All posts by Caryl Wolff

Clean Dog Training Sessions

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Clean Dog Training Session

 

 Clean Dog Training Session
Clean Dog Training Session

What is a “Clean” Dog Training Session?

 

No, it doesn’t mean that your dog has to be clean! In order for training to stand out in your dog’s mind, your training session has to be easily differentiated from everyday life. It means that for a short period of time, your training session consists of only the words that you use when training your dog in an  area free from distractions.  You can later apply the training to where the distraction is. Simple concept?

Why is a clean training session important? It’s not fair to train your dog when there are distractions so he can’t concentrate!  Would you rather learn how to play the piano in your living room or the middle of the busiest street in your city?

How to Do a Clean Dog Training Session

First, find that pristine area – maybe in a hallway where it’s pretty boring since there’s nothing for him to look at or to smell.

Next, get all your training equipment ready – leash, appropriate-sized treats, treat pouch, towel or mat, etc.

For two minutes before you start the session, totally ignore your dog – don’t look at him; don’t talk to him; don’t touch him. Then leash him up and walk to the training area. (The first couple times you do this, he may think he’s going for a walk, but he will learn that he’s going for training.)

During the training session, the ONLY words you can say are

    • His name
    • The command
    • “Yes” or “good” meaning what he did is what you wanted him to do
    • “Good dog” which acts as a keep-going signal when you want to, for example, have him Sit for longer periods of time
    • Your release word

Unleash him. For two minutes after you end the session, again ignore your dog – don’t look at him; don’t talk to him; don’t touch him.

Why is this important?  Because I want that training session to pop out in his mind and not be muddied up by extraneous words.  We talk to our dogs all the time, and they have no idea what we’re saying.  To them it’s blah blah blah.  They’re trying to understand us, trying to understand us, trying to understand us, and then just give up.  Then *we* get upset because our dogs aren’t paying attention! Here’s some examples of the dumb things we say during training:

    • “Why aren’t you doing this today?  You did it fine yesterday.”
    • “No, I want you to sit, not look at me.”
    • “Pay attention to me and not the cat.”
    • “That noise doesn’t mean anything.”
    • “I never had this problem with my other dog.”
    • “I know you like my spouse better than me, but you’re stuck with me training you.”
    • Yada yada yada, blah blah blah.

If you make it easy for your dog, you’re making it easy for you because your dog learns so much faster!
 Clean Dog Training Sessions

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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 puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We look forward to working with you.

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Begin Puppy Socialization as soon as You Can

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Why do I need to socialize
and habituate my puppy before he’s had all his shots?

You just brought your puppy home.  Congratulations!  You want him to grow up to be a stable, well-adjusted, behaviorally fit adult.  If he has positive experiences, you increase his chances to become one.  If you spend a few minutes several times a day, that will save you weeks and even months of time and heartbreak later because prevention now is easier than rehabilitation later.  He needs to get used to all the people, places, and things that he will encounter as an adult – and now’s the time to begin that journey together.

Why begin now?

  • He’s only going to be a puppy once, and the lessons he learns here will carry through for the rest of his life because this is the period in his life when he learns the most.
  • Because dogs who are undersocialized have a propensity to be fearful or aggressive when faced with new situations.
  • And because not his brain is like a sponge taking in everything, and the cells are making connections every time he encounters something new.

Adult dogs see things as either safe or dangerous – what he’s been exposed to in a positive way while he’s a puppy he thinks is safe, and everything else is dangerous.  The more good connections, i.e., the foundation, that are made, the more behaviorally fit and stable he will be as an adult.  It’s the difference between building your house on chicken wire or building it on concrete.  Which would you rather have as a foundation?

Acclimate your Puppy to
new sights, sounds, and smells

If your puppy came from a country or rural setting and you live in the city (and vice versa), the sights, sounds, and smells from those areas are very different.  The familiarization/sensitive window closes at 16 weeks.  If you accustom him to a multitude of situations before that time, then you “immunize” him for novel situations – he has many experiences to draw from so that when he encounters anything new, he will feel comfortable rather than frightened.

What Veterinarians and other Trainers say
about Puppy Socialization

It’s not just me who is saying that. Trainers have known how important it is to safely socialize puppies before they’ve had all their vaccines, and now veterinarians are advocating it as well. Here’s the position statement from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Puppy_Socialization_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf

You may not see the effects of socialization and habituation right away, but they sure will show up later when you have a well-adjusted and behaviorally fit dog. It’s so much easier to spend a few minutes now so your puppy will become an adult dog who will be a pleasure to be around.

If you’d like to learn more about puppy socialization, here are some links.

What is Puppy Socialization

The Importance of Puppy Socialization

History of Puppy Socialization

Importance of puppy socialization, habituation, and enrichment

Puppy Enrichment

My book on puppy socialization

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.

bookCover - puppysocialization
Puppy Socialization
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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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One Hour in the Lives of My Dogs

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One Hour in the Lives of My Dogs

Before we get to puppy socialization, I want to illustrate one day – actually one hour in my and my dogs’ lives.  They are adults, and I walk them three or four times a day for about one hour total time.  During that time, every day they encounter new experiences.

A brief explanation – technically, this is not puppy socialization but habituation. “Puppy socialization” refers to puppies meeting other animals – humans included! Since almost everyone misuses the term “puppy socialization,” I have used that term for simplification.

Just for fun, I decided to inventory only the things that I noticed that were different from the day before, things I saw and heard and to some extent smelled.   Our dogs’ perception of the world is different from ours because their primary sense is smell while ours is sight.  I have included here things that I saw and to a lesser extent smelled.

I have included ages and races of people because each encounter is different for our dogs.  Dogs can tell how old someone is both by looking at their size and by their scent.  Dogs may also be able to identify people by their race because different races may eat different core foods, which smell differently to dogs (although many of us including myself eat anything that tastes good and have a multi-cultural palate!).

How Walks Contribute to
Puppy Experiences

  • Someone going through the garbage looking for plastic bottles
  • Homeless man
  • Man on a bicycle exercising his Akita
  • Pile of leaves
  • Bike tied to lamp post
  • Bird poop
  • Crows flying and pecking at grass
  • Middle aged man walking small black dog
  • The smell of coffee brewing
  • Older woman walking two Yorkies
  • Young Caucasian woman walking black and white aggressive mid-sized dog
  • Hispanic man walking French bulldog
  • Asian woman walking Shiba Inu
  • Teenage male with baseball cap on skateboard
  • Candy bar wrapper
  • Motorcycle
  • Garbage truck
  • Hispanic woman walking little boy to school
  • African-American female school crossing guard
  • For Rent sign
  • Styrofoam plate on the ground
  • Fast food cup with straw
  • Young Caucasian man getting into car
  • Asian man opening trunk of car
  • Newly-planted flowers
  • Garbage cans set at the curb for pickup
  • Sprinklers watering grass
  • Metal security door closing
  • Teenage girl talking on phone
  • Cigarette butts on the ground
  • Middle-aged woman smoking
  • Blind Asian woman with service dog
  • Large branch broken and hanging from the tree
  • Shopping cart on the sidewalk
  • Old sofa by the curb
  • Dogs barking from a balcony
  • Three elderly men jogging down the street
  • Car racing down the street
  • Old baby seat left outside
  • The smell of baking bread
  • Tow truck
  • Man pushing vacuum cleaner
  • Crumpled up paper on the ground (People seem to be slobs in my neighborhood…….)
  • Motorcycle
  • Teenage girl washing car on the lawn (honest!)
  • Old newspapers
  • Candy wrappers
  • Dog barking from inside a house
  • African-American female postal worker pushing cart
  • Two men working on car engine
  • The smell of grilling chicken
  • Apartment for rent sign
  • Trees being trimmed
  • Wood chipper
  • Car backfiring
  • Horns honking
  • Palm fronds on ground

Again, these were different experiences from the previous day, included pretty much in the order that they happened as we were walking.  My dogs took them in stride because they are exposed to novel events every day.

