Help - vaccinations

(34 Posts)
SingingGoldfinch Thu 13-Aug-20 00:51:59

Hi - I'm hoping for some wise words of advice on puppy vaccinations. We will be bringing home a gorgeous puppy in 3 weeks time and we're all very excited. I'm a complete novice when it comes to dogs but the time is right and we're as ready as we'll ever be. One thing that's really stressing me out though is vaccinations. Our breeder rears the puppies naturally and so does not vaccinate before they move to new homes. She uses nosodes on all her dogs and recommends against any vaccinations before 16 weeks if we do decide to do it because pups will still have immunity from Mum. She has given us all the literature about this approach and there is a lot that makes sense - over-vaccination of puppies that have antibodies and don't need it and the logic of tincture testing instead of annual boosters. However I admit to being nervous about taking what might be seen by some as an irresponsible approach and can see the obvious benefits of sticking with the status quo and vaccinating. I'm also aware of the implications not vaccinating might have on insurance, kennels etc. Are any wise, more experienced dog-loving mumsnetters able to offer any advice please? Has anyone gone down the no vaccinations route and have experience to share? Ultimately we just want to give our little pup the best start and a happy healthy life but this decision is stressing me out before we've even brought him home!!

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Girlintheframe Thu 13-Aug-20 05:17:42

I can't comment on the no vaccination route as all my dogs have been vaccinated throughout their lives.
I was just going to ask, can you afford to have no insurance?
Vaccination is definitely a must for insurance to be valid. Can you afford £1000s should the worse case scenarios happen?
Also will you need to use daycare/kennels? We use daycare and again it's a definitely requirement. Same applies to the training classes I attended.
No dog I've had has ever had any 'incidences' linked to their vaccines.

vagshapedbox Thu 13-Aug-20 05:26:10

There are insurers who apparently accept antibody testing rather than annual vaccinations but you'll have to shop around.
You'll have more difficulty with kennels and day care. For holidays you could have a dog sitter come to your home which I think is much nicer than kennels anyway.

Do lots of research op, try your breed clubs and forums.
I think it would be helpful to find a vet who is supportive of this approach or you might find that you're clashing with them over time.

I can see the benefits but I do think that like lots of issues people can become quite obsessive and lecture rather than discuss which is a shame. It kind of put me off looking into this further as I was struggling to get neutral advice.
We have continued to vaccinate ours.

midnightstar66 Thu 13-Aug-20 06:51:32

They won't have any immunity from their mum if the mum isn't regularly vaccinated op. I'd definitely make it a priority. Yes older dogs may not need it every year with a strong vaccination base giving longer term immunity but if this is the method they are using your pup will need vaccinating even more crucially than normal

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Thu 13-Aug-20 07:14:05

Please vaccinate: make an appointment before you even bring the puppy home. As with people, we vaccinate for a reason: because there are deadly infectious diseases out there.

I know of a puppy, bred by a friend, who was somehow exposed to parvo in between the two sets of vaccinations and, not being immune, caught it. And died. That was last month. I'd met the puppy, gorgeous strong little dog. Very upsetting for all concerned and the end of what should have been a long and happy life for the pup.

Infullbloom Thu 13-Aug-20 07:40:23

Maternal immunity starts declining rapidly from 8 weeks hence the current vaccination protocols. Google parvo puppies if you want a reason to vaccinate or ask the breeder if you can see her vet medicine degree hmm.

BiteyShark Thu 13-Aug-20 07:44:45

You will always get the anti and pro vaccination arguments for dogs just like you get for humans. Same for regularly treating fleas/worms/ticks.

I am pro vaccination and even if I was a but hesitant I would be concerned about insurance, boarding (you never know when you might need to in an emergency unless you have lots of family who love dogs) and depending on your circumstances getting a dog walker or even grooming.


BiteyShark Thu 13-Aug-20 07:46:57

Posted to soon.

It isn't about possible side effects of any vaccinations for me it's about what getting the disease would cause and knowing I could have easily prevented it.

