Unfortunately, there are several websites, such as Gooddog coming up nowadays that are "rating/grading" breeders of every dog breed. It should be noted that they do not have the experience nor knowledge required to do this adequately. Newfoundland dogs are required to have a heart clearance by a cardiologist, not a general practioner, and should have an Advanced Cardiac Clearance consisting of an echocardiogram and auscultation. Gooddog rates a breeder that has hip, elbow, and a practioner heart clearance as excellent, though a practioner is not a cardiologist. Unfortunately, this is an example of the lack of experience and attentiveness required to identify and ensure that breeding dogs are healthy and have all clearances. Websites such as Gooddog, as of now, don't know the requirements of each breed for their clearances. Please do the right thing and go to this page on Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). On this page, select the breed of dog and the clearances that the breed should have will be listed. Additionally, OFA also provides the link to the official website for each breed in the USA. You may also go to this page on American Kennel Club (AKC) to find the Official Club for each breed, known as the Mother Club. Just a friendly reminder: OFA has been supporting canine health for over 50 years, not trying to help anyone sell a puppy. Please don't be taken by these unscrupulous unethical ratings given out by websites.
Ensure each parents heart has a clearance posted on OFA, by a board certified Cardiologist, accept no less.

still under development

This page will be a constant work in progress. I will do my best to keep it updated. My reason for this page is simply to share information. Lately I have realized how many Veterinarian's follow old protocols and by doing so, put our dogs in danger, therefore I am sharing information.

My puppy vaccine program is tailored to the individual litter. By utilizing the technologoy available at Ronald D Schultz laboratory, at Univeristy of Wisconsin, Dr. Ronald Schultz has a protocol he uses to customize vaccinerecommended schedule for litters of titered bitches. The lab is able to predict how long the MDA (maternally derived antibody) will remain protecting the puppies. This is to help determine the specific date ranges necessary to maximize pupp's vaccines responses and immunity they develop. By doing this, we can minimize the number of vaccines administered, maximize immune responses, and minimize adverse vaccine reactions associated with non-customized vaccine protocols. Yes they need vaccines, 100% without a doubt they do, but giving them blindly, as we have done for years, is not of value yet does expose them to increased risk of recations.

Hopefully the below image will help you understand how Maternally Derived Antibodies work. They give protection, yet also block vaccine protection for a length of time.

As vaccine protocols change, pet owners need to be fully aware so they, along with their Vet, can make the best decision for their pets. Unfortunately there are some Veterinarians that do not follow the current protocol, so you really need to be aware. Vaccinations save lives. Our puppies and dogs do need to be vaccinated, period, no question about it, for the core vaccines.
Core vaccines are recommended for all puppies and dogs with an unknown vaccination history. These include vaccines for canine parvovirus (CPV), canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV), and rabies.

Core Vaccines:

Rabies must be given per State requirements; one dose at 4 months or older, booster 1 year later and booster every 1 or 3 yrs thereafter (depending if your pet received the 3 year or 1 year rabies vaccine). It is in your pets best interest to have the 3 year vaccination, thus less vaccines over their lifetime. Rabies has been known to have some very serious side effects, ranging from behavioral/temperament to death. There is currently a Rabies Challenge Fund being done. Dr Jean Dodds, Kris Christine and Dr Ronald Schultz are working to show that rabies vaccine is not needed every 3 years. The study is currently in it's 4th out of 7. Please read about the study at above link and consider donating. Currently, be aware that Rabies must be administered as it is required by law.

Please Note- core vaccines mentioned below do not include rabies.

Remaining core vaccines are canine parvovirus (CPV), canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV). You will find that most likely no two veterinarians follow the same protocol. Puppies are administered these vaccines multiple times, not because it takes 2 or 3 doses to immunize, but because of maternal antibodies passed to the puppies from Moms colostrum (which block the vaccine). There is a window of time, which can vary with each puppy and each litter, that is best to administer first vaccine. We want to cover the period when maternal anitbodies are getting to low to protect but yet we don't want to wait until they're gone or the puppy is left completely unprotected. Thus the reason for multiple doses of puppy vaccines. However, it has been shown that giving vaccines too early is useless as the maternal antibodies will block the immunization. It is now known that a vaccination given at 14-16 weeks of age should produce years, if not lifelong, immunity. If you titer your puppy 2 weeks after their last vaccination the results will tell you if it has established immunity (98% will). If they have then there is not a need for a booster in 1 year. If you choose not to have titers checked to confirm immunity, then puppy should receive a booster in 1 year. Going forward you can check titers (for core vaccines, not including rabies) every 3 years. If you are not willing to have titers done, then please do not vaccinate your dog more than every 3 years, which is the current protocol. Vaccinations are necessary but can also have side effects ranging from mild to severe. So vaccinate wisely, not just because your vet sends a postcard saying it's time for yearly shots, as those days are gone!

