies in all of California from 2007 to 2010, and some of those involved animals that came in from out of state.

So I did my own investigation.  I personally called the office of Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez who introduced the bill to the legislature.  As of this writing, I am waiting for a response.

I personally called Dr. Karen Ehnert who is the acting director of Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health program and was unable to speak with her.  However, I did speak with a Dr. Scott who said she would speak to Dr. Ehnert.  Dr. Scott also said that most likely, Dr. Ehnert will not speak to me because she would need to get permission from the External Communications Office to speak to someone outside the department, which means that Dr. Ehnert would only have to make a phone call or send an email to get that permission.  To date, I have not heard from anyone.

But I did watch a video by Dr. Emily Beeler from the same department about rabies http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/presentations/Rabies/SupportingFiles/ViewerWM7.html.  This video was made on February 17, 2011, and she said that the primary source of rabies in Los Angeles County was from bats.

Here’s a summary of what I believe are the pertinent points of what she said.

  • In 1937 there were 1,730 cases of rabid dog bites.
  • In 1956, a law was passed requiring dogs to be vaccinated against rabies, and the number of cases dropped dramatically.
  • In the entire United States, 1-3 people/year die from bat bites.
  • In 2006 and 2007, two people in California died from rabies, and they were bitten from animals outside the US but happened to die in California.
  • The animals most likely to carry rabies are bats and skunks.
  • 10-14% of the bats they test have rabies.
  • There has been an increase in importation of animals from other (third world) countries as well as smuggling them into the US.
  • The Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health collaborates with Animal Control and over half of their reports come from Animal Control.
  • Anyone who has knowledge of a dog bite is legally reportable to Animal Control [even puppy bites from normal puppy teething!]
  • The person or animal must actually come in contact with bat saliva – simply being in proximity of a bat does not expose people to rabies.
  • Bat bites can go undetected because their teeth are so small.  They do not have to grab and hold but just break the skin.
  • The bites from dogs in Los Angeles County are a very low risk.  There have been no cases of dog rabies in California since 2010.
  • Bats and other wildlife are more likely to carry rabies than dogs.

This information was taken off the Veterinary Public Health Department’s own website http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/rabiesmap2013.htm

  • In 2011, a total of 38 rabid bats were found.  At the time, this had been the largest number of rabid bats detected in a single year since LA County began testing bats for rabies in the early 1960s. In most years, 8-10 rabid bats are discovered. The reason for the increase was unknown.

As of May 23, 2013, a total of 5 rabid bats have been found in Los Angeles County.  Most bats in nature do NOT have rabies.  The department has not reported any cases of either dog or cat rabies.

This information is from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/index.html

“The rabies virus is transmitted through saliva or brain/nervous system tissue. You can only get rabies by coming in contact with these specific bodily excretions and tissues.

‘It’s important to remember that rabies is a medical urgency (sic) but not an emergency. Decisions should not be delayed.”

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

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Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 15

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

How do we know how long a vaccination lasts in the body before we need to revaccinate?

 You would need to vaccinate your dog and then test it by using titers at specified intervals to see whether the antibodies are still present and whether the animal will come down with the disease.  This is called a Duration of Immunity study, which are expensive for the drug companies, so there are very few of these studies.

The Rabies Challenge Fund http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/ is an independent testing organization who is running one of these studies regarding testing the rabies vaccine.  The co trustees of The Rabies Challenge Fund are Dr. Jean Dodds and Kris Christine.  Dr. Ronald Schultz is the researcher and principal investigator for the Fund.

What is the puppy Vaccination schedule?

From Dr. Dodds: The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable.  The schedule is one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory.  It’s a matter of professional judgment and choice.

  • 9 – 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 16 -18 weeks (optional) Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy DPV)
  • 20 weeks or older, if allowable by law – Rabies
  • 1 year – Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
  • 1 year – Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)

 Please note – only the links are given below because of the length of the guidelines.

 Vaccine recommendations from Dr. Schultz

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/10/27/new-canine-vaccination-guidelines.aspx

 Canine Vaccination Guidelines from UC Davis

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/internal_medicine/newsletters/vaccination_protocols.cfm

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 14

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Follow-up questions for Dr. Dodds

Is there a correlation between puppies that have had adverse vaccine reactions and development of the medical and/or behavioral issues that were listed in the questionnaire?

Dr. Dodds – If you mean : did the vaccine adverse event because the medical and behavioral issues listed – the answer is Yes, for most cases.  Is there data showing this correlation?  Only the close temporal relationship of the vaccination in an animal that was healthy beforehand. Is the causative factor determined by a process of elimination?  Basically, Yes.
I don’t understand how there can be partial immunity protection — do you mean that there is protection for some of the diseases in a multivalent vaccine No or if we give a vaccine at 6 weeks instead 14 weeks, that the puppy is protected from, say, 10% of the disease, Yes or that if he should contract the disease, that it would not be as severe? Depends upon the degree of partial protection elicited at that young age. In theory, the disease, if contracted would be less severe.  
What is the detox procedure for vaccinosis?  Is it administration of Thuja (for all vaccines plus Lyssni for rabies only) and/or then treating whatever symptoms the puppy experiences?  Yes, oral homeopathics for vaccinosis plus symptomatic care.   Would the puppy be treated with homeopathic remedies or antibiotics or both?  Depends upon the case; antibiotics are usually not required. If you treat with Thuja, does that alleviate the side effects Yes, it should or does it negate the immunity? Not at all.  

Follow-up questions for Dr. Breitman

Is there a correlation between puppies that have had adverse vaccine reactions and development of the medical and/or behavioral issues that were listed in the questionnaire?

Dr. Breitman – The only correlation that I know of between adverse vaccine reactions and other issues would be a vaccine sensitivity or failure due to genetic non-responsiveness.  

To my knowledge — and please correct me if I’m wrong — vaccines other than rabies are given according to the weight of the animal.  If vaccines containing Thimerosal are safe and all dogs are required by law required to have the same amount of the vaccine, would a small dog who receives vaccines containing mercury be at greater risk as he ages?

Dr. Breitman – Vaccines are not given according to the weight of the animal.  A minimum effective dose is given which unlike medications that need to reach certain blood levels, are not given on the basis of size.

“Thimerosal is a preservative. Preservatives (such as thimerosal) are required to be used when certain vaccines are prepared in vials that hold more than one dose. Thimerosal prevents accidental contamination with bacteria or fungi that might occur when syringes repeatedly puncture the vials to withdraw a dose.

According to the FDA website http://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/vaccines/questionsaboutvaccines/ucm070430.htm, “During the past ten years, FDA has provided informal and formal advice to manufacturers recommending that new vaccines under development be formulated without thimerosal as a preservative.”  If this is true for humans, does it follow that it is true for dogs?

Dr. Breitman – Studies have shown that there is no known harm from thimerosal preservative-containing vaccines. In 1999, FDA conducted a review of thimerosal in childhood vaccines and found no evidence of harm from the use of thimerosal as a vaccine preservative, other than a reaction at the injection site. The Institute of Medicine’s Immunization Safety Review Committee reached a similar conclusion in 2001, based on a review of available data, and again in 2004, after reviewing studies performed after its 2001 report. Since then, additional studies have been published confirming these findings though there was no evidence that thimerosal in vaccines was dangerous, the decision to remove it was a made as a precautionary measure to decrease overall exposure to mercury among young infants. This decision was possible because childhood vaccines could be reformulated to leave out thimerosal without threatening their safety,  effectiveness, and purity. “- from the FDA site.

I am just asking for information here and not trying to be disrespectful in any way — since there is little funding for alternative therapy veterinary medicine, many of the cases are anecdotal and show a pattern of outcomes through the veterinarians’ collective practices.  Have you actually witnessed or followed first hand (not in the literature) the cases of the dogs treated by alternative therapies to see their outcomes?  The reason I ask this question is because my vet was an allopathic vet who went to visit a homeopathic vet to discredit him and his findings but discovered that the homeopathic vet was helping animals that he could not.

There is a local homeopathic vet that I have had extensive conversations with, though I have not spent time in her practice following cases.  For the most part, her stories are anectdotal; though, I do believe that her use of fecal transplantation is likely effective in some cases (as has been proven in human medicine).  At risk of having you ask me to provide you with a literature search on the subject, I would disagree that there is no evidence in the literature on homeopathic methods.  There are publications, though one needs to be critical in assessing the methods and controls (as in all published literature).  The paucity of positive results is a testament to the lack of superior treatments.  While many homeopathic methods do work, possibly through the placebo effect (which is real) or the pharmacological properties of “natural products”, these methods have not shown better results than traditional treatments.  Where plants that contain active ingredients are used, there is usually a comparable product that has been standardized that is at least as effective and because it is standardized carries less risk of overdose or lack of effectiveness.  Anecdotally, I have seen patients that have come to me from this vet that she could not help but improved with my care.  Not a scientific study, and one needs to keep in mind that many patients get better on their own.  I do support the use of homeopathic methods in my patients where I am reasonably certain that they will do no harm (when requested), but have not been swayed by the results.  I take seriously my responsibility to help the patient and avoid harming the patient. Although homeopathic methods are often a “feel good” option for the client (owner), I put the patient as my first priority.

If you get a virus and it keeps sucking the life out of new cells to replicate, how does it ultimately end?  Is it preprogrammed to stop at, say, 1 million cells?  Does it replicate until there’s no new cells left and the host dies?  Does it depend on the virus?

Dr. Breitman – Since a virus lives inside cells and bacteria lives outside cells, can you vaccinate against bacteria?

Viruses don’t always kill the cells in which they live.  They can replicate until they run out of host cells or the immune response neutralizes them.  Or they can remain dormant in a host cell until that section of nucleotides is replicated.  Certain bacteria (and other types of pathogenic organisms) can live inside cells as well.

 Vaccination stimulates either humoral immunity (antibody production) or cell mediated immunity (killer cells, etc.).  Both viruses and bacteria travel outside of cells to become the target of antibodies and agglutination or antibody mediated killing by immune cells.  Cells infected usually end up with pathogen specific antigen on their surfaces that become targets for the immune system.  If a pathogen is hiding inside a cell without exhibiting these antigens on the cell surface, they are effectively hidden from the immune system.

[End of questions to Dr. Breitman and Dr. Dodds]

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 13

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Adverse Vaccine Reactions
W. Jean Dodds, DVM

Viral disease and recent vaccination with single or combination modified live-virus (MLV) vaccines, especially those containing distemper virus, adenovirus 1 or 2, and parvovirus are increasingly recognized contributors to immune-mediated blood disease, bone marrow failure, and organ dysfunction. 1-11 Potent adjuvanted  killed  vaccines like those for rabies virus also can trigger immediate and delayed (vaccinosis) adverse vaccine reactions.7-10 Genetic predisposition to these disorders in humans has been linked to the leucocyte antigen D-related gene locus of the major histocompatibility complex, and is likely to have parallel associations in domestic animals. 5, 7 

Beyond immediate hypersensitivity reactions, other acute events tend to occur 24-72 hours afterwards, or 7-45 days later in a delayed type immunological response. 1-4, 6-10  Even more delayed adverse effects include mortality from high-titered measles vaccine in infants,  canine distemper antibodies in joint diseases of dogs, and feline and canine injection-site fibrosarcomas. 5,7 The increasing antigenic load presented to the host individual by modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines during the period of viremia is presumed to be responsible for the immunological challenge that can result in a delayed hypersensitivity reaction. 2, 3, 6, 7    

The clinical signs associated with vaccine reactions typically include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, neurological disorders and encephalitis, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood cells and icterus (autoimmune hemolytic anemia) (AIHA), or generalized petechiae and ecchymotic hemorrhages (immune-mediated thrombocytopenia)(ITP).1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 12, 13 Hepatic enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may occur by itself or accompany bone marrow suppression.  Furthermore, MLV vaccination has been associated with the development of transient seizures in puppies and adult dogs of breeds or cross-breeds susceptible to immune-mediated diseases especially those involving hematologic or endocrine tissues (e.g. AIHA, ITP, autoimmune thyroiditis). 1,7,10 Post-vaccinal polyneuropathy is a recognized entity associated occasionally with the use of distemper, parvovirus, rabies and presumably other vaccines. 2, 3, 7  This can result in various clinical  signs including muscular atrophy, inhibition or interruption of neuronal control of tissue and organ function, muscular excitation, incoordination and weakness, as well as seizures. 7 Certain breeds or families of dogs appear to be more susceptible to adverse vaccine reactions, particularly post-vaccinal seizures, high fevers, and painful episodes of hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD).7, 9   Therefore, we have the responsibility to advise companion animal breeders and caregivers of  the potential for genetically susceptible littermates and relatives to be at increased risk for similar adverse vaccine reactions.1, 4, 6-9, 14-17  In popular (or rare) inbred and linebred animals, the breed in general can be at increased risk as illustrated in the examples below.

Commercial vaccines can on rare occasion be contaminated with other adventitious viral agents, 3, 15 which can produce significant untoward effects such as occurred when a commercial canine parvovirus vaccine was contaminated by blue tongue virus. It produced abortion and death when given to pregnant dogs,15 and was linked causally to the ill-advised but all too common practice of vaccinating pregnant animals. The potential for side-effects such as promotion of chronic disease states in male and non-pregnant female dogs receiving this lot of  vaccine remains in question, although there have been anecdotal reports of reduced stamina and renal dysfunction in performance sled dogs.   Recently, a vaccine manufacturer had to recall all biologic products containing a distemper component, because they were associated with a higher than expected rate of central nervous system postvaccinal reactions 1-2 weeks following administration.  Vaccination of pet and research dogs with polyvalent vaccines containing rabies virus or rabies vaccine alone was recently shown to induce production of antithyroglobulin autoantibodies, a provocative and important finding with implications for the subsequent development of hypothyroidism. 10 Furthermore, injection site fibrosarcomas have recently been documented in dogs as well as cats. 18       

Other issues arise from overvaccination, as the increased cost in time and dollars spent needs to be considered, despite the well-intentioned solicitation of clients to encourage annual booster vaccinations so that pets also can receive a wellness examination.6 Giving annual boosters when they are not necessary has the client paying for a service which is likely to be of little benefit to the pet’s existing level of protection against these infectious diseases.  It also increases the risk of adverse reactions from the repeated exposure to foreign substances.        