SingingGoldfinch Thu 13-Aug-20 08:59:15

Sorry - my first post wasn't very clear. Probably a sign of how addled my brain is by all this! I'm not suggesting we don't vaccinate our pup at all. I'm just researching the pros and cons of waiting until 16 weeks to give just one lot of vaccinations, as recommended by the breeder. The breeder titre tests her dogs to check they have antibodies and gives them boosters if not - she's a very reputable breeder so I'm not worried about that - but I want to make an informed decision of my own about vaccinations.

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PuppyBonBon Thu 13-Aug-20 09:00:33

I would never risk not vaccinating. I couldn't live with myself if anything happened to our pup. You have to carry them outside until they're fully vaccinated. You won't be able to go to puppy training, day care, dog walkers etc with out it. If you miss the socialization window then you'll have far more problems.

The reason vaccines are spread out are to ensure that the puppy is covered even if they still have lots of antibodies from mum, and don't produce their own response, they will by the 2nd/3rd vaccine and have full cover.

Ps. If the breeder is doing things "naturally" please ensure your pup has been wormed. Do not skimp on worming for their first year of life.

BiteyShark Thu 13-Aug-20 09:11:25

So that would mean carrying your dog around until after 16 weeks (not sure how long after 16 weeks the vet would recommend precautions).

Honestly I begged my vet to split the vaccines so that he had a second at 10 weeks and we could then walk him on pavements at 11 weeks and then the final one at 12 weeks when we had to wait another 2 weeks before he could go in boggy areas (lepto).

It saved my sanity being able to walk and put him in floors outside the home/garden early.

So no I can't see any positives for me about waiting.

tabulahrasa Thu 13-Aug-20 10:14:05

There’s been quite a lot of concern that there’s going to be a rise in things like parvo because if all the unvaccinated lockdown dogs... so, I definitely wouldn’t leave it that late just now.

vagshapedbox Thu 13-Aug-20 10:51:34

I wouldn't wait 16 weeks for initial vaccinations unless you are planning to confine your puppy to home until then or carry/put them in a buggy when you go out.

fivedogstofeed Thu 13-Aug-20 11:32:15

Your breeder is bonkers. Homeopathy does not protect any animal from disease.
As pps have said, lockdown will mean many dogs are now unvaccinated and there is a predicted rise in disease.
Your puppy is highly vulnerable because his mother has never been vaccinated.

RiaRoth Thu 13-Aug-20 11:58:33

I absolutely would vaccinate my puppies. After that I do choose to titre test them. You do need to vaccinate your puppy at 8 weeks. If you are very concerned you could titre after the first set of injections but it is not a wise decision to leave your puppy unprotected.

You will get insurance if you do not vaccinate BUT no cover for the illnesses the vaccines would cover.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Thu 13-Aug-20 13:23:48

I'm just researching the pros and cons of waiting until 16 weeks to give just one lot of vaccinations, as recommended by the breeder.
Nope nope nope. Up to 16 weeks is the main socialisation window and you want to be able to take your puppy out and about as much as you possibly can in that period. It doesn't just need to see people and dogs and hear cars and trains, it needs to get down and try out new surfaces, smell strange new odours and generally develop the mental circuitry to be a resilient and confident adult dog.

Put down an unvaccinated puppy where other dogs have been and you hit a risk of parvo. I'm not neurotic by any means - we live fairly rurally and I have access to paddocks etc where other dogs don't tend to go, but I am VERY cautious about such places with a new puppy, and we vaccinate as soon as we can.

And as a PP said, check if the puppy has been wormed. Also think about flea and tick treatment.

SingingGoldfinch Thu 13-Aug-20 13:37:39

Thanks for all your thoughts - which are generally in line with my gut feeling. Pup will be vet checked before we bring him home and wormed and treated for fleas so think we're covered on that front. It's interesting that there have been no comments at all yet from people who have chosen to take the late vaccination route. Probably says quite a lot in itself.

