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Ok, so my husband and I recently adopted our Coco about a month ago. Healthy 3-year-old 20 lb female who looks to be something between a brittany and a cocker spaniel. We took her to the vet today for our first examination with her and the vet said she's healthy, but recommended a some vaccinations, some of which I don't necessarily think are important. The shelter we adopted her from already had her vaccinated for rabies and distempter, kennel cough, and some sort of flea and tick treatment (all good so far).

When we took her to the vet, we expected an "all ok!" and a heartworm treatment, but on top of a booster for her, the vet said since we take her to dog parks a lot and pretty much every outdoor space dogs are allowed, its important to vaccinate against leptospirosis and canine influenza.
She said that there was an outbreak of canine influenza in Tampa during a dog show this year (we live in central Florida, 3 hours drive from there) and that we should definately get her vaccinated.

I dont know if either of the two vaccinations were really necessary. What do you think? What vaccinations do you give your dog and how often?
 

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To vaccinate or not? Now theres a hot potatoe. I did a lot of reading about vaccinations. Then considered what my dogs would have. Then outside influences: trialling dogs must have them. So opted for titre test instead. Most dogs i mixed with did not do yrly booster shots. But do titre tests instead. In the part of state i live in there are no ticks or heart worm.so theres another 'preventative' toxin my dog does not require. Every vet i have visited has offered my dogs unecessary vacc's. Its their upsell obligation to employing practice. Do your research... and get informed opinion from RCT's. Then make your decision. My friend had a litter of 8 healthy pups. 1 got collected 1 day early. The remaining 7 went to vet for Vaccinations. All 7 dead. Only 1 pup survived. My friends as he collected pup before loadsa vaccinations in 1 visit poor practice.
 

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Coming from another Floridian, if you're planning on bringing your dog out in public where she may interact with other dogs I would highly recommend the canine influenza shot. From what I heard the dog flu actually started at a confirmation show in Orlando and spread through the entire state RAPIDLY. It's spread through the air and usually doesn't show signs until after it is contagious so people may not be aware that they are bringing sick dogs out. From the stories I have read it comes on rapidly and takes a lot out of the dogs. I read a heartbreaking story of an aussie breeder who lost 1 older dogs and 2 puppies because of it and the story of her holding her puppy that she had great hopes for while it took it's last breathe was heartbreaking. It's just not worth risking it.

Oh should put it out there I not usually pro vaccination. I only do the state necessary and battled the threat of the dog flu by not taking my dogs out. We ended agility classes early last year and many trials were canceled or postponed.
 

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I believe it's important to do your own research regarding the issue of vaccines. You will probably find a wide variety of opinions here or anywhere for that matter. But you need to be convinced based on your own research regarding what is right for your own dog. Personally, I did my own research regarding the lepto vaccine and considered many different factors in my own situation (where I live, how often do I go to parks, ponds etc) and also the possible negative effects of the vaccine, and decided not to get it. Do pretty much the same for any other 'non core' vaccine and base your decision on how you feel regarding the information you learn.
 

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Yeah this is a hot topic. I think its personal preference at least on the yearly boosters. I get all the recommended puppy boosters and 3 year rabies, but have never done the yearly shots. ....but I dont do dog parks or even let my dogs interact with strange dogs, so I dont know what you would need if your dogs do that sort of thing.
 

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No, they are not necessarily needed. Over vaccinating can be detrimental. All of mine get the first set only from the breeder, then I wait five weeks and get titers done. Then, and ONLY then do they get just what they specifically need, and no others. Another five or so weeks and I titer again. If none are needed none are given. At that point, they are immune usually for life. Giving more won't improve immunity, it will only wreck the immune system. They are either immune or they are not. Vets push tons of vaccines because it's a huge part of their profit...
 

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I really think that Vets in general, and especially the good ones, have no problem with their profits, with or without vaccinations. I believe that Vets, the good ones, recommend vaccinations because there is empirical evidence that the vast majority of dogs that are regularly vaccinated are healthier and live longer. There are, of course exceptions, as there always are with anything medical.
 