Polyvalent MLV vaccines which multiply in the host elicit a stronger antigenic challenge to the animal and should mount a more effective and sustained immune response. 2, 3, 6  However, this can overwhelm the immunocompromised or even a healthy host that has ongoing exposure to other environmental stimuli as well as a genetic predisposition that promotes adverse response to viral challenge. 1, 2, 7, 14, 16, 17  The recently weaned young puppy or kitten being placed in a new environment may be at particular risk.  Furthermore, while the frequency of vaccinations is usually spaced 2-3 weeks apart, some veterinarians have advocated vaccination once a week in stressful situations, a practice makes little sense scientifically or medically.6   

An augmented immune response to vaccination is seen in dogs with pre-existing inhalant allergies (atopy) to pollens. 7  Furthermore, the increasing current problems with allergic and immunological diseases has been linked to the introduction of MLV vaccines more than 20 years ago. 3  While other environmental factors no doubt have a contributing role, the introduction of these vaccine antigens and their environmental shedding may provide the final insult that exceeds the immunological tolerance threshold of some individuals in the pet population.  The accumulated evidence indicates that vaccination protocols should no longer be considered as a “one size fits all” program. 9

For these special cases, appropriate alternatives to current vaccine practices include: measuring serum antibody titers; avoidance of unnecessary vaccines or overvaccinating; caution in vaccinating sick or febrile individuals; and tailoring a specific minimal vaccination protocol for dogs of breeds or families known to be at increased risk for adverse reactions.6,7,19-22   Considerations include starting the vaccination series later, such as at nine or ten weeks of age when the immune system is more able to handle antigenic challenge; alerting the caregiver to pay particular attention to the puppy’s behavior and overall health after the second or subsequent boosters; and avoiding revaccination of individuals already experiencing a significant adverse event. Littermates of affected puppies should be closely monitored after receiving additional vaccines in a puppy series, as they too are at higher risk.

 [Note:  The references for this article appear at the end of the CVs of the doctors.]

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 12

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

From the CDC Website, “While dogs have historically been associated with rabies transmission to humans, cats are more likely to be reported rabid in the U.S. Cats are often in close contact with both humans and wild animals, including those that primarily transmit rabies. This creates a situation in which rabies may be more easily transmitted from to humans from cats.” In 2008 75 dogs and 294 cats had rabies; in 2009, 81 dogs and 300 cats.  In California, livestock and dogs are required to be vaccinated, but cats are not.  Are you aware of the reason behind this, especially since cats contract rabies more frequently than dogs both in California and nationally?

Dr. Dodds – No; but, without doubt, California and other states should require rabies vaccination of cats as well as dogs.

Dr. Breitman – That would be a question for your legislature.  Both dogs and cats should be required to be vaccinated.

Regarding mercury in vaccines, the two main rabies manufacturers in the US are Fort Dodge/Pfizer and Merial, both of which have thimerosal-free vaccines.  Are there other manufacturers who still use thimerosal?

Dr. Dodds – The other still do, and curiously, even Merial still makes a Thimerosal-based rabies vaccine as well as the preferred Thimerosal-free version. If so, how prevalent is there use and who uses them?  Many are still unaware of the importance of avoiding the use of Thimerosal in any vaccine product, and do not check for it. 

Dr. Breitman – I’m not sure, you’d have to check their individual web sites.  However, extensive studies for human vaccines have shown that the amounts present in vaccines are safe.  So, I think that this is a fad, not a real issue.

Is there an age, size, or breed (genetic predisposition with dog breed or family, e.g., standard poodle, Akita, Weimaraner, great Dane, Eskimo dog ) of dog that is more susceptible to an adverse vaccine reaction?  Yes; published studies show that most vaccine reactions occur as shown below from one of my handouts:  [Dr. Dodds also provided a feline handout which is not applicable to this article.]

Table 5. Canine Vaccine Adverse Events  *

  • retrospective cohort study; 1.25 million dogs vaccinated at 360 veterinary hospitals
  • 38 adverse events per 10,000 dogs vaccinated
  • inversely related to dog weight
  • vaccines prescribed on a 1-dose-fits-all basis, rather than by body weight.
  • increased for dogs up to 2 yr of age, then declined
  • greater for neutered versus sexually intact dogs
  • increased as number of vaccines given together increased
  • increased after the 3 rd or 4th vaccination
  • genetic predisposition to adverse events documented

_____________________________________________________________

*   from Moore et al, JAVMA 227:1102–1108, 2005.

Table 6. Vaccine Conclusions For Canines  *

 Factors that increase risk of adverse events 3 days after vaccination:

  • young adult age
  • small-breed size
  • neutering
  • multiple vaccines given per visit

These risks should be communicated to clients

_______________________________________________________

*   from Moore et al, JAVMA 227:1102–1108, 2005.

Dr. Breitman – Answered above.

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

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If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 11

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Do vaccine reactions to different diseases differ?

Dr. Dodds – Yes, but, besides anaphylaxis  — which any vaccine can cause idiosyncratically — most delayed vaccine reactions occur within 2-21 days afterwards, and are similar.   Rabies and distemper vaccines are more likely to induce seizure reactions, but they also can cause more generalized reactions and fevers etc., like any vaccine.  See attached. If so, how do they differ physically, medically, behaviorally, and in other ways? See above and attached.  [Reproduced at the end of this article.]

Dr. Breitman – ”Proven “Vaccine reactions” include failure, allergic reactions (including anaphalaxic reactions), other immune reactions to the vaccination of attenuated organisms or the adjuvant, and fibrosarcoma development (in cats).  Leptospirosis and Bordetella have a shorter duration of efficacy and other do fail before the year interval recommended for re-vaccination.  Lyme vaccine is also more likely to fail than other vaccines.  Some dogs also appear to be genetic not responders to Parvovirus, and more rarely Distemper virus vaccine.  Certain vaccines do appear to have greater risk of febrile response (i.e., some Lyme vaccines).  Intra nasal Bordetella vaccine can cause transient respiratory symptoms but is also more effective than parental vaccine.  Rabies vaccine is associated with more risk of injection site Fibrosarcoma in cats.  Distemper is more likely to cause polyarthritis and ocular reactions.  While immune-mediated diseases have been postulated to result from vaccinations, scientific studies have never proven them.  One the other hand, if an animal is genetically prone to auto-immune disease, the non-specific stimulation of a vaccine’s adjuvant can cause a flare.
All vaccines combined cause a vaccine reaction of less than .5%.  Most of these are transient fever or injection site soreness.  The risk of reaction is higher in small animals, neutered, and over 1 year old.

It is my understanding that there are several types of rabies vaccine reactions:

  • Death
  • Anaphylaxis – acute vomiting and diarrhea, shock, collapse, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure,
  • Immediate Type II reactions – facial, lip, ear or eyelid swelling, difficulty breathing, hives, pale gums, lowered blood pressure, injection site swelling, fever, lethargy, loss of consciousness
  • Delayed reactions including autoimmune diseases, fibrosarcomas, mast cell tumors, lupus, dermatitis, seizures, digestive problems, and others
  • Behavior reactions such as restlessness, suspicion, self mutilation, finicky eating, pica, destructive behavior, clinginess or aloofness, and others

The first two reactions we can connect to vaccines because of the proximity in time of their being given, but how can we connect the second two that can occur several weeks or months later?

Dr. Dodds – Only by eliminating other causes, seeing the same reaction again in this dog after a subsequent booster, and by collecting and examining the cumulative history of many, many similar cases over the years. Most reactions occur within 30 days of vaccination. If there is a causal connection regarding behavior changes, then can that be reversed with behavior modification or is it permanent? Most cases eventually recover after detoxification for the vaccinosis and initiating appropriate symptomatic treatment and immune support. 

Dr. Breitman – There is no proof that the last two are associated with vaccination with the exception of fibrosarcoma (due to increased incidence at vaccination sites) and localized/transient dermatitis at the vaccination site.

Are there studies – other than those provided by vaccine manufacturers – that show that lowering the vaccine age from four to three months will not harm a puppy?

Dr. Dodds – No ; only studies from clinical experience that show they can be harmful when given too young , for the reasons the RCF and others have already stated.

Dr. Breitman – I believe that the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) did their own studies. [Note:  Dr. Ronald Schultz, was on the AAHA Task Force and is the researcher for the Rabies Challenge Fund. ] I have also seen independent publications on efficacy of Rabies vaccine.  The recommendation of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association is vaccination at 12 weeks.  This is why most veterinarians vaccinate for Rabies at 12 weeks although many states allow vaccination as late as 6 months.  I have routinely vaccinated at 12 weeks (or as soon as the puppy presents after that age) and have never seen a reaction attributable to the Rabies vaccine in a dog in the 24 years that I have been in practice.  The FDA requires proof that the vaccine is safe and effective for licensure.

Since different states have different legal requirements for the minimum age for puppies to be vaccinated, is there data showing that those that are vaccinated at three months or 12 weeks have more reactions and/or develop more diseases later in life?

Dr. Dodds – Yes, but the cumulative data are hard to come by. To my knowledge, the RCF and other concerned vaccine professionals,  including myself and Dr. Ron Schultz,  have to rely upon and share our own collective experiences. Most holistic veterinarians also have had and collect these experiences.

Dr. Breitman – No.

Is there a source or data that state that 12 weeks is the age at which the majority of vets vaccinate for rabies?

Dr. Dodds – Not at all, as most vets do not vaccinate dogs or cats for rabies before 16 weeks of age. If so, is that based on a national survey of all veterinarians or those in a specific area of the country? Just collective experience throughout.

Dr. Breitman – I haven’t seen such a study, but it is the recommendation of the three national groups that I mentioned.

Why do some dogs have a reaction and others do not?

Dr. Dodds – Because, like with adverse reactions to anything (drugs, foods, insects, chemicals etc) in people or animals, only those with a genetic predisposition (family history) to react adversely or having some physiological or pathological conditions that predispose them, will react.   Is the reaction based on the breed, the age of the puppy, the overall health of the puppy, or something else? It can be all of the above.

Dr. Breitman – Some dogs will be genetically predisposed for an allergic or other hyperreactivity.  Also, smaller dogs and neutered animals are more likely.  Since immune reactions become stronger with repeated exposure, older dogs are more likely to react.  I imagine that dogs that are hyper-immunized would be more likely to respond as well.  And dogs receiving multiply vaccines are also more likely to respond.  Keep in mind that vaccine reactions (which are infrequent) and usually minor.

If a dog or puppy has never had a vaccine, is there a way to predict, prevent, or reduce the chance of a vaccine reaction in the future?

Dr. Dodds – Not accurately.

Dr. Breitman – Family history would have some predictive value as well as the aforementioned increase risk factors. The degree of response to the vaccine also is a predictor of the effectiveness of the vaccine to some degree, so you would only want to dampen down the response if there was a history of over-reacting.

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 10

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Then I wrote Dr. Dodds and Dr. Breitman, asking them the same questions.  All responses are minimally edited.  Dr. Dodds provided many citations and studies in which she participated.  Dr. Breitman mentioned some studies.  If there were multiple parts in one question, Dr. Dodds sometimes answered each part individually.  Her responses are in purple.  Dr. Breitman generally answered the entire question.  Her responses are gold. My comments are in brackets [ ].

Dr. Breitman -Congratulations on tackling an unfamiliar subject.  If perusing the literature, just make sure that you keep to peer reviewed scientific publications as there are lots of people with big opinions and small knowledge in this type of subject.  Even in the scientific literature, there are inferences that are not scientifically supported.  For example, there are many publications that suggest a link between vaccination and immune-mediated disease.  However, these studies show development of auto-antibodies without showing any pathogenic effects.  And these antibodies are shown to develop in percentages of dogs that far exceed the incidence of auto-immune disease in the general vaccinated population.  This, in itself, almost proves the opposite.  Other studies show no increase in auto-immune disease in vaccinated animals.  Even so, I do support the principle  that “above all else, we should do no harm”.  We now know that many of the vaccines that we used to give annually last at least 3 years.  And as veterinarians, we should be medical professionals and not sales-people; so, should only recommend vaccines against very serious diseases or those that the individual patient is likely to come in contact with. 

 I think that the bottom line is that you always have to balance benefits and risks with any medical intervention.  A puppy of 12 weeks of age is similar in physical development to a 6 year old child.  Think about all the vaccinations that are required before our children are allowed to attend school.  If you delayed their vaccinations, would you allow them to be exposed to potentially fatal disease, or would you delay their social and academic development.  The same choice would exist in delaying vaccination of our puppies.  Rabies vaccination is somewhat different that other vaccines because cell mediated immunity seems to be the primary mechanism of protection against Rabies.  I disagree with the writer of that article that killed antigen can only stimulate humoral immunity.  When I was a graduate student in Immunology we would routinely expand the cells involved in cell mediated immunity via vaccination with non-viable antigens.  Because humoral immunity (antibodies) appear to be less important in Rabies vaccination, adequate vaccination does not rely on sustained highly elevated levels of antibody.  The amount (and type) of antibody received passively by the pup is extremely unlikely to interfere with active immunity when vaccinated at 12 weeks of age (as proven by multiple studies).  In addition, Rabies can come inside the puppies’ home (via its vectors).

 If a vaccination is given properly, it should not interfere with a puppy’s enjoyment of going to the vets’.  I can assure you that my patients continue to enjoy their visits with me after this experience.  It could even be argued that it is better to expose them during this critical period of their development.  

First, let me thank you for taking the time out of your day to answer these questions.  I was asked to write this article on learning of ABA 272 in the California legislature proposing to change the age at which rabies vaccine is mandated to be given to puppies from four months to three months.

When I write about something, it’s usually on a subject I know about, but I’m a neophyte at this — if there’s a word that’s more basic than “neophyte,” then that’s me!  Vaccinations is a subject I’ve never given much thought to other than knowing basically what they are, that my dogs should have them, and knowing there is a controversy about them.