There are many, many things that I have omitted, the first one coming to mind is the different cars and trucks that passed us were definitely not the same nor were they in the same order as yesterday – and, of course, the smells.  But you get the picture.

If you’d like to learn more about puppy socialization, here are some links.

What is Puppy Socialization

The Importance of Puppy Socialization

History of Puppy Socialization

Importance of puppy socialization, habituation, and enrichment

Puppy Enrichment

My book on puppy socialization

One Hour in the Lives of My dogs puppy socialization
Thanks for visiting One Hour in the Lives of My dogs

 

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 puppy or dog training, we are now doing both virtual online as well as in-person consultations and training. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We look forward to working with you.

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How to Use Dog Treats Effectively in Training

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How to Use Dog Treats
Effectively in Training

 

Dog with Treats
How to Use Dog Treats Effectively in Training

How to Use
Dog Treats Effectively in Training

When most trainers talk about using treats in training, they generally glom on to one type of treat and use it throughout the training process.  I think it is counterproductive because their dogs always know what they’re going to get, so it’s boring to them.  There is not a lot to keep them interested if they always know the outcome.    If “the butler did it” in every mystery novel you read, how many novels would you read before you became disinterested?

We’re going to talk about how to use treats effectively in training by using several categories of treats in a specific manner.  Each category has a specific purpose, and there can and should be an array of different types of treats in each category.

There are four basic categories of treats:

1-Training treats

These treats are smelly, soft, and small for obedience or trick training where there are several repetitions.

  • Smelly to pique and keep his interest
  • Soft so he doesn’t have to chew time and you can get more reps in the practice session
  • Small so he doesn’t become “Porkudog,” i.e., a really fat dog.

My favorite is Happy Howie’s because you can cut them to any size you want. Dogs love them. I call them “doggie dope”….

If you’re not sure what size treat to use, read this post Choose the Right Size Treat when Training your Dog or Puppy

Recommended treats for training

2-Behavior treats

These treats are larger than training treats, hard, and meat based.  When he chews these, he engages the thinking part of his brain instead of the reacting part of the brain.

  • Large so he cannot swallow them
  • Hard so he has to chew them and focus on chewing the treat rather on the behavior we’re working with
  • Meat-based because those seem to hold his attention the best.  If your dog absolutely positively goes wild for baked peanut butter treats, then use those.

Recommended treats for behavior issues

3-Long-lasting or confinement treats

These are – surprise! –  treats that take him awhile to consume.   We want him to concentrate on chewing these treats for extended periods of time, both because chewing gives him something to think about other than confinement and also because chewing is a stress release.

Frozen stuffed Kongs are always a good choice. If you use peanut butter so the treats won’t fall out, make sure it’s unsalted and has no sugar or preservatives. Here’s a link on how to stuff a Kong.   https://www.kongcompany.com/learn/stuff-a-kong

Recommended treats for confinement

4-Association treats

These are dog treats that your dog associates with a specific place or activity and also to keep him interested in that place for a long period of time.  For example, I give my dogs a special treat when they are crated, and that’s the only time they get that treat.  They can’t wait to be crated!  Since there is no problem with them once they are in the crate, they don’t need a confinement treat.

Recommended treats for association training

 

How to Use Dog Treats Effectively in Training
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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 or Dog Dog Introductions

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Puppy- or Dog-Dog Introductions

Puppy or Dog Dog Introduction
Puppy or Dog Dog Introduction – read the article to learn why this is not a good introduction.

This article is geared to puppy or dog-dog introductions for those who do not live in the same household.

Long long time ago in a galaxy far away when I first started training, I had a dog – Chadwick, who is the dog in my logo – who didn’t like puppies.  We would go to the dog park and puppies would run up to him wanting to play.

The first thing he did was stare at them. They didn’t go away. So he lifted his lip and snarled. They still didn’t go away. Then he nailed them – he never hurt them, but they definitely went away.

I didn’t know as much about dog behavior and training as I do now, so I went to several seminars and asked the speakers why my dog – who was a super dog in every other way – hated puppies. The speakers asked what happened, and I told them.

They all looked at me in disbelief – “Your dog gives them 2 warnings to back off, they don’t listen, and then he nails them without hurting them? Their owners should be paying Chadwick for teaching their puppies a valuable lesson since it’s normal for an adult dog to correct a puppy.”

Lesson learned for me – not every dog likes puppies, and for that matter, not every dog likes other dogs. Just like I don’t like every person that I meet.

Puppy- or Dog-Dog Introductions – Preliminaries

So what can you do to make puppy or dog-dog introductions go as smoothly as possible?

Here’s a no-brainer. First, determine whether the other dog wants to meet or interact with your dog or puppy. It’s best if the owner is an acquaintance of yours (and/or you know the dog) so you can simply ask her if her dog is good with other dogs. A stranger owes you no allegiance – and not too many people want to admit that their dogs are not good with other dogs – so you may not get a true answer.

Second, each owner should rub their scent over their own bodies with a towel (or you can use a dirty T-shirt) and then all over their respective dogs’ bodies, including their dogs’ butts since that’s where the dogs sniff to get information. I doubt whether you would want to rub the towel on your dogs first, but who am I to judge?

Third, choose neutral territory that’s relatively free of distractions. That means on the street or in a large area. You don’t want to meet at one of your homes because you don’t want any doggie territorial infringements.

Fourth, choose a time when both dogs are fairly mellow, have eaten a meal, and are not jumping around with excitement or anticipation.

How to do the Puppy or Dog-Dog Introductions

Remember that smelly towel or T-shirt? Immediately before your dogs officially meet, swap towels and rub the towel all over the other dog’s body, including their butts so that when the dogs finally do meet, each dog has a familiar smell.

Start walking parallel to each other about 20 feet apart in the same direction with both dogs on leash.

Whenever one dog looks at the other, tell him he is a good dog and give him a treat.

Slowly – and I mean slowly – decrease the distance between you and the other team (Decrease the distance only if both dogs are comfortable. Remember to breathe! You can talk to the other owner.) until you are about 6 feet apart.  Continue walking 6 feet apart until you are confident that the dogs want to meet and greet.

Your Best Shot at Knowing when to do the actual Puppy- or Dog-Dog Introduction

Watch the dogs’ body language. You want to see loosey-goosey body language and not see any of the following:

  • Staring with a hard eye (fixed stare where the eyelids tighten and the eyes look cold)
  • Hackles are raised
  • Body is tense and freezes
  • Body leans forward as it gets ready to pounce
  • Ears are tight and either move to the side or are forward
  • Mouth puckers showing teeth
  • Growling

Watch both dogs and make sure that each of them is comfortable. Then let them approach each other with each dog on a loose leash. If the leash is tight, that may increase stress. The leashes will probable get tangled so you’ll have to untangle – but don’t drop them.