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It depends on your dogs lifestyle. Some people opt for minimal vaccination. That is not something I would ever do. Then again I have seen a lot of animals die from preventable diseases. The most pain and suffering death I have seen was a miniature horse with rabies. That animal broke its own leg by repeatedly biting it and flipping itself over. That fact and that rabies post exposure treatment for humans is 3-5 shots and costs about 1000$ per shot. There was a little boy in Florida who died from rabies earlier this year.

The record for the most expensive veterinary bill (last I heard) was for an adult dog that contracted parvo (part of the DA2PP vaccine). That bill cost in the neighborhood of 60,000. It was basically the equivalent financially of sending your child to Harvard for a year.

I saw a service dog with lepto. The dog was not vaccinated for lepto and contracted the disease. The dog spent over a month at a teaching hospital, it was on dialysis. Due to the fact that lepto is zoonotic it was a biocontainment issue, gloves changed after handling the dog, dog had to be walked and cleaned up after in a certain area. Specific cleaners had to be used to prevent the spread to people. At the end, the bill was somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000. The owner was in a really terrible spot at the end, where he had to decide if he wanted to continue dialysis or euthanize the dog. He lived out of state and the nearest dialysis was a 4 hour drive away. The dog required dialysis 3 times a week. It was unlikely, that the dog would end up being able to continue to be his service animal (owner was a double amputee, who used the dog for stability). I am not sure what he ended up deciding to do. It was upsetting because vaccination could have prevented that. Granted lepto is not a perfect vaccination and only covers 4 serovars and there is mixed evidence of cross protection.

We are, as a general rule, really lucky in America. Vaccinations are so common that we experience herd immunity without really thinking about it. Most people don't think about or see the diseases we vaccinate for because so many people vaccinate. In parts of Southeast Asia and Africa diseases like Rabies are much more common and its not uncommon for people to die from them. We sometimes forget how horrible it is to watch animals who have these diseases suffer from them. It is pretty horrible to see puppies with parvo virus and to clean up the diarrhea from a parvo puppy (bright red blood with chunks of intestines in it). Its worse because its preventable. I am a big fan of vaccination but not all vaccines are right for everyone. Things like lyme, lepto, kennel cough and flu are based on risk. If your vet is suggesting it, it may be because they are seeing a lot of animals sick with that disease. People tend to think vets are in it for the money, but realistically titers are way more expensive then vaccines.
 

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Coming from another Floridian, if you're planning on bringing your dog out in public.......
I havent been living in Florida for long, so I do appreciate having your opinion. Especially since it seems like if you have a dog in this state it's at risk for pretty much everything. We took her to a dog park today which was attached to a lake. I kept imagining a gator eating her, ameoba going into her brain, or a snake biting her. Every time I walk her, I see little insects try to jump on her against her white fur. What do you do in terms of flea/tick/heartworm?
 

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Our vet errs on the lesser side when a dog is older and the risk of vaccine may be less than the benefit, but a healthy 3 year old, he would probably suggest those. They can space the vaccines out if that would make you feel better. We had some shots one day and the rabies about 2 weeks later.
 

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risk, mandated vax, & optional vax

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Vax are either optional [Lyme, etc] or mandatory [in the USA, annual rabies by 4 to 6-MO; then 3-yr rabies vax around that anniversary, then every 3 years for life].

If Ur dog has no current rabies-vax, & bites or scratches someone, s/he might be confiscated & killed, their corpse decapitated, & their head sent to the state-vet lab for testing.
I am very irritated when APOs don't take rabies seriously - it's a Godawful illness, & tho a very few ppl have survived it, historically, once U develop symptoms, it's considered 100% fatal.
A few weeks ago, a 48-YO man in India died, 25-years after the dog-bite that apparently delivered the virus; so far as i know, his is the current record for latent incubation of that sickness. // The general latency is up to 8-mos after exposure, but multi-year latencies have been recorded B4, including the sad case of a little girl, who was bitten by a bat in S America, then developed active rabies as a teenager, 8-years later, & died.