My personal position as a long-time dog owner, trainer, and behavior consultant is that vaccinating at three months is a bad idea due to both the puppy’s developing immune system and socialization issues.   Having said that, I’m trying to be as objective and balanced as I can with the article.

If you have any comments, suggestions, ideas, additions – or if I should be asking different questions, please let me know.  I welcome any input.

Here are the questions.

In an August 1, 2008 article in DVM360 entitled Vaccination: An Overview, http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/avhc/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=568351 Dr. Melissa Kennedy states: “Vaccination of the young begins at 6-8 weeks of age. Multiple boosters are given because maternal immunity interferes with vaccinal response. Because one doesn’t know the level in each animal for each pathogen at each time point (and it is not feasible nor cost-effective to measure this), repeated boosters are given until the point when maternal immunity has likely decreased sufficiently to allow induction of immunity, usually at 16-18 weeks of age.”

So my question is – If maternal immunity can interfere with immunization success for not just rabies but all vaccines and if the puppy’s immune system is weakened after administration of a vaccine while it is building up antibodies, then why are we giving any vaccines before the maternal protection has worn off?

Dr. Dodds – Good question, and I personally disagree with the blanket statement here that “repeated boosters are given until the point when maternal immunity has likely decreased sufficiently to allow induction of immunity, usually at 16-18 weeks of age.”

Firstly, vaccines are not innocuous products so giving them repeatedly when their efficacy will be partially or even mostly neutralized by the residual maternal immunity present makes no medical or safety sense to benefit the puppy. Secondly, the real reason we give younger puppies vaccines is to avoid the window of high vulnerability that occurs when maternal antibody has waned sufficiently to leave the puppy at risk of the common contagious viral diseases.  As maternal immunity is essentially gone by 14-16 weeks or age (not later), we give one or two vaccines before that to provide partial protection that spans this vulnerable period.  In the face of regional disease endemics like those for the virulent parvovirus strain 2-c , puppies may safely be given a single parvo vaccine as early as 6 weeks of age, as an aid to partial immunity.

Shouldn’t we wait to give *all* vaccines until we are sure the passive immunity will not cause interference?

Dr. Dodds – Ideally so, but we don’t know the exact age that this can occur in each individual puppy as it depends upon the level of maternal immunity present from the dam at birth,  and how much colostrum the puppy suckled in the first 36 hrs of life.

Dr. Breitman – Many of the conditions that we vaccinate against are potentially fatal and puppies are likely to be exposed to them at an early age if being properly socialized.  Therefore, it is wise to vaccine from the time that maternal immunity is likely to wane through the time that maternal antibody is likely to be too low to interfere with immunization.  Practically this consists of vaccination starting at 8 weeks of age through 16 weeks of age (or older). While some cases of elevated maternal antibody have been demonstrated past 12 weeks of age in cases where the bitch has been hypervaccinated (notoriously Parvovirus), vaccine interference past this 12 weeks timeframe has not been properly demonstrated.  Therefore, I do not agree with the recommendation of some to give the last vaccination in the series at 20 weeks or later.  Depending on the individual needs of the dog, this practically only means one extra vaccination to Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, and Parainfluenza (in one combined vaccination). The benefits of protecting the dog from these very serious diseases far out-way the risks associated with vaccination.

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 9

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Is there an issue with fetal calf serum and why? e-mail Dr. Dodds at hemopet@hotmail.com)

I found this information http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/ucm187810.htm

Why is fetal calf/bovine serum in some vaccines?

In the manufacture of viral vaccines, the virus may be grown in cells.  These cells need a source of nutrition, which in some instances may be provided by fetal bovine serum.”

I read the September 10, 2012 release by the LA County Health Department which states that there were 45 rabid bats in LA County as opposed to the average of 10.

Not sure where the average of 10 comes from, in 2007 there were 24 rabid bats reported in Los Angeles County, 0 dogs http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/Rabies/Reported%20Animal%20Rabies/2007%20Rabies%20Summary.pdf, for 2008 there were 9 rabid bats, 0 dogs; and in 2009 there were 12 rabid bats, 0 rabid dogs–so over those 3 years there was an average of 15, not 10, rabid bats per year) which seems to support Dr. Ehnert.  In fact, it seems that it is worse than she reported.  I went http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/rabiesmap2012.htm  which states this:

“1.18.13. In 2012, a total of 56 rabid bats were found in our county.  This was, by far, the highest number detected in our county in one year, since testing of bats began in 1961. The prior record was set last year, when 38 rabid bats were detected.  During most years, only 8-10 rabid bats have been found.  Twelve people and 14 pets had potential exposure to these rabid bats. The cause for the increase is unknown.”

California Department of Health Reported Animal Rabies for 2010 Los Angeles County had 22 rabid bats, 0 rabid dogs  http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/Rabies/Reported%20Animal%20Rabies/2010%20Rabies%20Summary.pdf ; in 2011 there were 34 rabid bats, 0 rabid dogs http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/Rabies/Reported%20Animal%20Rabies/2011%20Rabies%20Summary.pdf ; in 2012 there were 54 rabid bats, 0 rabid dogs http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/Rabies/Reported%20Animal%20Rabies/2012%20RAR%20Table.pdf  Over those 2 years, there was a 2.45 increase in bat rabies, not a 4-5 fold increase. (It could be that 2008 and 2009 were unusual in their low number of rabid bats given that 2007 had 24 and data for 2006 and earlier are not on the website) Dr. Ehnert correlated this increase in bat rabies with an increased risk to puppies despite the fact that there was no corresponding increase in rabid dogs (only 1 had been reported since 2007). 

I am also interested, especially since I am a trainer/behavior consultant, in what other behavioral symptoms can occur other than irritability, snapping, and puppies’ being dazed. I will send you some information under separate cover. [This information is Special  Report of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Task Force: 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature.]

Finally, do you have any information or knowledge as to why this bill was introduced at all? In a February 13, 2013 e-mail to Dr. Dodds and me, Dr. Ehnert made the following statement:   Why have I pushed for this change? In all other states and countries, they either allow or mandate that dogs get vaccinated at 3 months, as the vaccines are licensed for by the USDA. Only California discredits rabies vaccines given between 3 and 4 months. She cited inaccurate information & failed to correct that misinformation which had been given to legislators.  Under separate cover, I’ll send you links to all 50 states’ rabies laws so you can fact check.

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Disclaimers – This is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 8

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Now, believe it or not, we’re going to talk specifically about rabies.  I chose two doctors – Dr. Jean Dodds and Dr. Linda Breitman (their CVs appear at the end of this article) with differing viewpoints so this could be a balanced article.  I first contacted the Rabies Challenge Fund, hoping to reach Dr. Dodds, but she was traveling.  Kris Christine, co-trustee Fund, answered my initial questions.  What follows are the questions I asked each of them and their responses.  I am including their answers in their entirety because I think all their answers are important and I do not want to misinterpret what they say.

So I could ask intelligent questions, I looked at many articles on the Internet (which is a very quick way to insanity!) written by veterinarians and lay people, read the many guidelines issued by veterinarians and governmental entities, and listened to a lecture given by Dr. Emily Beeler, noted previously.

Initial Correspondence with Kris Christine

 What follows is the initial pertinent correspondence with Kris Christine, the co-trustee with Dr. Dodds of the Rabies Challenge Fund. My questions are in black.   Ms. Christine’s answers are in this color, and in some cases, she asked questions within her answers. ( My comments are in brackets [ ].)

I do have some questions for you.  Please understand that I have had concerns to giving rabies vaccines at the same time as the other puppy vaccines, especially since reading Dr. Goldstein’s book some years ago stating that the same amount of vaccine is given to a horse as to a Chihuahua.  Is this still the case or is it given proportional to the weight of the animal?

I believe horses are given 2 mL of rabies vaccine, while all dogs, from full-grown Irish Wolfhounds to 3 month old Chihuahua puppies, are given the same 1 mL dose of rabies vaccine.

The following comment was in response to my posting.  I would like to respond to it with some scientifically-based evidence and also am hoping to interview both Dr. Breitman and her husband, Nicholas Dodman.  I took one of Dr. Dodman’s seminars regarding medical conditions which present as behavioral problems.  During that seminar, I discovered that one of my dogs had epilepsy, which no other doctor had diagnosed.  (Interestingly, I was sitting next to a vet and told her as well as Dr. Dodman that the seizures had stopped with the addition of some raw food to his diet.  Neither could explain why that occurred.)  Could Dr. Dodds offer an explanation?

I can’t answer for Dr. Dodds & she is leaving for Europe at 5 a.m., you can e-mail her at hemopet@hotmail.com with your questions )

Linda Breitman –This discussion between two “holistic vets” is not supported by the majority of the veterinary and scientific community. All vaccines can cause adverse reactions, but they are less common and less severe than the diseases that they prevent (hence the recommendation to vaccinate). While many states do not require vaccination for Rabies at 12 weeks of age, this is the age at which the majority of vets do vaccinate for Rabies.

What source states that 12 weeks is the age at which the majority of vets vaccinate against rabies & is that based on a national survey of all veterinarians? 

Dr. Breitman: This practice has been shown to be effective and safe. Other vaccines are given as early as 5 weeks of age. While maternal antibodies will interfere with effective vaccination (if present in sufficient amounts), these maternal antibodies are unlikely to cause adverse vaccine reactions. Rabies is fatal to us and our dog and cat companions and decisions about protecting us against it with vaccination should be made by considering valid SCIENTIFiCally proven information.”

[This was my response to Dr. Breitman, which went unanswered.  However, I want to stress that Dr. Breitman did answer subsequent questions.

Thank you for your comments. Please understand that I am not opposed to giving vaccines, but I am questioning whether California’s mandating giving another vaccine when a puppy’s immune system is still developing is warranted. But then I’m only a trainer (http://www.DoggieManners.com), not a vet, and I’m just trying to get some facts straight. In fact, I have been asked to write an article on the effects of vaccines and will do my utmost to present a balanced approached. I hope that I can set up an appointment with both you and your husband Nicholas Dodman (whose seminar I attended on the behavioral issues that result from undetected medical issues, at which I learned that my dog had epilepsy) after I’ve done a bit more research so I can ask more intelligent questions.

But for now, I would appreciate your answering some questions about a few of the points you mentioned.
*What vaccines are given at 5 weeks, and do veterinarians consider those to be effective?
*What source states that 12 weeks is the age that the majority of vets vaccinate against rabies, and is that based on a national survey of all vets?
*Please refer me to the studies that have scientifically proven that the age that the rabies vaccine is given either does or does not have any effects on either the long-term medical or behavioral health of dogs.
*Regarding antibodies, it’s my understanding — and, again, please correct me if I’m wrong –if the maternal antibodies may interfere with and delay effective immunization, wouldn’t that result in the puppy being more susceptible for a longer period of time?

Could you provide the material for this statement, “Scientific data reflect that the later a puppy can be vaccinated, the more likely the vaccine will have the desired immunological response due to reduced interference of maternal antibodies, which are still present in 3 month old puppies.”

 (1) In an August 1, 2008 article in DVM360 entitled Vaccination: An Overview, http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/avhc/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=568351 Dr. Melissa Kennedy states: “Vaccination of the young begins at 6-8 weeks of age. Multiple boosters are given because maternal immunity interferes with vaccinal response. Because one doesn’t know the level in each animal for each pathogen at each time point (and it is not feasible nor cost-effective to measure this), repeated boosters are given until the point when maternal immunity has likely decreased sufficiently to allow induction of immunity, usually at 16-18 weeks of age.”

(2) According to a study published in the January 2010 issue of Journal of Comparative Pathology entitled, Age and Long-term Protective Immunity in Dogs and Cats by Dr. Ronald Schultz, et al., “Old dogs and cats rarely die from vaccine-preventable infectious disease, especially when they have been vaccinated and immunized as young adults (i.e. between 16 weeks and 1 year of age). However, young animals do die, often because vaccines were either not given or not given at an appropriate age (e.g. too early in life in the presence of maternally derived antibody [MDA]). ….The present study examines the DOI for core viral vaccines in dogs that had not been revaccinated for as long as 9 years. These animals had serum antibody to canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) and canine adenovirus type-1 (CAV-1) at levels considered protective and when challenged with these viruses, the dogs resisted infection and/or disease. Thus, even a single dose of modified live virus (MLV) canine core vaccines (against CDV, cav-2 and cpv-2) or MLV feline core vaccines (against feline parvovirus [FPV], feline calicivirus [FCV] and feline herpesvirus [FHV]), when administered at 16 weeks or older, could provide long-term immunity in a very high percentage of animals, while also increasing herd immunity.” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021997509003338

On p. 12 of the 2011 American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccine Guidelines https://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/CanineVaccineGuidelines.pdf it reports that: “Because dogs older than 14-16 wk of age are not likely to have interfering levels of MDA [maternally derived antibodies], administration of a single initial dose of an infectious vaccine to an adult dog can be expected to induce a protective immune response. ….. MDA is the most common reason early vaccination fails to immunize.”  

On p. 34 of the 2011 AAHA Guidelines https://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/CanineVaccineGuidelines.pdf : The vaccination protocol that includes the minimum number of vaccines yet still provides a reasonable opportunity to immunize the dog would be: a single dose of combined infectious (attenuated, avirulent, modified live, recombinant viral vectored) CDV, MLV CPV-2, with MLV CAV-2, administered at 16 wk of age or older, plus a rabies shot at the same time (but inoculated at a separate site on the body).”

On Page 16 of the American Animal Hospital Association’s 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines http://leerburg.com/special_report.htm, it states that: “When vaccinating an animal, the age of the animal, the animal’s immune status, and interference by maternal antibodies in the development of immunity must be considered. Research has demonstrated that the presence of passively acquired maternal antibodies interferes with the immune response to many canine vaccines, including CPV, CDV, CAV-2 and rabies vaccines.”