Let them interact for a couple minutes if everything is okay, and then call your dog away. A good recall is quite helpful, but if your dog doesn’t have one, then  pull him away.

Continue walking with both dogs about 6 feet away and let them meet each other again. A good sign is that both dogs go into a play bow.

If they do, then take them to an enclosed area and walk them in together at the same time. Drop the leashes but keep them attached in case you have to separate the dogs.

Let them play for a few minutes. Break up the session if one dog wants to leave but the other won’t let him leave.

Good puppy or dog play is when they change – one dog is the chaser while the other is the chasee, or if they’re wrestling, one dog is on top and then they reverse.

Always always always supervise when they are together.

If you are introducing a puppy to an adult dog, it’s likely that the puppy will want to play forever but the adult won’t. Take breaks. Let the adult correct the puppy a couple times. If he has to correct more than twice, remove the puppy and set up another session.

Please call Caryl at 310 804-2392 or email at caryl@DoggieManners.com for additional help.

 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 Puppy- or Dog-dog Introductions

 

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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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine-Resources

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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the  Coronavirus Quarantine

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine-Resources

 

Products to Prevent Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Please note that I receive a small compensation for the listings on this page. And I apologize for the repetitive nature of the headings – it helps in search engine optimization! Thank you.

Audio  Products  to  Help Prevent Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety  During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Tactile Products to Help Prevent Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Thundershirt

Homeopathic/Holistic  Products and Treats to Help Prevent Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Be sure to check with your veterinarian before using these.

Puzzle toys to  Help Prevent Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Other Products to  Help Prevent Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Books to  Help Prevent Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine

If you need help with puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations which are very effective to help in puppy dog separation anxiety. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We would love to work with you!

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – The Prep Stuff

Part 3 – The Everyday Stuff

Part 4 – The Training Stuff

Part 5 – Resources

REPRINT POLICY
for Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine
This series of articles is provided free as a service
and may be reprinted IN PRINT ON PAPER ONLY
in its entirety exactly as written with the following wording:
Copyright 2020 Caryl Wolff
All rights reserved.
Print reproduction is granted in entirety.
www.DoggieManners.com

I will gladly provide you a pdf if you email me.

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Thanks for visiting Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the  Coronavirus  Quarantine

 

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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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine – Part 2

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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine-Part 2

This is the second article in the series Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety during the Coronavirus Quarantine, and we will talk about The Prep Stuff – some important items and activities you may not have thought of – as well as the conventional treatment for Separation Anxiety.

During this series of articles, I will refer to puppies and dogs as “he” and people as “she” for simplicity.

The aim of this Separation Anxiety prevention program is to give your dog confidence so that he doesn’t have to be with you 24/7 and that he knows that when you leave, you will return. You will do that by promoting independence while you are home and give him something to do when you are gone.

Because you are home now and have time to do the training, you’re going to get some easy preventative measures in order to lessen the emotional toll on both of you now and the financial toll on you later so you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to work with a dog behavior consultant and purchase the supplies they recommend.

Make Sure There Are No Underlying Medical Conditions.

Whether you have a puppy, newly-adopted, or a resident dog, take him to the vet for a thorough exam, especially if you notice any behavior changes such as his being more timid or nervous, physical changes such as limping, changes in bathroom habits, or any blood. If he has any underlying medical condition, that can contribute to anxiety.

It’s always prudent to have a fecal test done, especially with a newly-adopted dog or puppy. You can see worms, but you can’t see parasites! And you don’t know if your puppy or dog has them unless he’s tested.

If he is a new puppy dog, then the breeder/shelter/rescue may have told you that he’s already been examined by a veterinarian, but these are generally cursory exams.

Human equivalent – if we go to a restaurant during COVID, they’ll ask us a few questions and take our temperature. The next step up is to have an actual COVID test, and the step after that is a doctor’s exam.

Make Sure All Your Puppy Dog’s
Needs Are Met.

You don’t want him to develop separation anxiety because he

  • Is not getting enough exercise, both physical and mental
  • Needs to potty and he’s stressed because he’s been trained to potty outside but can’t hold it as long as he’s left alone
  • Is bored

Check His Diet.

Feed healthy food with a low protein content – the higher the protein level, the more energy he needs to burn off. The minimum protein content for puppy food is 22%, and the minimum for adults is 18%. Foods should be AAFCO approved https://tinyurl.com/y55s2dj8 (Association of American Feed Control Officials which is an organization composed of pet food manufacturers, not the government “Complete and Balanced” Pet Food | FDA www.fda.gov › animal-health-literacy) although AAFCO does not address the quality of the ingredients or what ingredients are used.

Personally I prefer foods that do not have corn, wheat, or soy or those that contain by-products. Read the labels to see what ingredients are in your dog’s food.

Helpful Tools to Prevent
Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety

It’s gonna be a lot easier if you have some tools to help you.

You will want to engage as many of your dog’s senses as you can to help him in your absence to engage his mind give him something to do so he is not focused on your not being there and also to tire him out.

I have prepared of audio, olfactory, and tactile products, holistic/homeopathic products as well as products for mental stimulation, both for your dog (puzzles and chew toys) and you (books and other resources). http://doggiemanners.com/preventing-puppy-dog-separation-anxiety-during-the-coronavirus-quarantine-resources/

Before you begin your training, please get at least one of these products in each category since each dog is different and we don’t know which one he will respond to best. When you find the product(s) that are best for him, then get more and different products in those categories.

The next article in Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine is on things that you can do every day without a lot of effort.

If you need help with puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations which are very effective to help in puppy dog separation anxiety. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We would love to work with you!

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – The Prep Stuff

Part 3 – The Everyday Stuff

Part 4 – The Training Stuff

Part 5 – Resources

REPRINT POLICY
for Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine
This article is provided free as a service
and may be reprinted IN PRINT ON PAPER ONLY
in its entirety exactly as written with the following wording:
Copyright 2020 Caryl Wolff
All rights reserved.
Print reproduction is granted in entirety.
www.DoggieManners.com

I will gladly provide you a pdf if you email me.

Wishing that you stay healthy, stay safe – and stay home.

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Thanks for visiting Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine

 

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 puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations which are very effective to help in puppy dog separation anxiety. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We would love to work with you!

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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine-4

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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the  Coronavirus Quarantine

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine-Part 4

This is Part 4 of the series Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine, and it deals with training your dog.

This a brief description of the three parts to the training. I am writing a book which gives more details. Please email me at caryl@DoggieManners.com so I can let you know when it is published.

  • Setting up a Safe Spot
  • Training to be alone in his Safe Spot
  • Training Obedience Exercises

What is a Safe Spot?

It’s a place where you will leave your puppy dog when you are not with him. You’ll want to train him to be comfortable so he will enjoy being that spot.

Before calling me, my clients have assumed that their dogs like the laundry room or a crate because they have read that “crates are good because dogs like dens and crates are similar to dens.” Well, that’s similar to saying humans like to be confined in their bathrooms 24/7. Dogs need to know that a Safe Spot is a safe spot, not a jail cell.

You want your dog get used to his Safe Spot first, then stay in his Safe Spot while you are home, and then  get used to being there while you are gone. Don’t make the mistake of putting him in his Safe Spot and then leaving without doing Departure Exercises.