What does AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) say on the matter of vaccination? every 3 years, not yearly

WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) 2015 Vaccine guidelines for owners and breeders of dogs and cats. I realize most will not read the entire file, as it is 67 pages. So I will give you this part: Vaccinations with the three core canine vaccines (CDV, CPV-2 and CAV-2) should not begin earlier than 6 weeks of age and if the puppies are to remain with the breeder until they are 8-10 weeks or older, it is normally recommended that vaccination begin at 8-9 weeks rather than 6 weeks. Revaccination should be 2-4 weeks later with a final vaccination given when the pups are 16 weeks of age or older. The ability to immunize the puppies will depend on the antibody titre of the dam and the amount of maternally derived antibody (MDA) that is absorbed via specialized epithelial cells in the intestinal tract of the puppy during the first 24 hours after birth.

AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) refers to AAHA above, every 3 years for core.
If you looked at the above links, then you should now be fully aware yearly vaccinations are NOT recommended!

For those of you unaware of who Dr Ronald Schultz PhD- he is a veterinary immunologist, arguably the top expert in the field of veterinary vaccines (he is now retired). He was Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Schultz, along with Dr Richard B Ford DVM, Dr Laurie Larson DVM, Dr Kent D. McClure DVM, JD and Dr Link V. Welborn, DVM, DABVP, Chair, have been an integral part of the Vaccine Task Forces of the American Animal Hospital Association. Dr Schultz authored many publications, including the textbook Veterinary Immunology: Principles and Practice, he is also the author of this paragraph in Kirk's "Current Veterinary Therapy XI", the conventional medicine textbook: "A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal. Successful vaccination to most bacterial pathogens produces an immunologic memory that remains for years, allowing an animal to develop a protective anamnestic (secondary) response when exposed to virulent organisms. Only the immune response to toxins requires boosters (e.g. tetanus toxin booster, in humans, is recommended once every 7-10 years), and no toxin vaccines are currently used for dogs and cats. Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic (secondary) response as a result of interference by existing antibody (similar to maternal antibody interference). The practice of annualvaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy unless it is used as a mechanism to provide an annual physical examination or is required by law (i.e., certain states require annual revaccination for rabies).

For those interested in learning more, here are links to Dr Beckers 4 part interview with Dr Schultz. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Part 4
These videos are very informative and well worth your time. I am not a video person, I prefer to read, but when a video can hold my interest, it is very good.

Lifelong Immunity- Dogs Naturally Magazine
Rabies Challenge Fund on facebook

Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs
Non-core vaccines include: Para-influenza (although this is almost always included with CPV, CDV and CAV), Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough), Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme), and leptospirosis. Non-core vaccines are not necessary for most animals and are only recommended when an animal is at risk of contracting the disease due to lifestyle and or where they live. Itís important to note that bordetella, lyme and lepto vaccines have a very short immunity duration (3-6 mos.) because the diseases are bacterial not viral. Lepto vaccines are the most reactogenic of all the vaccines, even more so than the rabies vaccine. In other words Lepto vaccine causes the most reactions and should not be administered unless the risk outweighs the possible vaccine consequences. Coronavirus (CCV) and giardia vaccines have no proven efficacy. Even the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) guidelines state, "Prevalence of clinical cases of confirmed coronavirus (CCV) disease does not justify vaccination."
Core vaccines are necessary, non-core are not in most cases. If you choose to have your vet administer non-cores, such as lepto, please do so after all series of puppy vaccines are completed and ensure not other vaccine is given at the same time. Being an educated owner is one of the most important gifts you can give to your pet.

Vaccine Dangers
It is vitally important that our pets are vaccinated and develop immunity to core diseases that can take their life. At the same time it is equally important that vaccines are only given when necessary because every vaccine has the potential to kill the patient or create debilitating chronic diseases including cancer and allergies.
Below is a list of potential adverse vaccine reactions, according to Dr. Schultz:

Common Reactions Moderate Reactions Severe Reactions
lethargy Immunosupression injection site sarcomas
hair loss/color change at injection site behavior changes Arthritis, polyarthritis
fever vitiglio anaphylaxis
soreness weight loss Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
stiffness reduced milk production HOD hypertrophy osteodystrophy
refusal to eat lameness Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMTP)
conjuctivitis hives Thyroiditis
refusal to eat facial edema Myocarditis
sneezing atopy seizures
oral ulcers respiratory disease Post vaccinal encephalitis or polyneuritis
allergic uveitis Disease or enhanced disease which with the vaccine was designed to prevent
granuloma/abscesses Abortion, congenital anomalies, embryonic/fetal death, failure to conceive

Last Updated:11/20/2016
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