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SlothMama Thu 13-Aug-20 16:26:00

My dogs breeds can have auto immune issues which is believed to be linked to vaccines so we are careful with vaccination.
We were advised to wait until 12 weeks for DHP vaccine, then wait a week until lepto 2 but not to have lepto 4 done. He only needed one dose of DHP due to his age when he had it done. Then he had a second dose of lepto 2 at 15 weeks. My vet advised that once DHP had been administered he was safe to be walked on road walks. But streams and ponds had to wait until he was covered for Lepto.

With boosters I titre test and give the booster for L2 as it's not covered by titre testing. It's not affected my insurance for my dogs, they've only said that if they get lepto or a disease usually covered by vaccines they wouldn't cover treatment which is fine as I know their antibodies are high for DHP anyway.

vanillandhoney Thu 13-Aug-20 17:29:41

No no no. A thousand times no. You need to get your puppy vaccinated and out and about ASAP. How will you socialise your puppy if he or she hasn't been vaccinated? How will you exercise them and get them used to a collar, lead, harness and going for a walk? How will you get them used to cars, other dogs, cats, lorries, crossing the road, road signs, car horns, trains, cyclists and all the other things you need to expose them to when they're young? You won't want to be carrying around a wriggly, heavy and excitable 17 week old puppy - believe me!

Plus, the main socialisation window closes at 16 weeks. If you wait too long you're going to have an unsocialised puppy on your hands and that's really not something you want to deal with. Unsocialised dogs tend to be reactive towards other dogs (and people) and, speaking from experience, you don't want to be living with a reactive, scared dog for the next 10+ years. It's horrible.

That's not to mention the risk of things like parvovirus. Puppies die from parvo all the time in this country - normally because people think the puppies have immunity from their mothers, or because they think their puppy has been vaccinated when that's not the case at all.

You mention getting the puppy wormed etc. at the vets but ideally this needs to be done at two weeks of age, then every couple of weeks until they're 12 weeks, then monthly from then on. Will your breeder be doing all of that if she believes in "rearing puppies naturally" (whatever that's supposed to mean)?

SingingGoldfinch Thu 13-Aug-20 17:50:53

That's the thing though. The breeder fully accepts the importance of socialisation but says it can be done pre-vaccine. You can see why I'm cautious and doing my research!

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SingingGoldfinch Thu 13-Aug-20 17:52:07

And the worming is already happening - not done at vet check.

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vanillandhoney Thu 13-Aug-20 18:06:54


That's the thing though. The breeder fully accepts the importance of socialisation but says it can be done pre-vaccine. You can see why I'm cautious and doing my research!

Only if you want to take the risk of your puppy dying of parvovirus!

"An unvaccinated puppy, or a puppy that has only had their first injection, doesn’t have any protection against parvovirus or the other diseases we vaccinate against. Your puppy will be safe to go out for a walk and meet other dogs 1-2 weeks after they complete their first vaccination course"

and then:

"Treatment involves supporting your dog’s body while it fights the virus because unfortunately, there is no specific medicine to treat parvovirus and antibiotics don’t work because it’s a virus not a bacteria."

"Your dog’s chance of surviving parvovirus is much higher if you take them to the vet as soon as you notice symptoms. Most dogs who receive veterinary treatment quickly survive parvo, but it’s often fatal without treatment. Sadly, because it’s such a nasty disease, some dogs die from parvo even if they are treated quickly."

Please don't risk your puppy's life.

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Thu 13-Aug-20 18:10:00

Are your breeders initials BL? If so she really does know her stuff & although unconventional her approach produces fantastic dogs. I'd continue with her regime personally.

SingingGoldfinch Thu 13-Aug-20 18:21:04

No, not BL op - but our breeder obviously knows her stuff and is incredibly knowledgeable. She's given us loads of info so we can take our own informed decision and isn't evangelically pushing the no vaccine thing - just informing. I definitely won't be putting our pup in any danger, have no fear of that - and fully intend to be a very responsible dog owner - but I respect the breeder - who has 13 years of experience of breeding healthy pups and advises others. I'm just not willing to blindly follow one approach or the other without being fully informed.

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currahee Thu 13-Aug-20 18:40:14

I don't believe anyone using homeopathic nosodes can be considered knowledgeable.

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