Creating Safe Spot for your Puppy Dog

Your dog may already have a place that he prefers – such as on his bed or someplace where he hangs out during the day. If you can, use that space as his Safe Spot. If not, then set one up.

I like wire exercise pens aka Xpens because they are portable and you can configure them to different shapes to accommodate just about any area.

Choose an area that is

  • familiar with and comfortable in such as the family room or kitchen
  • well lit
  • away from  loud noises or something that could cause him to bark such as seeing other dogs or people out of the window

Setting up the Safe Spot for your Puppy Dog

The Safe Spot should contain

  • water
  • toys
  • dog bed
  • puzzle toy
  • chew stick, stuffed Kong, or other long-term chew toy
  • something with your smell on it such as a  dirtyT-shirt or towel

Getting your Puppy Dog used to his Safe Spot

In order for your dog to be relaxed and secure in his Safe Spot when he is alone, he needs to be relaxed there while you are home. Exercise him before you begin the training so he is not all wired or excited, and make sure he has pottied.

  • Encourage him to stay there by feeding his meals there and putting his water dish, bed, and toys there while you are home.
  • Leave the radio or TV on so he hears “white noise” to prevent him from barking at every sound.
  • Leave the Safe Spot open and let him choose when he wants to enter.
  • Praise him while he is in his Safe Spot.

Training your Puppy Dog to be Alone in his Safe Spot – Departure Exercises

Train him to be in his Safe Spot while you are home so he doesn’t immediately associate the Safe Spot with your leaving.

During this training, he  will see you leave and come back multiple times so he knows you will return.

  • Practice leaving him alone in his Safe Spot for short periods of time while you are in the room and he can see you.
  • Get further away from him.
  • Leave the room for a few seconds where you are out of sight but still in the house.
  • Practice frequent separations while you are home.
  • Leave the house for short periods (starting at 10 seconds), gradually lengthening the time you are gone.
  • Practice frequent separations when you leave.
  • Then replicate your routine when you go back to work. including picking up your keys, putting on your coat, wearing perfume, etc. all while he is in his Safe Spot. Leave for short periods of time and return.

Training Obedience Exercises

The most important obedience exercises are the Sit, Down, and Stay. Please teach him in that order. Since the Stay is the most difficult exercise for dogs with separation anxiety, you want to give your dog a solid foundation before teaching him the Stay.

Human equivalent – you learned addition and subtraction before learning multiplication and division.

It’s easier on your dog if you are predictable, so here’s a specific training sequence. Use this sequence during training and during everyday life even after he has learned the exercises.

  • Say your dog’s name once.
  • Give him the command/cue once.
  • Show him what to do by luring him with a treat. (After he has learned what the command/cue is, you don’t need to lure him – just say the command/cue word.)
  • Wait for him to do it.
  • Praise and treat him while he is doing the exercise.
  • Release him from the command/cue.
    Please don’t use the word “okay” to release him. He will associate that word as his release cue whenever he hears it.
    I personally know of a woman who used “okay” as her Release Word. She, her son, and her dog on a curb waiting for traffic to clear. She turned to her son and said, “After this car, it will be okay,” and her dog went into traffic and was killed. Her dog didn’t understand the context. He only heard the word “okay.”

Choose a different Release Word such as “Finished,” “Release,” “All Done,” “Break,” etc.

Hints on Teaching the Sit

  • Put a treat on his nose while he is standing. Slowly move the treat back towards his tail, keeping the treat parallel to the floor.
    His head should raise up, causing his rear to go down. (If he backs up, train him in a corner so if he backs up, he can’t go anywhere.)
  • Say “Yes” and give him the treat the instant his rear end touches the ground and release him with your Release Word.
  • Gradually increase the length of the Sit by giving him treats during the Sit and then releasing him.

Hints on Teaching the Down

  • Put a treat on his nose while he is standing. Slowly move the treat in an L shape – straight down from his nose to the ground. When he begins to lie down, move the treat along the ground away from his body towards his front feet.
  • Say “Yes” and then give him the treat the instant his belly touches the ground and then release him with your Release Word.
  • Gradually increase the length of the Down by giving him treats during the Down and then releasing him with your Release Word.

Hints on Teaching the Stay

Teach the Stay in this order, and always give him treats and praise while he is Staying, not after you have released him.

To me, the Sit and the Stay are different. Even though he is not supposed to move until he is released, his position in relation to me is different. I teach the Sit while I’m facing my dog. I teach the Stay while my dog is next to me and we are facing the same way. (After he learns both Sit and Stay, it’s okay interchange them because he knows not to move.)

  • Teach him to Stay next to you for a  3 seconds, giving him a treat every second. Then lengthen the Stay. Release him with your Release Word.
  • Teach him to Stay away from you by gradually increasing the distance between you and him. Return to him before you release him. Then lengthen the Stay. Release him with your Release Word.
  • Teach him to Stay out of sight. Teach this in your house at a corner where two walls meet  with your dog along one wall and you “disappear” next to the other wall. Then come back to him to give him the treat and release him with your Release Word. Then lengthen the Stay, always releasing him with your Release Word.

The Stay Out of Sight is the most important part of the training for separation anxiety because it teaches your dog that you are coming back. Everything you have been teaching him is preparing him for this.

If you need help with puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations which are very effective to help in puppy dog separation anxiety. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We would love to work with you!

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – The Prep Stuff

Part 3 – The Everyday Stuff

Part 4 – The Training Stuff

Part 5 – Resources

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Copyright 2020 Caryl Wolff
All rights reserved.
Print reproduction is granted in entirety.
www.DoggieManners.com

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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
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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 puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We

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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During Coronavirus Quarantine – Part 1

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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine-Part 1

This is such a stressful time for all of us, and our dogs are a source of comfort, most likely discipline has been relaxed, and our old routines have gone out the window. We’re thinking about staying safe today and worrying about tomorrow.

We’re home more than we have ever been, but I’m wondering how it’s going to be when things get back to our new normal – both for us and for our dogs. I want our dogs to be behaviorally healthy later when life has gotten back to normal.

My biggest fear is that many dogs in this country and around the world are going to suffer from Separation Anxiety when this is all over. This series of articles is on Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety during the Coronavirus Quarantine.

On the one hand, our dogs are glad that we are home, but on the other, they know that we are stressed, and they pick up on our emotions … and become stressed, too.

I’ve read so many articles on dogs and quarantine from well-meaning authors who are interested in comforting us during this time.  Many of them say to spend a lot of time with our dogs, cuddling them as much as necessary for our benefit as well as for theirs. While that may be good for us in the short run, it’s likely not going to be great for our dogs in the long run. Why? Read on.

A New Routine for Our Puppy Dogs

Our dogs will have gotten used to a routine of our being around all the time, and then they’ll have to go back to the old one when we go back to work and leave them alone. For us, we knew this is coming and are ready to go back to our old schedules. But for our dogs, who have weathered the storm with us, all they know is that we are gone and they are alone – and if they are new puppies or newly adopted, they’ve never been alone for any extended period of time. It can be very scary.

Unfortunately, if our dogs have any behavior issues now, they are likely to increase later. Now is the time to prevent our dogs from being Velcro dogs and having Separation Anxiety later.