They further state on Page 17 that: Multiple vaccinations with MLV vaccines are required at various ages only to ensure that one dose of the vaccine reaches the puppy’s immune system without interference from passively acquired antibody. Two or more doses of killed vaccines (except rabies) and vectored vaccines are often required to induce an immune response, and both doses should be given at a time when the passively acquired antibody can no longer interfere. Thus, when puppies are first vaccinated at 16 weeks (or more) of age (an age when passively acquired antibodies generally don’t cause interference), one does of an MLV vaccine, or two doses of a killed vaccine, are adequate to stimulate an immune response.”

In Dr. Dodds’ interview with Dr. Beck, she states that two vaccines contain mercury.  Which vaccines contain mercury?  Why is it harmful?  (e-mail Dr. Dodds at hemopet@hotmail.com)

I found this information http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228#thi

“Thimerosal, which is approximately 50% mercury by weight, has been one of the most widely used preservatives in vaccines. It is metabolized or degraded to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Ethylmercury is an organomercurial that should be distinguished from methylmercury, a related substance that has been the focus of considerable study (see “Guidelines on Exposure to Organomercurials” and “Thimerosal Toxicity“, below).

At concentrations found in vaccines, thimerosal meets the requirements for a preservative as set forth by the United States Pharmacopeia; that is, it kills the specified challenge organisms and is able to prevent the growth of the challenge fungi (U.S. Pharmacopeia 2004). Thimerosal in concentrations of 0.001% (1 part in 100,000) to 0.01% (1 part in 10,000) has been shown to be effective in clearing a broad spectrum of pathogens. A vaccine containing 0.01% thimerosal as a preservative contains 50 micrograms of thimerosal per 0.5 mL dose or approximately 25 micrograms of mercury per 0.5 mL dose.

Prior to its introduction in the 1930’s, data were available in several animal species and humans providing evidence for its safety and effectiveness as a preservative (Powell and Jamieson 1931). Since then, thimerosal has been the subject of several studies (see Bibliography) and has a long record of safe and effective use preventing bacterial and fungal contamination of vaccines, with no ill effects established other than minor local reactions at the site of injection.

While the use of mercury-containing preservatives has declined in recent years with the development of new products formulated with alternative or no preservatives, thimerosal has been used in some immune globulin preparations, anti-venins, skin test antigens, and ophthalmic and nasal products, in addition to certain vaccines. Under the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, the FDA compiled a list of regulated products containing mercury, including those with thimerosal (Federal Register 1999). It is important to note that this list was compiled in 1999; some products listed are no longer manufactured and many products have been reformulated without thimerosal. Updated lists of vaccines and their thimerosal content can be found in Table 1 (routinely recommended pediatric vaccines) and Table 3 (expanded list of vaccines).”

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 7

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

What are the vaccine requirements for all the states?

Each state makes its own laws as to when you should vaccinate your dog.

12 states have 3-month laws/regulations:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania

14 states have 4-month laws/regulations:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

1 state has 5-month laws/regulations:

  • Wisconsin

6 states have 6-month laws/regulations:

  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

13 states refer to the Rabies Compendium:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Washington State
  • Wyoming

Hawaii does not require one because they are an island and can control who enters more so than the contiguous United States.
Kansas leaves it up to the municipalities.
Ohio leaves it up to the municipalities, but requires imported dogs to be vaccinated according to the compendium.

Missouri – here’s the statute: http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C300-399/3220000010.HTM.

What is the Rabies Compendium?

The Rabies Compendium is a summary or guidelines that serve as a basis for animal rabies prevention and control programs throughout the United States.

Why do some dogs/puppies have a reaction and others don’t?

 The vaccine manufacturers say that, according to their testing, it is okay to vaccinate as early as three months.  The vaccine manufacturers and many guidelines say that the rabies vaccine should not be given before 12 weeks.  However – and this is a biggee – there can be conflicts between guidelines because they are based on scientific knowledge and thinking today, but the data used reflects the knowledge when the vaccine was licensed, which be decades earlier.  Everyone seems to agree on the Type ! and II reactions, but there is conflict as to what is classified as a reaction.

Reactions are due to the overall health of the dog, any breed predisposition to the vaccine, the vaccine’s administration, whether the maternal immunity is still present, and other factors.

What are the signs of a reaction to the rabies vaccine?

 Each disease has its own reactions, and what follows are reactions from rabies vaccines.  There are immediate reactions and what can be delayed reactions, both medical and behavioral.

Immediate reactions are things that you can see either immediately or within a day of receiving the vaccine

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives

It’s the delayed reactions (which may start within a week but can last much longer and which don’t show up until much later) that are not so clear cut and are controversial as to whether there is a direct link to the rabies vaccine.

Medical reactions

  • Any dermatological condition
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Chronic poor appetite, very finicky
  • Drooling
  • Dry eye, loss of sight, cataract
  • Eating wood, stones, earth, stool
  • Eczematous ears
  • Excessive barking
  • Hurts when being touched
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irregular pulse, heart failure
  • Lipomas
  • Paralysis of throat or tongue
  • Periodontal disease
  • Poor hair coats
  • Reverse sneezing
  • Seizures, epilepsy, twitching
  • Stomatitis
  • Thyroid disease
  • Tumors
  • Voice changes, hoarseness
  • Warts

Behavioral reactions

  • Aggression to animals and people
  • Aloofness
  • Clingy, separation anxiety, ‘velcro dog’
  • Confusion
  • Desire to roam
  • Destructive behavior, shredding bedding
  • Fly snapping
  • Increased sexual desire, sexual aggression
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Restraining can lead to violent behavior and self-injury
  • Self-mutilation, tail chewing
  • Suspicious
  • Unaffectionate

What does DHLPP in the puppy shots stand for?

  •  D = distemper
  • H = hepatitis
  • L = Leptospirosis
  • P = Parvovirus
  • P = Parainfluenza

Many vets don’t recommend vaccinating for Leptospirosis.  Your dog needs this vaccine only if he is in an area with wild animals.

 What is the treatment for a vaccine reaction (first aid?)

Get your dog to a vet immediately.

How can you prevent/reduce the chance of a vaccine reaction?

 General Guidelines

  • Only vaccinate your puppy or dog when he is healthy.
  • Don’t give unnecessary vaccines, i.e., noncore vaccines.
  • Do not let your dog be vaccinated during surgery.
  • Make sure the puppy vaccines are given 2-4 weeks apart.
  • Have your regular veterinarian vaccinate your dog.  Don’t go to a vaccine clinic – for a couple of reasons.  One, because the vaccines at a clinic come from vials with multiple doses – every time a needle is inserted into the vial is a potential for contamination.  And the second reason is that there is no pretreatment or post observation.  It’s more costly because your dog may need to stay at the hospital for observation for a day.
  • Don’t give several vaccines at one time because if your dog has a reaction to one of the vaccines, you don’t know which one he’s reacting to.  Second, if you space the vaccines, then you give your dog a chance to build up the immunity for that particular disease and don’t overtax his system.
  • Definitely do not get Bordetella and rabies at the same time as your puppy’s last puppy shot and heartworm or flea meds.  Make sure there is at least a three-week interval between rabies and any other vaccines.
  • Don’t vaccinate within a week of any major change of routine, i.e., travel, houseguests, construction, etc. because it may affect your dog’s immune system.

Vaccine and Administration

  • Make sure your vet uses single-dosage vaccine vial.
  • Make sure that your vet uses a new needle.
  • Make sure that your puppy’s initial rabies vaccine is for one year because he has to get a booster in another year.  He doesn’t need the three-year vaccine as his initial vaccine.
  • With rabies vaccine, make sure your dog receives a mercury-free vaccine.  Insist on looking at the label.  The name of the vaccine should have a TF at the end.  TF means that it is Thimerosal Free.  The two brands used most widely in the US are Fort Dodge/Pfizer RabVac 3 TF and Merial Imrab 3TF.  The 3 on the label means that it is a three-year vaccine.  If you see a 1 on the label, it is for one year.   You can search for the vaccines that are licensed in your state.  If you are in California, here’s the list http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Documents/2008_CA_rabies_vaccine_compendium.pdf

Reactions

  • If your dog is a young neutered male weighing 11 pounds or less, he is at the highest risk for a reaction. Stay outside your vet’s office for at least an hour after the vaccine is given to see if your dog has a reaction.
  • If your dog’s health or behavior changes with a short period following the vaccine, it may be a reaction.  Your know your dog and his behavior better than your vet knows your dog.   So if your vet suggests antibiotics or other tests, ask her to explain why.  If your gut says something and your vet says something else, you have an important decision to make as to whether to follow your vet’s recommendation.  But do be informed!
  • Keep an eye on your dog for three days after the vaccine.  If any symptoms develop, photograph or videotape so you can show your vet.  Make sure you document everything.  Before you leave the office, get the package insert from your vet so you know the exact type of vaccine.
  • Report the reaction to vaccine manufacturer both in writing and by phone and have your vet report it.  Make sure you document everything – to whom you spoke and what that person said.  Report the reaction to the USDA, which you can do online.  This is important so the USDA can see if there is a cluster of reactions around a particular vaccine.

For adult dogs and revaccination

  • Find out how long each vaccine lasts, and do not vaccinate more often than necessary.  Many veterinarians have switched to a three-year vaccine rather than the older one-year vaccine.
  • Titer to see if your dog still has the antibodies in his system and does not need the vaccine.
  • Remind your vet that your dog had a reaction to a previous vaccine; if it’s a new vet, be sure to let her know.
  • Get a copy of your dog’s vaccine records and titers and keep it at home (as well as scanning the records) in case there is an issue at a later date.

Other Precautions

  • Have a qualified homeopathic veterinarian administer the homeopathic remedy Thuja.
  • If you like, you may put your dog on a detox program before and after the vaccine is administered.

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

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If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 6

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

Can a vaccine fail?

 Yes, a vaccine can fail for various reasons:

  • Because of the maternal passive immunity
  • Because it’s a new strain of virus that’s not protected by the vaccine
  • Because the puppy is exposed to the disease before he has finished his vaccines and gotten full immunity
  • Because he has been vaccinated incorrectly by using vaccines that were not stored properly (too hot or too cold), the vaccine has expired,  giving a vaccine nasally when it should have been injected and vice versa, vaccinating a dog with a fever or when he is under anesthetic.
  • Because the vaccine has not been given correctly, for example, if it’s supposed to be given nasally, it was not sprayed into your dog’s nose.  Duh.

How long does a vaccine last?

Different vaccines last different periods of time depending on whether they are killed or modified live.

 Can you determine if a vaccine is working?

Yes, by taking an antibody titer which is a blood test that shows whether there are antibodies for the particular pathogen for which you are testing.  If there are no antibodies, then vaccine needs to be given (again).

Why do we need to vaccinate yearly?

 For most diseases, we don’t.  Annual vaccination was a practice or routine that began in the 1960s because it was less expensive to give vaccines annually than paying for a blood test, a veterinary office exam, and a possible revaccination fee – and it got your dog into the veterinarian’s office for an exam.

Because of Duration of Immunity (DOI) studies, i.e., how long your dog stays immune from the disease, we now know more than we did in the ‘60s.  BUT these DOI studies are very expensive and historically have been generally administered by the vaccine manufacturers.  More on that later.

Many vaccines now last for three years.  Some vaccines, especially bacterial vaccines, have lifetime immunity (When is the last time you got a TB or polio shot?), but some don’t (That’s why it is suggested we get a flu vaccine every year.)  Also, puppies and dogs under eight months old seem to be more susceptible to many of the diseases unless they are poorly cared for or have a genetically compromised immune system.

If your dog develops major signs of infection immediately following vaccination with a live diluted virus vaccine (e.g., he develops full-blown parvovirus) then my suspicion would be that your dog  had either already been exposed to the wild-type virus around the time of vaccination (i.e., before his body had actually built up his immunity) OR that there was some kind of problem with his own immune system making it unable to fight off the ‘mild’ vaccine virus strains. That’s why one of the contraindications (i.e., don’t use it) is the use of live vaccines on dogs whose immune system may be suppressed, including pregnant bitches/fetuses; very sick dogs; dogs on chemotherapy or those on immune suppressant medicines. Infection should not be possible from killed virus vaccines.

What is shedding regarding disease and vaccines?

 Your dog can shed or expel both the disease (if he has contracted it) and the vaccine from his body in one of several ways – by sneezing it out, peeing, or pooping.  Not all dogs shed.  If a dog sheds a vaccine, then the antibodies may have made the shed virus unable to infect.  In order for another dog to be infected, the virus needs to stay alive on a surface, and that dog has to come into contact with it.

How many (percentage?) puppies/dogs have reactions?

 This depends on the definition of “reaction,” and we will talk about that later.

Are vaccine reactions more prevalent in certain breeds?

 The group at the biggest risk for vaccine reactions are small neutered males, less than 11 pounds,  and less than one year old (although another site said 1-3 years old) who receive multiple vaccines in a single visit.

There was a study of vaccine reactions in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association in October, 2005 of 1.2 million dogs receiving 3.5 million vaccine doses. That study found that there were 38 adverse reactions per 10,000 dogs within three days.  The adverse reactions that were reported were allergic reactions, hives, anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest, cardiovascular shock, sudden death, and nonspecific vaccine reactions.

According to one web source whose veracity I could not verify, these figures do not include several other categories, such as those never reported by clients (I personally had a client whose dog passed out after a vaccine, and she never reported it to her vet.), conditions not recognized or not selected for the study, reaction of dogs getting heartworm medication, or going to an emergency vet instead of your regular vet.  And the last reason is that your vet may not want to admit that something he did caused your dog’s reaction, so he does not report it.

That’s the most recent study I could find – and it’s an eight-year-old study based on data that’s ten years old.  How many advances in all areas of science have there been during that ten years?  To put it in perspective, look at the (r)evolution in Smart Phones during that period.

Is there a breed which is most at risk?

 Opinions differ, and it’s not so much the breed as the size.  The one thing everyone agrees on is the dogs that seem to be most at risk are young male neutered dogs weighing less than 11 pounds.

What is a titer?

A titer is a blood test that shows whether a vaccine is still working.

Why don’t we titer our dogs instead of vaccinating them?

