You have probably been over vaccinating your pet!
When you purchase your puppy it will have had 1 perhaps 2 sets of shots, In total your Portuguese Water Dog puppy will need a set of 3 to complete puppy vaccines. These are important as many puppies used to die early from these diseases. I also believe strongly that your pup/dog should have his 1year vaccine.
After that, If your still going once a year to your vet for vaccines? Are you getting the same vaccine the same DHLPP vaccine every year? If you are, then you are WAY over-vaccinating your dog and it can have harmful effects.
Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus (the D, the H, and one of the P’s in the DHLPP vaccine) are the three main core vaccines needed for your dog. The other diseases in the DHLPP vaccine may not be needed depending on what part of the country you live in. What current research has discovered is that after your dog has had its puppy vaccines for Parvo, Hepatitis (also known as Adenovirus) and Distemper and then a booster a year later the dog will have protective antibodies for 3 to 7 years and in some dogs even longer! In some dogs the antibodies produced by the last booster will last the rest of the dogs life!
There are commercially available blood tests that determine if your dog has protective antibodies called titer tests. Research done by Ronald Schultz, DVM and also Richard Ford, DVM shows that for sure if a dog has a positive protective titer that dog will not contract the disease in which it was vaccinated. Unfortunately these tests can cost between $100-200, way more expensive than the vaccine, which could sway most people to opt for the the vaccine.
What is even more interesting is that even if the dog does not have a positive titer which shows active antibodies in the bloodstream the dog may still be protected against the diseases, if it had proper puppy vaccination and the one year booster. What happens in this case is that the dogs immune system has the ability to produce the antibodies very quickly because it has made them before. So once exposed the dog would start producing antibodies that start fighting the disease, this usually happens within hours. The dog may exhibit a fever and mild symptoms but not develop full blown disease. In some ways like humans that have their childhood vaccines that seem to last us a life time of cell memory.
The current recommendation is to either vaccinate your dog every three years for the core vaccines of Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus and, of course, Rabies. OR do titer testing and only receive vaccination when necessary and follow the law in regards to vaccination of Rabies. If you can do the three year Rabies then do it. There is no difference between the one year and the three year vaccine except for the legalities of administering it. IN fact Dr. Schultz currently has a study going which is showing that the rabies vaccine may last longer than 5 years! (http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/)
So now we know we don’t have to give vaccines every year is there any harm in doing so anyway? Simply – YES. Continuing to give vaccines every year over stimulates the immune system and can cause or make worse diseases such as auto-immune system disorders, allergies and even cancer.
For more info
Dr. Shawn Messonnier Do Vaccines Cause Cancer in Pets?
Dr. Bob Rogers http://www.critteradvocacy.org
Dr. Ron Schultz Dog vaccines may not be necessary
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