Dogs thrive on routine and anxieties can develop when that routine goes out the window. The thing is, our routines have drastically changed – if we even have any routines at all.  We don’t have to get up at 6am to get ready to go to work; we can even stay in bed and get our work done. Some of us only have to get “the upper half” dressed because we are in Zoom meetings, and who cares if we’re wearing pajama bottoms. We can eat whenever we want. We can come and go as we please – if we go out at all.

What is Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety?

Separation Anxiety for our dogs is a panic attack – intense fear that overwhelms them. I consider myself a fairly emotionally stable person, but I’ve had two panic attacks during my life, and they are beyond frightening. I couldn’t breathe, was trembling, my feet and hands became paralyzed, and I thought that I was having a heart attack or stroke.

Something similar happens to your dog. He doesn’t have control over his fear because he can’t cope and is TERRIFIED of being alone. He gets himself so worked up emotionally that there are physical manifestations and he will do ANYTHING to get us back.

Separation Anxiety is the most difficult behavior issue I work with because we are working on fixing a behavior that takes place when we are not home – which is why we need to work on our behavior when we are at home.

Signs of Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety

How does he try to get you back?

  • He’ll start to bark uncontrollably or while he is alone, hoping that you will hear him and come back.
  • He’ll destroy your furniture because it smells like you and he thinks you may be hiding inside your couch.
  • He’ll chew your house itself, drywalls and baseboards but especially at exit doors and windows – and jump through them – because he knows that’s the way to get outside to find you.
  • He will pee and poop all over your house hoping that his smell will help you find your way home.
  • He’ll chew on his body parts, especially his paws, because he has to find relief for that pent-up nervousness.
  • He’ll tremble and drool when he senses you are about to leave.

It’s tragic to witness. We feel guilty and want to help. We think we should be spending more time with him when we are home, but it’s not working. We’ve read articles and books. But things are not really getting better. In fact, things are getting worse.

Please Start Now

Because our dogs are used to our constant companionship now, they become dependent on us for attention and games and are not learning become confident alone and how to entertain themselves – which are skills they need to learn now for their behavioral health later.

Getting them behaviorally healthy doesn’t start the day before we go back to work. It starts now, and it starts with us. Prevention is the key, and we hold that key so they can feel secure and stable in our absence. We will be working on setting ourselves up as leaders, increasing our dogs’ frustration tolerance, decreasing the contrast between the constant companionship when we are home and when we are gone.

Take Care of Yourself

Don’t watch every single program, press conference, news report on the coronavirus or quarantine. I’m watching a LOT of nature shows on PBS – and a lot of cooking shows and, unfortunately, gaining weight…

Please forgive me

The articles in this series Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine are not as lighthearted as my other books and articles because I want to get this information out as soon as possible. It’s difficult to be entertaining during our present circumstances.

During this series of articles, I refer to puppies and dogs as “he” and people as “she” for simplicity.

Wishing that you stay healthy, stay safe – and stay home.

Please click  Part 2 – for the Prep Stuff you may not have thought of.

If you need help with puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations which are very effective to help in puppy dog separation anxiety. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We would love to work with you!

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – The Prep Stuff

Part 3 – The Everyday Stuff

Part 4 – The Training Stuff

Part 5 – Resources

REPRINT POLICY
for Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine
This article is provided free as a service
and may be reprinted IN PRINT ON PAPER ONLY
in its entirety exactly as written with the following wording:
Copyright 2020 Caryl Wolff
All rights reserved.
Print reproduction is granted in entirety.
www.DoggieManners.com

I will gladly provide you a pdf if you email me.

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Thanks for visiting Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the  Coronavirus  Quarantine

 

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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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine – Part 3

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Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine-Part 3

This is the third article in the series Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety during the Coronavirus Quarantine, and we will talk about some easy things you can do several times a day starting now.

How Is Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety Treated?

In a nutshell, Separation Anxiety treatment had been to desensitize a dog to being alone by systematically leaving him home for longer periods of time – 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, etc. The treatment was frustrating for both owners and their dogs because it typically takes several weeks of intense training, during which time their dogs cannot be left alone, so the dogs went to doggie daycare, someone’s house, or owners hired a pet sitter, neighbor, or family member to stay with them.

BUT the new thinking – which is being researched by several studies – is that Separation Anxiety is not a behavior problem in and of itself but that it is a symptom of an underlying problem.

Human equivalent – if you have a stomachache because you ate something that disagreed with you, you take an antacid. But if you have a stomachache that is caused by a growth in your stomach, the treatment for that is very different. The stomachache is the symptom but not the cause of the problem.

If your dog has other behavior issues – fear of noises, being startled easily, and aggression topping the list – please address those issues along with the separation anxiety to increase your success rate. However, because there are too many variables to address here, this series of articles will be specifically dealing with preventing Separation Anxiety and not any other issues. If you would like some help with those issues, call/text me at (310) 804-2392 or email me at caryl@DoggieManners.com. Treatment for both Separation Anxiety and these other issues is well suited for phone lessons or Zoom because it involves changing the way you do things. When you act differently, your dog will respond differently.

Preventive treatment solutions start with structure and your being a leader because you will show him that he can feel safe while he is alone and he can build on frustration tolerance. It starts by doing little things today. There is no punishment or harsh training methods.

A Few Caveats

I’m always honest with my clients and just wanted to let you know of a few caveats before you begin training.

Caveat #1 – It’s likely going to take time at the beginning and you may feel awkward because you are doing things differently. But please persevere, and it will take less and less time as your dog understands what the new rules are. His behavior may even get worse before it gets better while he is learning – that is a normal part of learning. Keep going!

Caveat #2 – There’s going to be frustration, on your part and his.

  • You may become frustrated during this training part of this program because, frankly, it can be very boring, and it also may seem like you’re not making any progress – but you are even though it may not show up immediately.

Human equivalent – if you’re reading a book, you can see that you were on page 35 but are now on page 40. It’s difficult to see your progress of those 5 pages if you change your bookmark from page 35 to page 40. It hardly shows, but you have made progress.

  • The frustration on your dog’s part is that you are teaching him that he will not always get what he wants when he wants it, the result being that he learns to tolerate frustration.

Caveat #3 – Expect that there will be setbacks.

Expect that there will be improvements and there will be setbacks. You may take 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Hang in there, and work through it. You are your dog’s best hope. If Separation Anxiety takes hold after you return to your normal schedule, he will not be able to overcome it by himself, and it will be more difficult – and costly – to help him.

Everyday Stuff You Can Do Now to
Prevent Your Puppy Dog from
Having Separation Anxiety
When Things Get Back to Normal

These suggestions take little or no time to do and mostly concentrate on doing things a bit differently and changing your behavior. The hardest part of the Everyday Stuff is to remember to do it and not fall into old behavior patterns! This is a new normal for us – it can be a new normal for your dog.

If you have a Velcro dog that follows you everywhere so you can’t even go to the bathroom by yourself or one that needs to be constantly touching you, begin by practicing physical distancing by setting new boundaries.

Please remember – you’re not going to be doing this forever! You’re setting up situations now where he learns that you will come back and so he learns that he can cope with being alone for short periods of time. Begin with the first 3 exercises and then incorporate the rest as your dog’s behavior begins to change.