Distemper is a horrible disease that can cause permanent neuro damage - & as it's preventable, IMO it's irresponsible to skip that vaccine; even if YOUR dog survives it with no crippling after-FX, there's no reason to presume that any dogs who contract it via Ur dog, will get off so lightly. :(

Lepto isn't one i'd get automatically *unless* my dog & i lived in an area with a good-sized rat or mouse popn - such as, say, any large urban / burban / metro area. // If i still lived on our family farm, i'd skip Lepto, but i'd also provide MY OWN WATER at dog-shows & public events... & no casual slurping from puddles, ponds, & shared drinking-bowls, either, nor from fountains [yuck!], which aren't filtered, the water is rarely changed, & it's often filthy - bird-droppings, human urine, heavy metals from the dingbats who can't resist tossing coins in, poisonous nicotine from cig-butts... blecch. :puke:


k9 flu, statistically, is not very dangerous. // That's no comfort to those who have senior dogs with heart issues, or young pups, who are both among the subsets at higher risk, vs healthy adult dogs.

Canine Influenza Vaccination: Does Your Dog Need It? | petMD
https://www.petmd.com/.../canine-influenza-vaccination-does-your-dog-need-it-3540...
Jan 31, 2017 -
Dogs that are at higher risk of exposure should be vaccinated. The first canine influenza vaccine was introduced in June of 2009 to aid in controlling infection with canine influenza virus H3N8, since that was the only strain found in the United States at that time. In 2015, following the Chicago epidemic, ...



Dog flu is real, but there's no reason to panic - The Verge
https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/30/.../canine-flu-outbreak-h3n2-dogs-panic
Jan 30, 2018 -
...And that's what can kill a dog. So, in these areas where the flu is spreading, pet owners should keep an eye out for symptoms, and talk to their vet about whether the dog should be vaccinated. In fact, both strains of dog flu in the US have a vaccine - which lowers a dog's risk of getting sick, & helps a pup ...


CiV-H3N8 & CiV-H3N2 each have their own vaccine; ask if there are outbreaks locally, or inquire of vets in the city where that next show will be held - if U want to vaccinate, U need to do it approx ONE MONTH B4 exposure may occur. [Don't forget to ID the strain in any outbreak.]

30 of 48 mainland states now have reported cases of both strains - the other 18 states have one or the other, not both [so far].
https://www.dogflu.com/outbreak-map
Click on 2018 for the current map.

Lyme is difficult to prevent - the tiny nymph-stage ticks are the a bit larger than the period at the end of this sentence. // If it's prevalent where U live, i'd probly opt to vaccinate. The cardiac & joint issues it can cause are life-changing, & can be chronic, or fatal - tho usually not immediately.

- terry

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Titres [IMO] are great!

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BTW, some years back, when i wanted to titre my dog's immune response vs blindly stick an ampule into her, my vet [in VA] laughed at me.
She thot it was hysterical that i'd "waste my money" [her words] on bloodwork, when the shots were about 1/4th the cost of each titre. :rolleyes:
And that didn't even include the office fee [another $35].

Given my druthers, i'd "waste" money, rather than over-vaccinate my dog.
Of them all, rabies is both the most-necessary, AND the most-likely to cause problems.

- terry

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I havent been living in Florida for long, so I do appreciate having your opinion. Especially since it seems like if you have a dog in this state it's at risk for pretty much everything. We took her to a dog park today which was attached to a lake. I kept imagining a gator eating her, ameoba going into her brain, or a snake biting her. Every time I walk her, I see little insects try to jump on her against her white fur. What do you do in terms of flea/tick/heartworm?
Oh god, yea welcome to Florida. I don't let me dogs (or myself for that matter) swim in lakes down here. I've grown up with a healthy terror of lakes. Lol. I find it baffling whenever I go North and people are swimming in lakes. So many things are trying to hurt you down here. Lol.

As far a flea/tick/heartworm goes I am really bad and am not regular on anything although I don't go to parks or take my dogs anywhere that isn't treated. During the summer months I will give my dogs one of the oral flea medications because that is when they get bad but other then that I have had luck, but like I said I am really not good about that. @Aspen726 has said GREAT things about the soresto collars.
 