 Well, we can.  Each disease needs its own titer (distemper, hepatitis, etc.), and that has previously been very expensive because you would have had to pay for each titer, a vet exam, and, depending on the outcome, a re-vaccination fee.  So it was easier and cheaper to simply vaccinate every year.

There is a new product called VacciCheck which your veterinarian can order to measure the antibodies for

  • Infectious hepatitis
  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper

But you CANNOT titer for rabies.

Return to Top of Page

Disclaimers – This is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 5

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

What is a vaccine reaction?

Any vaccine has the potential to cause a reaction.  The reaction can come from the disease itself or the adjuvants in the vaccine.  If your dog has a reaction, it is called vaccinosis.  It happens in some dogs that have immune systems that are overloaded with dealing with the vaccine(s).  Killed vaccines such as rabies and some injectable bacterial vaccines may be more likely to cause an allergic reaction than the modified live ones because of the amount of the disease material they contain and because of the adjuvants.

There are several types of reactions.

A Type I reaction is anaphylaxis and possible death.  Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction (which affects many body systems) to a foreign substance which can range from a vaccine to food to mold to an insect bite and many more allergens.  You can see symptoms almost immediately, but they can occur several hours later.

Initial symptoms include

  • Defecation
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Puffy face
  • Swollen eyelids, lips, and/or ears
  • Urination
  • Vomiting

Then they progress to

  • Cold legs
  • Drooling
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hyper excitement or depression
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Shallow, rapid and difficult breathing
  • Weakness

A Type II reaction includes these reactions immediately following vaccination, and they are less severe than a Type I:

  • Bleeding at the injection site
  • Eye discharge
  • Irritable puppies
  • Lump at the injection site
  • Puppies that don’t like to be touched
  • Puppies with no appetite
  • Sleepiness
  • Slight depression
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge
  • Swelling of the face

When are reactions likely to occur?

Most reactions occur within 48 hours of your dog’s being vaccinated, but some take longer.  If your dog has a mild reaction, it generally will last a short time, just a few days.

Many veterinarians say that most vaccinosis cases are mild and that the adverse reactions will be over within at least a few weeks.  However, there is a huge controversy in the veterinary community about other side effects that can develop later in your dog’s life.  Again, more later – I’ll bet you’re on pins and needles (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association says,

“It is generally only the adverse reactions that occur within the first few hours to a day after vaccination that are considered vaccine-associated by most veterinarians or owners. Even when the adverse reaction occurs shortly after vaccination there are many who fail to recognize that the vaccine caused the reaction. Certain adverse vaccine reactions are not observed until days, weeks or even months and years after vaccination or revaccination. The autoimmune disorders and the injection site sarcomas, which are among the rare vaccine adverse reactions, may not develop for years after being triggered by vaccines.”

What should I do if my dog has a reaction?

Take your dog to the vet immediately, even if it is a mild reaction so your vet can both record it on his notes to be aware of in future vaccinations and also report it to vaccine manufacturer and federal overseeing body.  Remind your vet in the future of his reaction, and especially let any veterinarian who is not your regular vet know about the reaction.

What can happen if I vaccinate my dog in the future if he has a mild reaction?

There are three possible scenarios

  • Nothing will happen.
  • He will have the same reaction.
  • He could have a worse reaction such as anaphylaxis.

Rabies is the only vaccine that is legally required, and it must be given by a veterinarian.  If your dog has had a reaction to a rabies vaccine, you can ask your vet to write a letter stating that your dog has the potential for a life-threatening reaction to another dose of vaccine.  It’s up to the governing bodies in your area whether they will exempt your dog or not.

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Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 4

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

What is a vaccine?

A vaccine is a manufactured preparation that helps to boost the body’s immune system to a specific germ that can cause disease, disability, or death so that it can destroy the germ microscopically.  Vaccine=concealed weapon that stimulates the cells by producing antibodies to fight off disease.

We’re only going to be discussing dogs here, but vaccines can be given to all mammals and birds.

There are several parts to a vaccine:

  • The disease itself
  • A chemical which dilutes the germ
  • Preservatives such as mercury or aluminum
  • Adjuvants (foreign protein cells surrounding the disease so that it can grow, usually derived from cows, ducks, monkeys, pigs, etc.)  Adjuvants are kept secret by the manufacturers.

Vaccines can either be monovalent or multivalent.  A monovalent vaccine contains only one disease being vaccinated against, i.e., rabies.  A multivalent vaccine contains several diseases, i.e., puppy shots, aka DHLPP – distemper, hepatitis, etc.

What are the types of vaccines?

There are two forms of vaccines – modified live (also called infectious) and killed (also called noninfectious).   A modified live vaccine is where the disease is weakened or diluted.  That tiny weakened part of the disease mimics the disease itself and stimulates your dog’s body to build up a defense against it so that if he comes into contact with that same disease later in life, his body remembers that he had it and destroys it.  But his body sometimes forgets, and that’s why he may need a booster shot.  A killed or noninfectious vaccine is one where the germ is dead – really?  Something finally makes sense.

A parenteral vaccine is given in the skin or muscle (a shot), or it can be inhaled.  All other vaccines are given through the gastrointestinal tract, i.e., they are swallowed.

Does every dog need to be vaccinated for every disease?

No.  There are certain core vaccines which every dog should receive — Canine Distempter (CDV), Canine Parvo (CPV-2), Canine Adenovirus (CAV-2), and Rabies.

It’s up to your veterinarian to determine which vaccines are needed for your dog, your lifestyle, and the part of the country in which you live.  If you live in New England, then veterinarians consider Lyme disease as a core vaccine.  If you live in California and you never take your dog hiking or near an area with wild animals, then your dog likely would not need the Lyme vaccine.

Why do we have to give puppies a series of vaccines?

Because no one knows when the maternal passive immunity wears off and also because the first set of the vaccines “primes” the body so that the second set can actually give the immunity.  I don’t quite understand how the body actually does this, but I think it’s like a baseball catcher getting ready to actually catch the ball – he wouldn’t go outside to smoke a cigarette while waiting for the pitch; he’s crouching down waiting for the ball to come his way.  The vaccines are generally given 2-4 weeks apart to give time for the body to get ready for the next set.  Each vaccine expands the pool of immune cells once the mother’s passive immunity is low enough not to interfere.

What’s the difference between giving a vaccine and creating immunity?

That’s a really important question.  The puppy receives passive immunity both from being in the womb and from mother’s milk, and we don’t know when that immunity wears off.   (Remember that maternal immunity only lasts for a short time.)   If the puppy is vaccinated during the time of maternal immunity, he is not protected against the disease because the vaccine “doesn’t take” since the maternal immunity blocks it.  Therefore, a series of vaccines needs to be given 2-4 weeks apart (because giving them closer together, they will interfere with each other and be ineffective) to ensure that his body is primed or ready to accept the next set.

Simply vaccinating as a puppy one time does not mean that he is immune.  The second (or third) vaccine needs to be given between 14-16 weeks because everyone agrees the maternal antibodies have worn off.

We will talk more about the ages of vaccination later.

Are there different ages when certain diseases are likely to show up?

Yes.  Distemper, parvo, parainfluenza, adenovirus, panleukopenia, calcivirus, and herpes virus are likely to show up before eight months.  Big words and big diseases.  If they show up in dogs older than eight months, it’s likely that the dog is from a breed that has a predisposition to the disease, it has an immune dysfunction, or it is poorly cared for, or it was never vaccinated for in the first place.

 

Return to Top of Page

Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 3

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

What are all the A’s – antigens, antibodies, attenuated vaccine, adjuvants, anaphylaxis?

An antigen is a foreign substance (germ) that invades your body.  Antigen=irritant.  It can come from the environment such as chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or pollen.   The antigen doesn’t knock at your door and say, “Hi, I’m an antigen and I’m going to make you sick.”  Generally speaking, you don’t know when it happens, but you sure when you’ve got one because you feel lousy. It triggers an immune response within your body so that your body will form antibodies to fight it off.  Again, you don’t know that this is happening because it’s all done inside your body without your feeling any symptoms.

To illustrate try to illustrate the process, this is a very gross example.  Let’s say that you get a splinter.  The splinter is the antigen.

An antibody is what the body produces to try to rid itself of the splinter.  Antibody= knight in shining armor.  You feel pain, and blood cells are rushing to the splinter to try to kick that sucker out of your body.  If you used a tweezers to try to pull it out, the tweezers would be the (external) antibody.  An antibody for a disease totally envelops the antigen so it can’t go into another cell or divide and make more of itself – or it kills it outright.

An adjuvant helps you get to the splinter.  Adjuvant=helper.  If the splinter was under the skin and the skin closed around it so far that you couldn’t pull it out, an adjuvant would be a sterilized needle inserted into your skin to pull the skin away so you could take the splinter out.  Another way of looking at an adjuvant is that it adds something to help complete the process – if you have a sliding door that sticks and you spray a lubricant along the trough, then that lubricant is an adjuvant.  (Again, this is to illustrate the process and not actually what happens in the body.)   The use of certain adjuvants can cause side effects.  More on that later.

An attenuated vaccine is one that alters or dilutes the pathogen (germ) so that your body can tell it’s a foreign invader but it’s weak enough that it will not cause the disease.  Attenuated=weakened or diluted.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening severe allergic reaction that affects several body systems or organs (heart, breathing, skin, etc.) all at the same time.  Anaphylaxis=very bad dude.

What’s the difference between bacteria and a virus?

A bacterium is a cell that is a lot bigger than a virus.  A bacterium is living and can reproduce itself and generally lives between the cells.  Bacterium=stranger.

A virus is not living and cannot reproduce itself – it is a parasite that sucks the life out of another cell to keep itself alive, so it lives within the cell.  Virus=houseguest that won’t go away.

Return to Top of Page

Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 2

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

 

 

The entire process of looking up definitions was very frustrating, and here’s an example.  (I learned very quickly that if I looked something up in a medical dictionary, it used other medical terms that I was not familiar with, so I’m now in love with Noah Webster because he speaks English instead of med-speak, but Webster’s dictionary was just one of many sources.)  I wanted to be sure that I got things right, so I started by simply looking up “germ.”   The pertinent definition (and there were several that were not pertinent) is, “A pathogenic a microorganism. A microbe capable of causing disease.”

So then I looked up “pathogenic” – “capable of causing disease.”

Next “microorganism” – “a microscopic organism, especially a bacterium, virus, or fungus.”

Then “microbe” – a minute organism typically visible under a microscope that include bacteria, fungi, and protozoan parasites.  Webster’s calls a microbe a germ.  (I like Webster’s.  But now I’m back where I started.)

Okay, so what’s the difference between a microbe and microorganism?  Both terms can be used interchangeably.  However, a microbe is a microorganism or a virus.  Viruses may not be considered alive since they are not organisms (a single cell animal or plant that can reproduce itself) – or – a microbe is a microorganism that usually causes a disease.  (I may be falling out of love with Webster because he defined an organism as “a complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole.”  I’m really losing it now.  But I need to press forward and get this article written.

Here goes – and I hope if it’s straight in my head that it’s understandable to you.  First we’re going to talk about vaccines in general (because we all should know how vaccines work and the terminology behind the concepts) and then the rabies vaccine itself.

I want to emphatically state that I am not a veterinarian and this is not nor should it be construed as medical or veterinary advice but for informational purposes only.  You need to discuss with your personal veterinarian what is best for you and your dog.

What is a disease or pathogen?

Disease – an abnormal condition that affects the body and has specific signs and symptoms.

Pathogen – another word for disease.  It can be bacterium, virus, fungus, or allergen.  (Remember, it’s a germ – yippee! – another word I understand.)

What is immunity?

Immunity is being able to resist a particular disease, especially through keeping it from spreading throughout your body.  If you have immunity, it means that your body can fight that disease without your knowing it so your body can kill the germs without your experiencing any symptoms – if you get a flu shot and then are exposed to the flu, you likely will not come down with the flu.  You yourself don’t take a sledge hammer and knock the flu away, but the cells in your body do.  It protects you from getting the disease at that first exposure and also in the future.  You do that internally by building antibodies to that disease.  (Don’t worry; we’ll get to antibodies in a minute.)

Your immune system is a system of structures and processes within your body that protects you from disease.  Your immune system can tell the difference between your own healthy cells and invaders (germs again!).

How does your dog get sick?

The germ is, basically, a microorganism that makes him sick.  It’s also called a pathogen, which is a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease) that can get into the body by his touching it, breathing it, or eating it.

How does your dog acquire immunity?

He can become immune to a specific disease or germ in one of several ways, four of which we talk about here –

  • He can be naturally immune when he is able to resist the illness because he has a healthy immune system which can fight the disease.  (Both we and dogs don’t get sick every time we’re exposed to a germ.)
  • He can have maternal immunity aka passive natural immunity which he gets from his mother while both in the womb and from the mother’s milk right after birth.
  • He can get the disease itself and become immune from getting it again because his system has built up resistance (but it depends on what type of disease it is), and this is called acquired immunity.
  • He can get a vaccine to protect him against the disease, which is called artificial immunity.  There are basically two ways to administer vaccines – one is by injecting it either in a muscle or under the skin, and the second is by inhaling it.

 

Return to Top of Page

Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

thanks for visiting our website - rabies in california

Thanks for reading about Rabies in California!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

In the spring of 2013, I sent an email to my clients and colleagues about my opposition to AB 272, which is a bill in California proposing the age that puppies get their first rabies vaccination be changed from four months to three months. (Many responded and wrote their Assembly representative voicing their opposition — so thank you for that!)

One of the people I wrote to was Amy Shojai, who has written several books as well as being a renowned columnist for many Internet sites. She asked me to write a 1,000-word article about the bill. But, as many of you (well) know, I can’t do anything in 1,000 words! This turned into a huge article.

Here’s what Amy said: “I recently invited my colleague Caryl Wolff to write a guest article after she expressed interest and concern about a proposed change to rabies laws in California. From one article, the research evolved into a huge amount of investigation and interviews that eventually resulted in a series of articles covering the subject. Today, I’m turning over the blog to Caryl for her introduction to this very interesting rabies vaccination series. Take it away, Caryl!”