  • Tell him he’s a good dog when he’s calm and quiet rather than paying attention to him when he demands it.
  • Don’t carry your dog everywhere.
  • Practice Physical Distancing. Begin with a situation that he’s familiar with that is of short duration and one where he knows that you will reappear. Start in the house for about a week (i.e., your going to the bathroom) and then when you go outside (i.e., getting the mail or throwing out the garbage). Close doors when you go from room to room – see, I said it was easy.  Don’t pay attention to him when you go out the door or make a fuss when you come back.
  • Don’t encourage clinging or give him endless attention – even if you need it. Structure your affection time with him through learning exercises.
  • Don’t let your dog sleep in bed with you.
  • Don’t let your dog constantly touch you by being on your lap, next to you, or at your feet when you are in a couch or chair. Limit the time he can lie next to you or touching your feet. Simply get up and walk to another location or physically move him. When you’re starting this exercise, he can be near you but not touching you.
  • Ignore attention-seeking behaviors such as
    • Barking at you
    • Pawing or nudging you
    • Whining at you

Other Everyday Stuff

  • Have the radio or TV on all day. It’s like white noise to him and lessens noises outside your home in order to minimize or eliminate his reacting to them.
  • Have him “Say please” by teaching him to Sit (see Part 4, The Training Stuff) until you release him for his meals, while putting on his leash for walks, before playing with him, etc.
  • Get DogTV.

The next article in Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine is The Training Stuff, creating a Safe Spot for your puppy dog and training him to LOVE that spot.

If you need help with puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations which are very effective to help in puppy dog separation anxiety. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We would love to work with you!

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – The Prep Stuff

Part 3 – The Everyday Stuff

Part 4 – The Training Stuff

Part 5 – Resources

REPRINT POLICY
for Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus  Quarantine
This article is provided free as a service
and may be reprinted IN PRINT ON PAPER ONLY
in its entirety exactly as written with the following wording:
Copyright 2020 Caryl Wolff
All rights reserved.
Print reproduction is granted in entirety.
www.DoggieManners.com

I will gladly provide you a pdf if you email me.

Wishing that you stay healthy, stay safe – and stay home.

Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine
Thanks for visiting Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Isolation Quarantine

 

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 puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We would love to work with you!

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Choose the Right Size Treat when Training your Dog or Puppy

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The right size treat for puppy dog training
The right size treat for puppy dog training

Choose the Right Size Treat when Training your Dog or Puppy

There are different types of treats for different types of dog or puppy training. Please go here to read the what treats are best for each type of training. How to Use Dog Treats Effectively in Training

Training treats should be soft treats when teaching your dog or puppy obedience behaviors so that you get a lot of repetitions in a very short time, and they should be geared to the size of your dog.

Guideline for Choosing the Right Size Treat When Training your Dog or Puppy

If your dog weighs less than 5 pounds, the treats should be half the size of a grain of rice.

If your dog weighs 5-10 pounds, the treats should be the size of a grain of rice.

If your dog weighs 10-25 pounds, the treats should be half the size of a pea.

If your dog weighs 25-40 pounds, the treats should be half the size of a dime.

If your dog weighs 40-60 pounds, the treats should be the size of a nickel

If your dog weighs 60-80 pounds, the treats should be the size of a little larger than a nickel.

If your dog weighs over 80 pounds, the treats should be the size of a quarter.

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The Right Size Treat for Training Your Dog or Puppy

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.

I make a small commission on any products or books I recommend.

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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Changing Your Puppy Dog’s Food

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Changing Your Puppy Dog’s Food

Changing Your Puppy Dog’s Food

 

Have you ever wondered about
Changing Your Puppy Dog’s Food

You’ve come to the right place! This article will give you some guidelines about changing your puppy dog’s food.

Clients ask me all the time what food is best for their dogs and how to switch foods – usually after they switch when they run out of the old food, change to the new food, and their dog gets diarrhea!

The process in changing foods is not difficult, but it cannot be done overnight. Also, what is a good food for one dog may not be good for another because of medical, health, or age differences. What follows is a guideline for switching or changing dog foods.

The Process of
Changing Your Puppy Dog’s Food

First, when you switch food, you may have to experiment to see which food your dog likes and which his system adapts to. Pet stores sometimes have sample packages, so ask for some. If they don’t give samples, then buy the smallest bag so you don’t get stuck with a large bag of food your dog can’t or won’t eat.

When you are switching foods, the transition needs to be done gradually decreasing your dog’s current food and increasing the new so your dog’s digestive tract acclimates to the new food and doesn’t get an upset stomach.  The process should take 10 days to 2 weeks.

Let’s hypothetically say you are feeding your dog 1 cup of food at a meal. When you begin the transition, give him ¾ cup of the old to ¼ of the new for 3-4 days. If his stool is okay (it may look different but should be at least the consistency of a banana), then switch to half of each for 3-4 days. Again, if the stool is okay, then go to ¾ of the new to ¼ of the old for 3-4 days. And then all new food.

If the stool is not okay – let’s say it’s okay at half and half but not at ¾ to ¼  – then stay at half and half for about a week and then try the switch again. If it’s still not okay, then you may have to try a different food.

Other Considerations in Changing Food

Keep this in mind – some dogs can only tolerate one grain source and/or one protein source, and you may find that information on the label. For example, if you’re currently feeding chicken and want to switch to lamb, his system may not tolerate the lamb, which will make itself known in the stool. If you want to switch foods to get a better quality food, then choose one with the same grain and/or protein source.

One other thing, your dog may love the new food and the stool is fine, but it gives him gas. Gas ain’t great – especially if you’re in a closed room! – because it means that he’s not fully digesting the food. Try to find a food that’s good for him and gasless.

Puppy Dog Foods to Change to

Here are the dog foods I’ve chosen from Amazon.

True confession – I have not tried every single food or every item in this website. I do get a small commission from the items you order from there. My criteria for choosing items is

  • I like the product.
  • Other trainers whom I respect like the product.
  • It has gotten 4 of 5 stars from Amazon consumers.
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    Changing Your Puppy Dog’s Food

    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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Dangerous People Food for Dogs

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Dangerous People Food for Dogs

Dangerous People Food for Dogs

The ASPCA has an enormous list of poisons and symptoms. If you think your dog has ingested any poison or dangerous food, you may call them at Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435, which is staffed by veterinarians and toxicologists. The current fee for the call is $65. When I called to find out more information, I finally hung up after a five-minute wait. So my advice is if you see your dog eat something harmful or you think he has, get your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

Here’s your dangerous list.