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Yep, I've used the Seresto for about 2.5 years and have not seen a single flea or tick on her. We are in the woods every single day and ticks are insane here during the warmer months. I like the Seresto also because I can put it on and forget about it for 6 months. For heartworm, I use Heartgard that I get from my vet.
 

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about 18 hours ago · #9
I really think that Vets in general, and especially the good ones, have no problem with their profits".

Here in Aus vets wage same as nurse
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@jclark343 thank you for the welcome! I come from a little desert island with no lakes. Hence, I was in for a shock when I moved here. Gators in your backyard?!! WHAT??? Although, I must say, it is a relief to know she is not afraid of water as we plan on taking her sailing with us.... But that's a whole other topic.
@Aspen726 We have started her on hartgard chewable treat for now, but will definitely look into the seresto collar. Thanks!

Anyone had any opinions on the more natural stuff, like this?:
https://www.chewy.com/flea-away-natural-flea-tick-mosquito/dp/105330

Or sprays like these?:
https://www.chewy.com/natural-care-dog-cat-flea-tick-spray/dp/157167
https://www.chewy.com/ark-naturals-neem-protect-dog-cat/dp/45747
https://www.chewy.com/ark-naturals-flea-flicker-tick-kicker/dp/36018
https://www.chewy.com/richards-organics-flea-tick-spray-12/dp/43609
https://www.chewy.com/pet-naturals-vermont-flea-tick-spray/dp/35971
https://www.chewy.com/naturvet-herbal-flea-dog-cat-spray-16/dp/36823
https://www.chewy.com/natural-chemistry-natural-flea-tick/dp/44509
https://www.chewy.com/dr-harveys-herbal-protection-dog/dp/47379
https://www.chewy.com/cedarcide-original-biting-insect-dog/dp/148550

I know many people laugh at the whole "natural" thing, but I know that I have personally benefitted from avoiding excess chemicals where possible and sticking with the natural stuff, so I am wondering if it is the same for your dogs?
 

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catnip-extract repels mosquitoes better than DEET

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I know that catnip-extract in a pump-spray was proven more effective than DEET at repelling mozzies -
but i've no idea if it affects fleas or ticks in the slightest. :( U couldn't pay me enuf to smear DEET all over my skin, so i'm very happy to have catnip as a safe alternative, plus here in Mass., blessedly, mozzies aren't the 24 / 7 rotating teams that infest Ol' Virginny, where if it isn't Aedes, it's Asian Tigers, or some other invasive alien, biting nite & day. :eek:

I'm also deeply grateful that i've yet to encounter the Euro fire-ants that were transported to New England, & have spread; i was stung 3X in my last 2-yrs in Va, by the S American variant, & had to go to the E.R. each time, blast 'em. :mad:

Now that i no longer do a 4-day, 3-night, live-in shift in the "woods" of Lexington, i'm at much-lower risk for Lyme-carrying ticks, but i'm still cautious. // Being the only person in a 4-person home who -Doesn't- have Lyme disease was very sobering.

- terry

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@leashedForLife, that really sucks having to go to the ER for the fire ant bites. Sorry you have to go through that. I dont know what I'd be able to do if they affected me that badly as we live in an area that is crawling with them......fire ant bites are almost a daily occurrence for me, but they just make me itch. I'd have to relocate if they had any worse effect for me.
DEET is some nasty stuff but its almost a necessary evil for us....we live right smack next to the marsh and sand nats ( others probably know them as no see ums ) are far worse here than mosquitos, nothing keeps them off as well as deet. But its never a good sign when the bug repellent you're using will actually eat the lettering off of the bottle it comes in! ( and some rubber watch bands )
We sometimes use a homemade rinse for our dogs to help with bugs. We grow rosemary and lemongrass ( lemongrass is actually the true source of citronella, not the geranium which is marketed as the citronella plant ) and boil the two together to make a fragrant rinse. We then rinse the dogs with it. Its not a magic bullet but it seems to help plus they smell great after.
 
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