Thank you, Amy!

Disclaimers – this is a *very* long article (almost 17,000 words) which I have loosely broken up into segments. This is the unedited final draft of the article in its entirety that I wrote in 2013 for a website that is no longer in existence. Not only is the final article no longer available, but I have had computer and Internet issues where some data may have been lost. I have spent several hours trying to piece it together and reformatting.

The article does not reflect current research as of 2018.  However, a good portion of the discussion is still applicable. If there is something that you believe was not true in 2013 or if I have made a mistake in reformatting, please let me know and I will do my best to fix it.

The reason it is posted here is because I was hosting a discussion on DogRead DogRead@yahoogroups.com about my book Doggie Dangers ( Kindle http://tinyurl.com/y8uc4gtc  Paperback http://tinyurl.com/y7vhce9t ), and the subject of rabies vaccines came up when we were talking about wildlife concerns for family dogs. We were discussing how to keep the yard safe from wildlife, but one person mentioned she had a bat fly into her house! Some of the participants requested that I post the article since it is no longer published.

And the final disclaimer – I am a dog trainer, not a veterinarian or medical researcher. Therefore, this article is for information only and not a substitute for any veterinary, medical, or other advice.

How did this article come about?

In 2013 in one of the dog-related newsletters I read, there was an interview between Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Jean Dodds regarding a proposed bill in the California legislature, ABA 272, which would change the law requiring puppies’ getting their initial rabies vaccines from four months to three months.

I began posting on many of the lists I belong to urging people to contact their representative to vote against this bill because my gut reaction was that this was a bad idea.   One of the comments I received was from Dr. Linda Breitman who suggested that I read scientifically proven data.  Then I wrote to Dr. Dodds and the Rabies Challenge Fund.  Dr. Dodds was traveling, so the co-trustee Kris Christine answered my initial questions.  I next wrote both Dr. Breitman and Dr. Dodds and then asked follow-up questions based on their answers.  This correspondence follows.

I also contacted several people whose newsletters I receive, including Amy Shojai who asked me to write a 600-1000 word article about vaccines.  In doing research, I realized that there was no way I could do this subject justice in 1000 words.  You’ll see why as you read further.

As I said, my gut reaction was lowering the vaccine age was a bad idea, but I did not know enough facts to make that judgment, let alone write about it.   So I decided to investigate and learn more about vaccines in general, the rabies vaccine in particular, and the reason why the bill was introduced.  But before learning about vaccines, I had to learn medical terminology, so that’s where we start.

I’m currently a dog trainer and behavior consultant.  The information in this article is not something I deal with on a daily basis. The more I read and researched, the more I discovered what I don’t know.  Let me explain.

I used to be a court reporter, and my job was to record testimony about many different fields that I knew nothing about.  Even though the people were speaking English (which I definitely could understand), each field had its own vocabulary – the vocabulary of a neuroscientist was vastly different than that of an auto mechanic.  To produce a good transcript, I didn’t have to understand what they were saying; I only had to get the words right and spelled correctly.

Vaccinations is a subject I’ve never even thought about other than knowing basically what they are and knowing there is a controversy about them.  In researching this article, I discovered that I was doing virtually the same thing as I was doing as a court reporter – taking down the words without knowing the meanings.

There are some words that I use and kind of know the meaning and words that I hear but which are not pertinent at the time so I really don’t care what they mean at that moment.  For example, I’ve heard the word “virus” a lot and knew that it wasn’t a good thing if I had one without really knowing why, but it’s not every day that that I hear the word “adjuvant,” and I definitely did not care what it meant until I started writing this article.  So if this is happening with me, then it has to be happening with other people.

What follows is a very simplistic discussion of the disease process specifically relating it to vaccines for “family dogs” (as opposed to those that are kept in shelters or rescues) but using some human examples so I can get it straight in my head.

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Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

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Puppy Socialization and Immunization

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Puppy Socialization
and Immunization

Below is an excerpt from my book Puppy Socialization: An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness which discusses Puppy Socialization and Immunization.

You are probably conflicted because your vet has said not to take your puppy outside until he has completed all his vaccines.  So when you talk to me and I say that if you wait, the probability that your puppy will have behavior problems as an adult dog is greater, you’re faced with a dilemma – do you listen to your vet or do you listen to me?  Your vet studied veterinary medicine and has a degree in veterinary medicine.  I studied and continue to study dog behavior and also am a certified dog behavior consultant.  And you talked to your vet first, so what you learned, you learned on a clean slate, so to speak, and now you talk to me who tells you something completely different.  It’s difficult to erase what you learn and replace it with something else.  I get it.  It’s hard for your dog, too, to erase what he has learned – or not learned – and replace it with a different thought process.  The neural pathways to learning in his brain have been formed, and it’s easier for him to make new ones than to change ones that are already there.

You have a difficult decision to make – you have faith in your vet, but you don’t know me.  Let me assure you that I am not alone.  In fact, when I was researching my Puppy Socialization book, I got my information from many sources including directly from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (see more below).   Veterinary Behaviorists are veterinarians who have pass additional tests and are certified on animal behavior.

I did extensive research for my book, going all the way back to the first study on dog developmental periods in the 1950s by Scott and Fuller.  Their conclusion – which has been slightly modified but never has been refuted – was that puppies have 16 weeks before the “socialization window” closes, meaning that anything they learn after 16 weeks will be more difficult and sometimes their behavior will be impossible to change.

For a further explanation, please continue reading this chapter from my Puppy Socialization book which describes how puppy socialization and immunization can coexist, and then call me if you have any questions.

“But My Vet Says I Shouldn’t Take
My Puppy Outside
Until He’s Had All His Shots”

Your veterinarian is likely your first animal care professional you visit after the breeder or rescue, and it is essential for your puppy to be examined medically and then vaccinated.  While you are at  your vet’s office, it is logical to ask him or her about behavior issues with puppies – and there are a lot of them!

I have the utmost respect and admiration for veterinarians.  They try to be helpful by giving advice similar to what worked for their personal dogs or by giving advice on what they think may work.  Most vets when they are in vet school study medicine, not behavior.  There are only 46 Certified Veterinary Behaviorists in the US as compared to 102,744 veterinarians.  It seems logical that some vets refer to other dog professionals because they realize it’s out of their field of expertise.  (Yay, I like these vets!)

At the same time, many veterinarians recommend not taking your puppy into the real world until he’s had all his shots – and those shots are not finished until he is four months old, which is past the important social and environmental exposure periods we have been talking about.  Your vet is interested in your dog from a medical standpoint, and I am interested in him from a behavioral standpoint.  It is crucial to take him outdoors before he has had all his shots so he can become acclimated to the sights, sounds, places, situations, and smells in his neighborhood.  As has been demonstrated first by Scott and Fuller and reiterated by many other behaviorists and clinicians, waiting until your puppy has completed his vaccines to take him outdoors makes it difficult for him to accept new situations in his environment.   Because of this, many vets are changing their opinions and have begun to work in conjunction with trainers to offer classes for puppies.

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior in 2003 recognized that more puppies are euthanized for behavior issues than medical ones and officially changed its position, saying that, “The primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life….  It should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.”   The entire AVSAB position statement appears here.  http://tinyurl.com/q3u6mpz

So the times, they are a changin’, and veterinary schools and especially veterinary conferences are beginning to reflect the change.  I looked at the curriculum for several veterinary colleges, and there were only one or two classes in their curriculum dealing with behavior out of dozens and dozens of classes dealing not only with veterinary science but also everything from veterinary legal issues to sea turtles.  I was delighted to discover that at the Wild West Veterinary Conference in October 2013, there were 15 seminars relating to behavior out of 82 total seminars.  The 2014 Tufts Veterinary Conference on the Genetic Basis for Canine Behavior was held in conjunction with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants – yippee!  This is a huge leap forward.

True story – I was speaking with a veterinary student, and she said something that had never crossed my mind.  Vet school is four years.  It’s always been four years.  It’s much more difficult to become a veterinarian than to become a human doctor because in four years, students have to learn about anatomy, physiology, surgical procedures, nutrition, and much more for many different species of animals including farm animals, wildlife, and companion animals.  Phew!  The amount that vet students (and veterinarians) have to learn is exponentially greater than just a few years ago, not only in school but also in keeping up with medical advancements in journals and conferences.  Is it any wonder that most veterinarians keep up with current knowledge in their chosen field – veterinary medicine – rather than behavior?

Dr. R.K. Anderson, DVM, Diplomat, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and Diplomat of American College of Veterinary Behaviorists was the first veterinary behaviorist to advocate that puppies should become acclimated to the outside world after owners take them home.  Dr. Anderson was instrumental in advocating puppy classes, and he wrote a letter to other veterinarians, which appears below:

TO: My Colleagues in Veterinary Medicine:
Common questions I receive from puppy owners, dog trainers and veterinarians concern: 1) what is the most favorable age or period of time when puppies learn best? 2) what are the health implications of my advice that veterinarians and trainers should offer socialization programs for puppies starting at 8 to 9 weeks of age.

Puppies begin learning at birth and their brains appear to be particularly responsive to learning and retaining experiences that are encountered during the first 13 to 16 weeks after birth. This means that breeders, new puppy owners, veterinarians, trainers and behaviorists have a responsibility to assist in providing these learning/socialization experiences with other puppies/dogs, with children/adults and with various environmental situations during this optimal period from birth to 16 weeks.

Many veterinarians are making this early socialization and learning program part of a total wellness plan for breeders and new owners of puppies during the first 16 weeks of a puppy’s life — the first 7-8 weeks with the breeder and the next 8 weeks with the new owners. This socialization program should enroll puppies from 8 to 12 weeks of age as a key part of any preventive medicine program to improve the bond between pets and their people and keep dogs as valued members of the family for 12 to 18 years.

To take full advantage of this early special learning period, many veterinarians recommend that new owners take their puppies to puppy socialization classes, beginning at 8 to 9 weeks of age. At this age they should have (and can be required to have) received a minimum of their first series of vaccines for protection against infectious diseases. This provides the basis for increasing immunity by further repeated exposure to these antigens either through natural exposure in small doses or artificial exposure with vaccines during the next 8 to 12 weeks. In addition the owner and people offering puppy socialization should take precautions to have the environment and the participating puppies as free of natural exposure as possible by good hygiene and caring by careful instructors and owners.

Experience and epidemiologic data support the relative safety and lack of transmission of disease in these puppy socialization classes over the past 10 years in many parts of the United States. In fact; the risk of a dog dying because of infection with distemper or parvo disease is far less than the much higher risk of a dog dying (euthanasia) because of a behavior problem. Many veterinarians are now offering new puppy owners puppy socialization classes in their hospitals or nearby training facilities in conjunction with trainers and behaviorists because they want socialization and training to be very important parts of a wellness plan for every puppy. We need to recognize that this special sensitive period for learning is the best opportunity we have to influence behavior for dogs and the most important and longest lasting part of a total wellness plan.

Are there risks? Yes. But 10 years of good experience and data, with few exceptions, offers veterinarians the opportunity to generally recommend early socialization and training classes, beginning when puppies are 8 to 9 weeks of age. However, we always follow a veterinarian’s professional judgment, in individual cases or situations, where special circumstances warrant further immunization for a special puppy before starting such classes. During any period of delay for puppy classes, owners should begin a program of socialization with children and adults, outside their family, to take advantage of this special period in a puppy’s life.

If there are further questions, veterinarians may call me at 651-644-7400 for discussion and clarification.  [Sadly, Dr. Anderson died in 2012.]

Robert K. Anderson DVM
Diplomate ACVB and ACVPM
Professor and Director Emeritus, Animal Behavior Clinic and
Center to Study Human/Animal Relationships and Environments
University of Minnesota

 If your veterinarian advocates isolation of your puppy until he has completed his puppy vaccines, please show them Dr. Anderson’s letter and AVSAB’s position.

This was an excerpt from my book Puppy Socialization – An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness. There are hundreds of suggestions on puppy socialization both for the breeder and the pet parent.

Want More information on Why Puppy Socialization, Habituation and Enrichment are Important

Click here to purchase the book
in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.

Click here for the Table of Contents.

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Puppy Enrichment

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Puppy Enrichment

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One way to Puppy Enrichment!

Here are just a few puppy socialization and enrichment suggestions from my book.

Food

  • Hide food in boxes of all shapes and sizes.
  • Put his food in food dispensing puzzle toys.

Sensory

  • Take you cushions off the sofa. Or stack them up.
  • Rearrange the chairs from your dining room table

Social

  • Invite some puppies and dogs over for a puppy party. Make sure they are healthy, vaccinated, and like puppies.
  • Invite some people over for a puppy party. Make sure they are healthy and vaccinated – just kidding!

Novel Items

  • Give him different toys of different textures to play with.
  • Put a laundry basket on its side for him to go in and out.

In Your Yard

puppy enrichment in yard

Puppy Enrichment In Your Yard!

  • Landscaping of different heights and textures
  • Floating toys, frozen treats, or ice cubes in a wading pool that he can go diving for

Outside your Yard

  • Several years ago, I was looking through a catalogue for dog supplies and burst out laughing because there was a puppy stroller! How ridiculous. Now I don’t think it’s so ridiculous. In fact, it’s my favorite thing to introduce your puppy to many things safely.
  • Take him for a ride in the car.

This was an excerpt from my book Puppy Socialization – An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness. There are hundreds of suggestions on puppy socialization both for the breeder and the pet parent.

Want More information on puppy enrichment

Click here to purchase the book
in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.

Click here for a Table of Contents.

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History of Puppy Socialization

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History of Puppy Socialization

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I’m learnin’ the History of Puppy Socialization!

John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller, in their 13-year study begin­ning in the 1950s at Bar Har­bor, Maine, sum­ma­rized in the clas­sic book Genet­ics and the Social Behav­ior of the Dog (1965), set out to answer the ques­tion of what influ­ence, if any, hered­ity had on behav­ior.  Although they wanted to under­stand human behav­ior, they said, “Any­one who wishes to under­stand a human behav­ior trait or hered­i­tary dis­ease can usu­ally find the cor­re­spond­ing con­di­tion in dogs with very lit­tle effort.”