  • Alcohol, Recreational Drugs, and some food products can cause vomiting and even lead to death. Do not give your dog any alcohol. Period. That goes for marijuana and other recreational drugs. They can get a high from secondhand smoke, which impact varies according to the weight of your dog. Don’t “see what happens if I blow smoke in his face” or give it to him as a joke. Tell your guests as well. And don’t give him or let him have access to food containing marijuana or THC.
  • Avocados and mangos – The flesh is okay, but pits, skin, branches, leaves, and bark are not. Only Haas avocados are okay. Others may have toxic compounds that cause gastrointestinal upset, especially true of those from Central America (which are okay for people but not for dogs).
  • Chocolate and caffeine products including coffee grounds and espresso beans can come from “unusual” sources such as multi-flavored vitamins, soda, and energy drinks. Generally speaking, the darker the chocolate and the smaller your dog is, the greater the danger is.
  • Coconut water is high in potassium. While it may be good for us, don’t give it to your dog. Opinions differ, so do your own research.
  • Dairy Products – This depends on the dog because dogs don’t produce lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk) which can cause diarrhea or upset stomach. On the other hand, some dogs tolerate cheese and yogurt with no issues. If you do feed cheese, be sure it is low in both sodium and fat; with yogurt, plain with no sugar.
  • Grapes and Raisins can cause kidney failure. Never give them to dogs, and call your vet a.s.a.p. if your dog ingests them.
  • Nuts, especially macadamia nuts. Nuts contain high amounts of oils and fats which can lead to pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts additionally can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia.
  • Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Scallions, Chives, and Shallots – Symptoms begin with excessive drooling and end with the rupture of red blood cells. A little garlic is okay; it takes more than a clove to cause issues, but be moderate. Akitas and Shiba Inus are especially sensitive.
  • Peanuts are actually not nuts but legumes. If you give your dog peanut butter, make sure it doesn’t contain salt or artificial sweeteners, especially Xylitol.
  • Raw or Undercooked Meat, Eggs, and Bones – There is a lot of controversy over raw meat and bones as well as using grapefruit extract or food grade hydrogen peroxide to disinfect it. Raw eggs can contain Salmonella and E. coli and also have an enzyme that can decrease the absorption of biotin leading to skin and coat issues. Again, do your own research.
  • Salt and salty foods can cause sodium poisoning, increased thirst, and urination.
  • Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners – Read the ingredients to see if the product contains Xylitol. If your dog swallows it, get thee to a veterinarian FAST – my vet emphasizes that this is “deadly stuff.” If you see symptoms, it may be too late. Xylitol may be an ingredient in
    • Baked foods
    • Diabetic foods
    • Gums, mints, and candies
    • Peanut butter artificially sweetened
    • Mouthwashes and Toothpastes (in large amounts)
    • Nasal sprays
    • Sugar-free multivitamins and medications
  • Yeast and Raw Dough – The yeast expands in your dog’s stomach just the same as it causes dough to rise – only it is trapped, so his stomach blows up like a balloon. The warmth of the intestinal tract also causes fermentation, so your dog looks like he is drunk. If you get your dog to a vet quickly, he can recover, especially if he eats only a small amount and is able to vomit it before the yeast ferments and the dough expands.
    This post is an excerpt from my book
    Doggie Dangers & Safety Tips
    In and around your home and yard
    Please check it out!
    Kindle https://amzn.to/339vXwH
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    Dangerous People Food for Dogs

    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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Choosing a Responsible Reputable Ethical Puppy Breeder

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Choosing a Responsible Reputable Ethical Puppy Breeder

When you are choosing a responsible, reputable, or ethical puppy breeder, you may be at a loss to ask the right questions. I get so many questions on how to choose a responsible, reputable, or ethical puppy breeder that I decided to make a list questions to ask and topics to explore. This is such a huge topic (I have 250 pages of notes!) that it is only a list at this point. I will write more at a later date.

The first thing to do is find the breed organization or kennel clubs in the local area who will supply you a list of breeders to see whether your breeder is on that list. Not all puppies that come with “papers” come from responsible ethical puppy breeders. Puppy mill puppies will give you papers. Each breeder will have his or her methods of matching you with the right puppy.

This is a list of questions for you to ask(which represents my researach thus far) in no particular order of criteria, to help you in choosing a responsible, reputable, or ethical puppy breeder.

Questions about the Breeder

  • How many puppies and dogs do you currently have?
  • How many breeds do you currently breed?
  • How many puppies are available now?
  • How long have you been breeding?
  • Why do you breed?
  • How did you get into breeding?
  • Can I come to see your facility?
  • Are you state licensed or USDA approved?
  • How many of your puppies have been returned? If so, why?
  • Has any puppy buyer complained about high veterinary bills or death?
  • How do you keep yourself educated and informed as a breeder?
  • What rescues are you involved in?
  • Will you sell me two puppies?
  • What are the breed standards for your breed?
  • How do you match up puppies with buyers?
  • Do you help in rescuing your breed from shelters or rescue groups?
  • Do you belong to local, regional, or national breed clubs?
  • Do you compete in dog shows?
  • How many different breeds do you have and/or breed?
  • Do you sell to pet stores or puppy brokers?
  • Do you breed for temperament, for show, or for both?
  • Will you tell me whether my puppy is pet quality or show quality and why?
  • How long do you keep the puppies before selling them?

    Questions about Documentation

  • Will you provide me with genealogy documentation about my puppy’s parents, grandparents, etc.?
  • Will you provide me with medical records about my puppy and his parents?
  • Will you provide me with pedigree and registration papers made out in my name immediately upon the purchase of your puppy?
  • Do you ask for proof if I live in an apartment or condominium that I am allowed to have a dog?

Questions about Guarantees and Business

  • Do you have a contract?
  • Is there a spay or neuter clause?
  • What are your specific health guarantees?
  • Do you have any temperament guarantees?
  • Will you send me a copy of your guarantee and contract before we meet so I can read it?
  • Do you require me to take the puppy to a veterinarian of my choice within “X” days after receipt?
  • If my puppy is sick when I go to the vet within the specified “X” period, do you pay the vet bills?
  • What happens if my puppy dies during or immediately after shipment?
  • What equipment and/or supplies do you provide with the puppy?
  • Do you microchip?
  • Can you give me phone numbers or email addresses of previous puppy buyers so I can talk with them directly?
  • Are you available if I have any questions with behavior or medical issues?
  • Will you take the puppy or dog back at any time in the future? If so, how is that handled?

Questions about the Parents

  • Will you let me meet the parents?
  • Have the parents or grandparents had any illnesses or congenital disorders?
  • What is the temperament of the parents?
  • How often have you bred the mother?
  • How old was the mother when she was first bred?
  • What is the age of the father when he was first bred?
  • Do you breed the mother every time she goes into heat?
  • Has the mother had a caesarean section? If so, how many?
  • Do you breed the son back to the mother?
  • Why did you choose this particular dam and sire to breed?

Questions about the Puppies

  • Where specifically is the nest – in the kitchen, in the garage, in the basement?
  • Can I visit you to see the nest and environment?
  • If the nest isn’t in the house, are the dogs or puppies ever allowed in the house where people spend their time?
  • How many puppies are in the litter I am interested in?
  • What is the earliest age you allow your puppies to go home?
  • Has the puppy been separated from its mother? If so, at what age?
  • In what way and how much have you handled the puppies?
  • How much time do people spend with the puppies daily?
  • Can I spend time with the litter and parents?
  • Do you provide toys and enrichment opportunities for your puppies? If so, what are they?

Questions about the Health of the Puppies

  • How many times my puppy been to the vet, for what reasons, and what is his overall medical condition?
  • Can you send me or can I see the puppy’s vet records before purchase?
  • How many of your puppies have died within a month of being in their new home?
  • What is the average life span of the dogs you have bred?
  • What kind of health problems have you encountered with your puppies?
  • What shots has my puppy had?
  • Has my puppy been dewormed?
  • Has my puppy been examined for parasites?
  • Have you screed for hereditary or genetic defects? If so, will you provide me documentation of the results?
  • Do you give a health guarantee?