One of their dis­cov­er­ies was that there were cer­tain peri­ods in a puppy’s early life where cer­tain events must take place, for exam­ple, con­tact with humans or expo­sure to other dogs.  If those events did not take place, then that oppor­tu­nity was lost, and the puppy would not develop to its fullest poten­tial.  Those were called “crit­i­cal periods.”

Clarence Pfaf­fen­berger worked with the Guide Dogs for The Blind and later worked with Scott and Fuller.  His book The New Knowl­edge of Dog Behav­ior (1963) chron­i­cles his research on how to find the ideal guide dog puppy.  He applied their work to his own and came up with addi­tional findings.

In the 1960s, the US Army was try­ing to breed a dog that was genet­i­cally and behav­iorally sound for use in the mil­i­tary.  It was called The Bio-Sensor Project” but was later changed to “Super­dog.”  Dr. Michael W. Fox was involved in this project. In Under­stand­ing Your Dog, Dr. Fox talks about “how envi­ron­men­tal influ­ences early in life can have pro­found and endur­ing effects on behavior.”

Dr. Car­men Battaglia, although not a par­tic­i­pant in the Bio-Sensor project, came up with a series of han­dling exer­cises based on Dr. Fox’s work which he now calls “Devel­op­ing High Achiev­ers,” for­merly known as “Early Neu­ro­log­i­cal Stimulation.”

He came up with a series of five exercises:

  • Tac­ti­cal stim­u­la­tion (between toes)
  • Head held erect
  • Head pointed down
  • Supine posi­tion
  • Ther­mal stimulation

If these exer­cises are done cor­rectly, pup­pies gen­er­ally are more behav­iorally sound than if they are not done and seem to have a ben­e­fi­cial effect on the puppy’s men­tal and emo­tional devel­op­ment although there have not been any sci­en­tific tests to prove this.

The next devel­op­ment in puppy social­iza­tion came from Dr. Ian Dun­bar who both researched pup­pies and popularized what are now com­mon­place – puppy classes.  These classes help pup­pies learn about play­ing and dog body lan­guage, BUT they are not a free-for-all where pup­pies can run around and do what­ever they want.

This was an excerpt from my book Puppy Socialization – An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness. There are hundreds of suggestions on puppy socialization both for the breeder and the pet parent.

Want More information on the history of puppy socialization

Click here to purchase the book
in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.

Click here for the Table of Contents.

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Why Puppy Socialization, Habituation and Enrichment are Important

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Why Puppy Socialization, Habituation and Enrichment are Important

 

four little puppies in arms waiting to learn Why Puppy Socialization, Habituation and Enrichment are Important

Newborn Puppies!

When a puppy is born, he does not know that he is a dog.  It must be learned through the process we call pri­mary social­iza­tion.  He must also learn how to inter­act with humans and other ani­mals and also to be com­fort­able in his environment.  That’s why puppy socialization, habituation, and enrichment are important while he is a puppy.

Puppy social­iza­tion (interacting with canines and other species) and habit­u­a­tion  (by environmental enrichment and expos­ing pup­pies to new sit­u­a­tions and their adapt­ing to it before puberty) are impor­tant because pup­pies who are not well social­ized and habit­u­ated before 16 weeks old will not reach their full poten­tial as adult dogs, the ulti­mate result being that pup­pies will not grow up to be a behav­iorally fit dogs.

I work with a lot of rescued and adopted dogs.  Many times their owners say that their dog has been abused since it acts so fearful or aggressive in novel situations.  That may be true, but another possibility is that their dog did not go through proper socialization when it was a puppy.

There are cer­tain peri­ods in a dog’s life which are sen­si­tive peri­ods, dur­ing which a lit­tle learn­ing goes a long way, and that learn­ing influ­ences his future behav­ior with both ben­e­fi­cial and dam­ag­ing effects.  We are con­cen­trat­ing on that learn­ing here.

A dog’s ulti­mate tem­pera­ment is deter­mined by his genes and how he is raised.   Breed­ers can con­trol whether they want to tem­pera­ment to be a part of their breed­ing pro­gram.  How both breed­ers and own­ers raise the pup­pies for the first 16 weeks of their lives has a tremen­dous influ­ence on whether the pup­pies will become well-adjusted and behav­iorally fit adult dogs because pup­pies are, essen­tially, a clean slate.  The small amounts of time in giv­ing pup­pies pos­i­tive early learn­ing expe­ri­ences will influ­ence and will have a dra­matic impact later on.

How pup­pies act as adults is determined by

  • The tem­pera­ment of the dam/mother
  • How the dam acts towards peo­ple, events, and other dogs
  • How peo­ple inter­act with the puppy
  • The age at which the puppy is sep­a­rated from its mother and litter
  • How many peo­ple, places, events, sounds, sights, and loca­tions thepuppy has been intro­duced to before 16 weeks.

If a puppy is not does not have proper social­iza­tion and habit­u­a­tion, it will never reach its poten­tial and will likely be

  • Shy or timid
  • Fear­ful of any­thing new, both peo­ple and events
  • Aggres­sive
  • Unable to relate or com­mu­ni­cate with other dogs
  • Med­ically unsound (Since he is in a state of stress and anx­i­ety, his body will not have the energy to fight off illnesses)

This was an excerpt from my book Puppy Socialization – An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness. There are hundreds of suggestions on puppy socialization both for the breeder and the pet parent.

Want More information on Why Puppy Socialization, Habituation and Enrichment are Important

Click here to purchase the book
in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.

Click here for the Table of Contents.

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What is Puppy Socialization?

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What is Puppy Socialization?

 

Sharpei puppy with milk bottle for puppy socialization

What is Puppy Socialization?

The term “social­iza­tion” has sev­eral def­i­n­i­tions depend­ing on whom you are tak­ing to and what that person’s back­ground is.

When dog own­ers speak about “social­iza­tion,” they gen­er­ally mean they want their puppy to get along with peo­ple and other dogs.

Dog train­ers along with some cer­ti­fied ani­mal behav­ior­ists and vet­eri­nary behav­ior­ists have a dif­fer­ent def­i­n­i­tion of social­iza­tion which encom­passes expo­sure to dif­fer­ent peo­ple, ani­mals, loca­tions, and stim­uli includ­ing all the five senses.

The def­i­n­i­tion of “social­iza­tion” for ani­mal behav­ior­ists is how an ani­mal learns to inter­act socially with ani­mals of its own species.

Social­iz­ing” is ani­mal to ani­mal, two liv­ing beings.  How­ever, in the realm of dog­dom, the terms “social­iz­ing” and “habit­u­at­ing” have been lumped together under the term “social­iza­tion” for such a long time that it’s dif­fi­cult for many of us to sep­a­rate them now – we are using the terms col­lo­qui­ally even though our use is tech­ni­cally incor­rect.  I think where the over­lap stemmed from is that Scott and Fuller said that three to twelve weeks is a crit­i­cal social­iza­tion period.  They were talk­ing about puppy socialization and dogs.

Later research was done on whether habit­u­a­tion to the envi­ron­ment needed to occur dur­ing the same period.  In sev­eral sub­se­quent arti­cles by many authors, both the terms of “social­iza­tion” and “habit­u­a­tion” were used sep­a­rately.  At some point, the terms seemed to have mor­phed together so that “social­iza­tion” included habit­u­a­tion (which is another term hav­ing sev­eral mean­ings depend­ing on the source; but for our pur­poses here, it means get­ting used to something).

To fur­ther muddy the waters, many peo­ple con­fuse “social­iza­tion” with “behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion.”  The time for social­iza­tion is the intro­duc­tion such as meet­ing another dog, see­ing a per­son with a beard, etc. hap­pens while he is a puppy with empha­sis on before the onset of the fear period.  Behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion is his learn­ing to adapt after this time.

We are going to marry the tech­ni­cal with the col­lo­quial.  Here, puppy socialization means a puppy’s being com­fort­able around any­thing new before he is 16 weeks old – includ­ing humans, other ani­mals, and the sights, smells, sounds, and loca­tions of every­day life – and, yes, that does lump together “social­iza­tion” and “habit­u­at­ing.”

This was an excerpt from my book Puppy Socialization – An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness.  There are hundreds of suggestions on puppy socialization both for the breeder and the pet parent.

Want More information on puppy socialization

Click here to purchase the book in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.

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New Puppy Checklist

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New Puppy Checklist

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We’re gonna love each other!

Congratulations on your new puppy!  You can be overwhelmed at when you first get your new puppy because there are a myriad of things to do and supplies to buy.   It’s almost like preparing for a new baby.  Here’s just a brief summary of the important things to do.

  • Get puppy supplies, puppy food, and toys.  Take a look at my favorite new puppy supplies, and I think they’ll be yours, too.
  • Puppy proof your home and yard to keep your new puppy safe.
  • Find a great veterinarian who will explain about puppy health care including testing for worms and parasites as well as explaining the importance of vaccines.
  • Find a great groomer and learn how you can do take care of some grooming issues at home.
  • Learn about puppy behavior, including puppy separation anxiety, to help his emotional well-being.
  • Learn the right way to train your puppy, starting with puppy potty training.  Email me for your free Puppy Potty Training Log.  I’ve also written a book on Puppy Potty Training which is both funny and educational.
  • Learn how to introduce your puppy to people so he doesn’t become a nuisance.
  • Learn how to introduce your puppy to other animals.
  • Socialize your puppy the right way so he will be comfortable in the real world and you can take him anywhere.  Email me for your free Puppy Socialization Checklist.  The list comes from my book on Puppy Socialization.
  • Familiarize yourself on new puppy behavior, what’s good and what isn’t.
  • Learn how to handle your puppy and brush his teeth – it’s easier to start now so he gets used to it at a young age.
  • Get him microchipped and an ID tag to help find him if he gets lost or – gasp! – stolen.
  • Find a good puppy class with an excellent instructor.  This is the most important period in your puppy’s life, so be sure the instructor has had at least 5 years of experience dealing with puppies.
  • And, most of all, enjoy your new puppy!
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I’d love to hear what your comments are. How have you gotten your dog to stop chewing? Please share your experiences or ask a question so we can begin a dialogue to help each other.

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If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

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Dog Training Links

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Dog Training Links

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I’m busy searching for good doggie stuff!

I have handpicked these dog training links for your reference.

Dog Activities and Sports

Dog-related Organizations

Dog Behavior and Training Articles

Dog Bite Prevention

Dogs and Kids

Dog Parks

Dog Health and Medical

Miscellaneous Dog Sites

Dog Loss Support

Dog Poisons

Dog-Related Publications

Dog Rescue Organizations

Dog Seminars and Workshops

Temperament Testing for Dogs

Traveling with your Dog


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ACTIVITIES AND DOG SPORTS

American Kennel Club
https://www.akc.org/

American Mixed Breed Obedience Registration
http://www.ambor.us/

American Treibball Association
www.americantreibballassociation.org/

Dog Play
http://www.dogplay.com/

Dock Dogs
www.dockdogs.com

North American Dog Agility Council
http://www.nadac.com/

North American Flyball Association
http://www.flyball.org/

The United Kennel Club, Inc.
http://www.ukcdogs.com/Web.nsf/WebPages/Home

United States Dog Agility Association
http://www.usdaa.com/

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DOG ORGANIZATIONS

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
http://www.aspca.org

Association of Professional Dog Trainers
www.apdt.com

Delta Society
http://www.petpartners.org/

National Animal Interest Alliance
http://www.naiaonline.org/

The Humane Society of the United States
http://www.humanesociety.org/

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DOG BEHAVIOR and TRAINING ARTICLES

Applied Ethology
http://www.usask.ca/wcvm/herdmed/applied-ethology/

Dog Star Daily
www.dogstardaily.com

Dr. P’s Dog Training
http://www.uwsp.edu/psych/dog/dog.htm

Flying Dog Press
www.flyingdogpress.com

Myrna Milani, DVM
http://www.mmilani.com./

Patricia McConnell
www.patriciamcconnell.com

Sensory, Emotional, and Social Development of the Young Dog
http://www.nwk9.com/dehasse_pupdev.htm#12

St. Huberts Petpourri Library
http://www.sthuberts.org/page.aspx?pid=196

Information on Teacup Puppies and Dogs Care and Training
http://www.teacuppuppiesanddogs.com

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DOG BITE PREVENTION

Dog Bite Law
http://www.dogbitelaw.com/

Tufts University
http://now.tufts.edu/gsearch/dodman

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DOGS and KIDS

How to Love Your Dog: A Kid’s Guide
http://www.loveyourdog.com/

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DOG PARKS

Dog Parks
http://www.dogpark.com/

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DOG HEALTH and MEDICAL

American Animal Hospital Association
http://www.healthypet.com/

American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
www.AHVMA.org

Cancer in the Canine
http://www.labbies.com/cancerintro.htm

Encyclopedia of Canine Veterinary Information
http://www.vetinfo.com/dencyclopedia/deindex.html

Mercola Healthy Pets
www.healthypets.mercola.com

Merck Veterinary Manual
http://www.merckvetmanual.com

Morris Animal Foundation
http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
http://www.offa.org/

Rabies Challenge Fund
www.rabieschallengefund.org

TuftsUniversitySchool of Medicine
http://www.tufts.edu/vet/cfa

Virtual Library of Veterinary Medicine
http://netvet.wustl.edu/vetmed.htm

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MISCELLANEOUS DOG SITES

American Rare Breeds Association
http://www.arba.org/

Camp Ilene
http://www.campilene.com

Chazhound
http://chazhound.com/dog/

Dogmark
http://www.dogmark.net/

Dog Books Library
http://www.dogbookslibrary.com

Dog Owner’s Guide
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/alltopic.html

Dog Trainers Directory.com
http://www.dogtrainersdirectory.com/

Dog Seminars Directory
http://www.dogseminarsdirectory.com

Dr. Sophia Yin
www.drsophiayin.com/

Los Angeles Rescue Dog Adoption
http://www.los-angeles-rescue-dog-adoption.com

Military Dog Tags….Identification you and your pets can wear.
http://www.dogtagsonline.com