    Questions about Care and Training

  • Have you done any training, especially potty training?
  • Have you taken the puppies outside the home other than to go to the vet?
  • What kind of socialization and environmental enrichment have the puppies had?
  • How should I care for my puppy when I get him home?
  • Do you have any written instructions that I can take with me?
  • What supplies, toys, or food do you provide?
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Choosing a Responsible Reputable Ethical
Puppy Breeder

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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Behavior Chains in Dog Training – Part 1

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Why Knowing about Behavior Chains in Dog Training Is So Important

What is a behavior chain?

A behavior chain is a series of behaviors that you (or your dog or someone else) does in a predictable pattern.  Each link in the chain is a distinct behavior, and each link signals the next link is coming.  The easiest way to explain it is by example, so here goes.

An Explanation of a Behavior Chain

You start at the beginning, Point A in the diagram.  There are two options where you can end up – Point B or Point C.  Point B is the “bad” behavior you don’t like.  Point C is the “good” behavior you do like.

The distance between Point B and Point C is enormous – look at the size of that arrow.  But the distance between the first link of the chain going towards Point B (Link B1) and the first link of the chain going towards Point C (Link C1) is not – that arrow is much, much smaller.  That’s where you start, at that first link.  If you start further along the chain, it gets harder and harder to change your dog’s behavior because he has already been rewarded for “bad” behavior. The trick is to discover what the first link is because what you may think it is may not be what your dog determines is the first link.

An Example of a Behavior Chain in Dog Training

Here’s a concrete example.  A client had two large dogs that pulled her down the street.  The only help she wanted from me was to get her dogs to stop pulling. To top it off, she lived on the second floor, and she was afraid, rightly so, that the dogs might pull down the stairs.

She thought that we were going outside and I was either going to yank and crank her dogs into submission or that I had some magic fairy dust to sprinkle on them.  Neither of those things happened.

I explained to her that if she didn’t have control of her dogs inside the house where she has more control of distractions, she could never have control of them outside where she could not control distractions.  And this is the important part – the control starts at the beginning when the dogs had the first indication (that’s the very first link in the chain) that they were going for a walk.

Here is the sequence of her behaviors before taking the dogs for a walk.  Each behavior is one link in the chain.  However, for brevity, I’ve included only the gross behaviors.  We’ll talk more about the smaller behaviors in a minute.

  1. She always went barefoot in the house, so the first thing she did was go to THE closet where her shoes were.
  2. She took the shoes to the bed where she put them on.
  3. She went into the kitchen to get the clean-up bags.
  4. She went to the living room and got the leashes from the drawer.
  5. She struggled to put the leashes on her dogs.
  6. She opened the door and went for the walk with her dogs pulling her out the door, down the steps, and down the street.

With each step in the chain, the dogs got more excited because they knew what was coming next, i.e., the next link in the chain.  By the time she got the leashes out, the dogs were crazed and out of control.

We needed to change the chain.  The links were going to be the same, but the dogs’ behavior determined when they would get the reward of the next link.

Part 2 is the new behavior chain we used in training her dogs.

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book Key Concepts in Dog Training – Secrets You Need to Know to Make Dog Training Easier and Faster.

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How to Use Dog Training Treats Effectively

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dog behind a pile of dog treats
Which dog treats should you use to train me effectively?

How to Use
Dog Training Treats Effectively

I’ve been training a long time – practically since dirt was new centuries ago – and have used various methods of training. I’ve learned (yes, I learn all the time!) that dogs seem to learn quicker with reward-based training.

A reward is anything your dog likes – treats, petting, going for a walk, playing fetch.

I tend to use treats more often than other rewards because I can get a lot of repetitions in a short amount of time. The neurons in your dog’s brain are making connections when he learns a new behavior and form a lasting association with getting a yummy food reward and the behavior he is doing at the time he receives it. The more repetitions, the stronger the association.

Types of Dog Training

When clients call me, their dogs need different kinds of training, and those fall into roughly four categories:

  • Obedience training (Sit, Down, Come, etc.)
  • Behavior training (anxiety, fear, aggression, etc.)
  • Confinement training (crate or pen training)
  • Association training (where he learns that a particular place is a good place to be because he gets treats for being there)

Since the things I teach are not the same, all the treats are not the same – treats for obedience exercises are different than those for behavior training. What follows is why I use a certain category of treats for training certain behaviors or exercises.

Dog Treats for Obedience Training

These dog treats are smelly, soft, and small for obedience or trick training where there are several repetitions in a short time. The training treats should be

  • Smelly to pique and keep his interest
  • Soft so he doesn’t have to chew time and you can get more reps in the practice session
  • Small so he doesn’t become “Pork-u-dog,” i.e., a really fat dog.

Dog Treats for Behavior Training

These dog treats are larger than training treats, hard, and meat based.  When he chews these, he engages the thinking part of his brain instead of the reacting part of the brain. The behavior treats should be

  • Large so he cannot swallow them
  • Hard so he has to chew them and focus on chewing the treat rather on the behavior we’re working with
  • Meat-based because those seem to hold his attention the best.  If your dog absolutely positively goes wild for baked peanut butter treats, then use those.

Dog Treats that are
Long-lasting for Confinement Training

These are – surprise! –  dog treats that take him awhile to chew on.  These can be either the treats themselves such as bully sticks or getting them out of a puzzle toy or Kong. We want him to concentrate on chewing these treats for extended periods of time, both because chewing gives him something to think about other than confinement and also because chewing is a stress release.

Dog Treats for Association Training

These are dog treats that your dog associates with a specific place or activity and also serve to keep him interested in that place for a long period of time.

 

What Kind of Dog Treats to Use

Your dog’s treats should be natural and not contain any dyes, chemical preservatives, or additives – my rule of thumb is if I can’t pronounce it, it’s usually something I don’t want!  Treats preserved with Tocopherols are fine because it is basically Vitamin E, which comes from vegetable oil, so it is natural.

I personally like the treats that look like a salami or sausage roll because it’s versatile since you can cut it in chunks, slice it like silver dollars, or grate or crumble it – and it’s less expensive when you cut it yourself.  After you break the plastic seal, it needs to be refrigerated. However, I prefer to cut the entire roll at one time because it can mold (yuck!) if it’s left refrigerated too long. I put the chunks in a ziplock bag in the freezer and another bag for the crumbles/sprinkles. I let the silver dollar slices air dry so they are hard because I want the dog take a longer time in chewing it than inhaling a softer treat.

I don’t suggest using sausage for all your training. Your dog can become very picky and refuse to eat anything except the sausage.  You can also grate the sausage rolls and put the gratings in a ziplock bag with kibble so the kibble smells like the sausage.  Then don’t feed him his regular meals.  The only food he gets is the smelly kibble during training.

Recommended Dog Treats for Obedience Training

Recommended Dog Treats for Behavior Training

Recommended Dog Treats for Confinement Training

Recommended Dog Treats for Association Training

This is an Amazon-affiliated website, and I receive a small commission for any items purchased through this site and for the items mentioned here.

Thanks for visiting How to Use Dog Treats Effectively

 

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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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs Part 18

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Rabies Vaccination for Dogs – AB 272

Dog Getting Vaccinated

Ouch!

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.

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 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.

 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 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.”

 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 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

 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 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]

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 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.

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 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.

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!

Share

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.

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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.

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 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.

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 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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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.

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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 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.

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!

Share