Nina Ottosson
www.nina-ottosson.com

Pet Peoples Place
http://www.petpeoplesplace.com/

Puppy Manners
http://www.puppymanners.com/

Puppy Sites
http://www.puppysites.com

Puppy Dog Potty Training
http://www.puppy-dog-potty-training.com

Sirius Dog
http://siriusdog.com/index.php

Teacup Puppies and Dogs
http://www.teacuppuppiesanddogs.com

Working Dog Web
http://www.workingdogweb.com/

at-LA.com
http://www.at-la.com/index.htm

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DOG LOSS SUPPORT

Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
http://www.aplb.org/

Pet Loss
http://www.perfectmemorials.com/info/dealing-with-loss-of-pet.php

Pet Loss
http://www.petloss.com/

University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital
http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu/petcolumns/showsect.cfm?section=Dogs

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DOG POISONS

Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database
http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/comlist.html

Poisonous plants
http://www.life.umd.edu/classroom/BSCI124/lec30.html

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DOG PUBLICATIONS

Working Dog Web
http://www.workingdogweb.com/default.htm

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DOG RESCUE ORGANIZATIONS

Dog Saver
http://www.dogsaver.org/

Humane Society of Denver
http://www.ddfl.org/resources-and-publications/resource-library

Pet Bond
http://www.petbond.com/

Pet Finder
http://www.petfinder.org/

The Senior Dogs Project
http://www.srdogs.com/

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DOG SEMINARS and WORKSHOPS

Dog Seminars Directory
http://www.dogseminarsdirectory.com/

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TEMPERAMENT TESTING FOR DOGS

American Temperament Test Society
http://www.atts.org

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TRAVELING WITH YOUR DOG

Dog Friendly
http://www.dogfriendly.com/

Pets Welcome
http://www.petswelcome.com/

Take Your Pet
http://www.takeyourpet.com

I’d love to hear what your comments are. Do you have any favorite Dog Training links? Please share your experiences or ask a question so we can begin a dialogue to help each other.

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Thanks for visiting Dog Training Links!

Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Puppy Dog Food Treats Recalls

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Puppy Dog Food Treats Recalls

Chihuahua And Dog Biscuits

Save me from eating this!

Read the labels of all the dog food and treats you buy! Make sure the food and dog treats come from the US or Canada and not a third-world country.  The label should read 00-13.

The barcode information below is from http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/barcodes.asp

00-13 USA and Canada
30-37 France.
40-44 Germany
49 Japan
50 UK
57 Denmark
64 Finland
76 Switzerland and Leichtenstein
471 Taiwan
480 Philippines
628 Saudi Arabia
629 United Arab Emerates
690-695 China
740-745 Central America

If your dog food is on the list and you decide to change brands, please consider Flint River Ranch, which is the one that I recommend and sell. Here is the link — I want to emphasize that FRR IS NOT BEING RECALLED and has never been recalled.
http://www.frrco.com/

4/26/15
Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit Recall

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/04/26/nylabone-recalls-dog-chews-for-salmonella-risk-to-pets-owners/

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Thanks for visiting our website and reading Puppy Dog Food Treats Recalls!

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Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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You Can’t Train Your Dog When…

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You Can’t Train Your Dog
When You’re Doing Something Else

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I’m soooo busy!

What does this mean? If I handed you a scalpel and told you you had to do brain surgery and then got mad at you because the patient died, how would you react? Now, that’s an absurd example — or is it?

  • Well, If the UPS guy is at the door and you don’t want your dog to dash out the door, you can’t train him because you’re doing something else — answering the door.
  • You can’t train your dog to stop barking in the car if you are driving.
  • You can’t train your dog to like children if the only time he sees a child is when you’re screaming at him for barking at them.
  • You can’t train your dog to walk nicely on a leash if you’re in a hurry to go somewhere.
  • You can’t train your dog to not bark at dogs walking past your yard if you’re watching TV or are on the computer.

These are just a few examples that we encounter in everyday life. We’re doing something and expect our dogs to read our minds as to how we want them to act and then get frustrated because they don’t.

What we CAN do is set up those scenarios when *we* are in control and THEN show our dogs what we want them to do. Is it going to happen on the first attempt or overnight? Not likely.

There’s a huge difference between prevention and training — and we use both of those. We CAN prevent “the bad thing” from happening in the first place, i.e., close the door so our dog can’t see the dogs walking outside. That’s a pretty easy but necessary step in training. Why? Because it prevents him from rehearsing “bad” behavior. How does anyone get better at something? By rehearsing. Some things are easier to prevent than others. Unfortunately, we don’t have control over everything that goes on in our lives. But we can make the effort.

I’d love to hear what your comments are on not being able to train your dog when you’re doing something else. Please share your experiences with your dog or ask a question so we can begin a dialogue to help each other.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog behavior consultant or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Help Your Vet Help Your Dog

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Help Your Vet Help Your Dog

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My dog loves my vet!

Dogs can be afraid of going to a veterinarian or they can love it — it all depends on how they are trained before they go to the vet’s office and how they are treated at the office.

You can do a number of things at home to Help Your Vet Help Your Dog.

Understanding your Dog’s Behavior

Socializing Your Dog

Obedience Training

Handling Exercises

Working with Your Vet and Staff

Other Things to Consider

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Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior
in Your Vet’s Office

There are things that happen in our lives that we don’t like and situations we are afraid of. But the more prepared we are, the more secure we will feel. Behavior under stress is exaggerated. If your dog is normally calm and confident, in your vet’s office he may be shy, cautious, panicky, or aggressive. He is in a place with new smells, unfamiliar sights, strange sounds, and different surfaces to walk on. He also picks up on the emotions of the other people and animals surrounding him. He needs your help and guidance to prepare him for new things. Be patient with him and act upbeat even though you may not be.

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Socializing Your Dog
Before Going to Your Vet’s Office

If your dog spends the majority of his time in your house and yard and does not meet people outside your family members, then chances are that he will be apprehensive and fearful of any new situations he finds himself in. The socialization process means getting your dog used to new sounds, sights, smells, and flooring.  Socialization and habituation to new things will not only help him at the vet’s office, but it will help him become a well-adjusted and calmer dog at home.

Introduce your dog to people of all ages who wear different kinds of clothing and carry all sorts of objects. Take him to different environments. Let him walk on new surfaces and see and hear different sights and sounds such as motorcycles, trucks backfiring, umbrellas opening, and children playing. It may take him a little time to get used to the outside world, so please be patient.

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Obedience Training Helps
When Your Vet Examines Your Dog

Obedience training is trust training — your dog trusts you to keep him safe when you are his leader. You set guidelines and boundaries for him, and he feels safe within them.

Train your dog to sit, stay, stand, and lie down on command. For the sit command, your dog is standing in front of you. Take a treat and hold it at his nose. Slowly move the treat just above his head between his eyes. He should follow the treat with his nose, and that movement will make his head come up and his rear end go to the floor. Praise him and give him the treat.

For the stand (now that he is sitting), hold the treat just in front of his nose and bring your hand towards your body so he has to get up to reach for the treat. When he stands, praise him and give him the treat.

For the down, he should be in the sit position. Put a treat just in front of his nose and slowly bring it to the floor between his toes. His head will lower to get the treat. When it does, wait until his head is almost touching the floor, and then slowly drag the treat towards you.

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Handling Exercises Are a Good Way
to Get Your Dog Used to
a Person Moving His Body in New Ways
Similar to How Your Vet Will

While you are at home, handle your dog as your vet would during an exam. Choose a quiet time and quiet place. Give him treats during this whole process and let him become comfortable with each part of the process before proceeding to the next part.

Several times a day, pick up your dog and put him on a raised surface such as a countertop so he will not be afraid of getting up on the examination table.

Begin by just touching all parts of his body as if you are giving him an all-over body massage. As he gets comfortable with that, then touch his ears, look inside his ears, open his mouth, touch his teeth and gums, move his tongue around. Pick up his paws. Run your hands down his legs. Gently squeeze his feet, toes, and tail. Hold and then squeeze gently his shoulders and then his hips between your hands. Press gently on his spine.

Now get him ready for the positions he might be put in. Give him a bear hug while you are facing him. Then give him one from behind him. Hold his head in the crook of your arm. This is how a technician would hold him.

Put him on his right side and stretch his legs out away from you. Then do the same thing on his left side. Lay him on his back and give him a belly rub. Then gently stretch his legs out. These positions simulate positions for x-ray procedures

Every member of your family should repeat these exercises. Then have someone he knows do the same thing. Remember to give him treats!!!

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Working with Your Vet and Staff
before Bringing Your Dog to the Vet Office

Going to your vet’s office should be a positive experience. Drive there several times and simply stay in the parking lot giving your dog treats. Then go into the reception area and ask the receptionist and staff to make a fuss over your dog and give him treats. Some dogs don’t like the slippery floors. Get Shaws Paws to put on your dog’s feet to help them grip the floor better or bring some carpeting for him to walk on.  If you have a puppy, then do not let him walk on the floor or around your vet’s office – including outside – until at least two weeks after he has had his final puppy vaccine because his body is building up immunity to the diseases.

When you do make an appointment, make it at the least busy time of your doctor’s day. Arrive early so you are not stressed. Ask the staff members to give your dog treats. You may want to bring a towel for your dog to lie on in the reception area.

Before your doctor begins examining your dog, tell him about any sensitivities your dog has. Your dog might feel more comfortable on the floor rather than on an examination table, so ask your doctor if the examination can be performed on the floor. Also ask your doctor to give your dog treats during his examination.

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Other Things to Consider

Sometimes despite your best efforts to get your dog acclimated to your veterinarian’s office, it still may not go as well as you expected. There are other things that can be done that may help.

Here are some options:

  • Stay in your car while waiting to see the vet and ask the staff to come get you.  Go immediately from your car into the exam room and don’t wait in the reception area.
  • Give your dog homeopathic,  holistic,  or herbal remedies to calm him before his visit or ask your veterinarian for a tranquilizer. (Check with your doctor ahead of time as to whether administration of any of these would interfere with his examination and blood work.)
  • Arrange for your doctor to come to your home.
  • Learn your dog’s acupressure points for calmness.
  • Learn how to use your own body language, voice, and movement to help calm him down.

The suggestions given here are just a brief general overview of ways to help your dog. Both you and your dog may need the help of a trainer to design specific counter conditioning and desensitization techniques for your situation.

Read the article add “Help Your Groomer Help Your Dog” for more dog handling tips.

I’d love to hear what your comments are. What do you do to prepare your dog for a veterinary examination? Please share your experiences with your dog or ask a question so we can begin a dialogue to help each other.

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Thanks for reading Help Your Vet Help Your Dog!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog behavior consultant or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Phone Calls about Dog Training and Behavior

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Phone Calls about
Dog Training and Behavior

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Can we talk?

I get several phone calls from potential clients asking me various questions on numerous subjects regarding their dogs on dog training and behavior. Some of the questions are: “My dog is doing X. Can you make him stop?” Others are: “My dog is doing X. Can you help me?”

Unfortunately, I can’t do a lot for the first group. Dog training is a collaborative effort among the three of us — you, your dog, and me. When you see how much your behavior impacts your dog’s behavior, magic happens and you dog’s behavior changes!

One of my favorite “dog training” shows was Super Nanny — which was *not* a dog training show at all. In case you aren’t familiar with the show, people asked for Super Nanny’s help because their children are out of control — they bite, they kick, they scream, they swear, they write on the walls, they have temper tantrums, they destroy things when they don’t get their way.  It’s no longer on TV, but if you would like to watch it, here’s the link http://www.tv.com/shows/supernanny/

Jo comes in and works with — wait for it — the parents!!! She rarely works with the children. She helps the parents set rules, boundaries, and consequences that *the children* understand. And magic does happen.

The key is helping children — and dogs — understand what is expected of them in a way that makes sense to them — not in a way that makes sense to you, but in a way that makes sense to them. That’s part of what we teach in Doggie Manners.

I’d love to hear what your comments are. Are you a dog trainer? Please share your experiences with your phone calls from clients or ask a question so we can begin a dialogue to help each other.

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Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

thanks for visiting our website and reading about phone calls about dog training and behavior

Thanks for reading about Phone Calls about Dog Training and Behavior!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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Stop Dog Chewing

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Stop Dog Chewing

how can i get my dog to stop chewing

Yummy!

How Can I Stop My Dog from Chewing? Okay, your dog chews. That really is normal behavior for him. The problem is that he chews the wrong things. So you need to teach him how to chew the right things.

There are general solutions for behavior problems, all of which are important: provide your dog with more and appropriate physical and mental exercise, the right kind of play, and, especially, the right kind of training.

Specifically regarding your dog’s chewing, first, make sure your dog does not have a physical problem, i.e., toothache, stomach problem, or nutritional imbalance. Puppies chew to help with the pain of teething. Give them ice cubes for relief.

If your dog chews when you are not home, he may have some separation problems and you need to exercise him more, a lot more, and work on building up his confidence with  basic obedience exercises so he can stay alone for extended periods.  There is much more involved with separation anxiety than just chewing, and your dog will need professional help with a dog behavior consultant.

If his chewing is not separation anxiety and he has chewed while you are away from home.  If you punish him for chewing when you get home, it will not work because your dog does not associate the chewed items with your unhappiness. Teach him what are appropriate dog chew toys and praise him when he chews on the right toys so that he will chew those toys when you are away.

These are only partial solutions. Enroll your dog in a reward-based training program so that you can how him acceptable behavior in a way that makes sense to him and you are both working together for a common goal.

Read more about solving Dog Behavior Problems.

Please have patience. Habits do not change overnight. Give yourself and your dog a chance.

I’d love to hear what your comments are. How have you gotten your dog to stop chewing? Please share your experiences or ask a question so we can begin a dialogue to help each other.

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Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

Thanks for visiting our website and reading Stop Dog Chewing

Thanks for reading Stop Dog Chewing!

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

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