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Hi everyone-

It's been awhile since I posted but I was hoping to get some insight from fellow GSD owners. My dog had all of her initial vaccines as a puppy, and is about a month past due on boosters and such. She is 18 months old this month.
My question is, what vaccines are absolutely necessary for my dog? My vet, VCA, sent me an email saying she needed the following:
Distemper Vaccine
Parvovirus Vaccine
Influenza Vaccine: H3N2 Strain
Influenza Vaccine: H3N8 Strain
Bordetella Vaccine

I don't want to give her vaccines that she doesn't NEED. She is a very healthy dog, and I want to only do what is needed. We don't go to dog parks and she is not boarded ever.
We are located in WA state and I am highly considering finding a holistic/ naturopathic vet if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations.

What vaccines do you consider necessary, if any? Our exam is Friday evening for a simple physical checkup.
 

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Your vet gave such a long list yet no rabies? I thought rabies was the only vaccination that is required by law in most North America cities/towns.
 

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Bordetella - yes if you were boarding.

The influenza? Why?

And you can titer for Parvo/distemper. While you are at it, titer for Rabies too. I just read an article about some dogs not being able to produce the antibodies from teh rabies vaccine so are essentially unprotected. Just nice to know. Rabies is still required by law.
 

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OP’s dog likely has gotten a 3yrs rabies, and therefore isn’t due.

That said, I only give rabies by law... no other vax.
 

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In PA, they give a 1 yr rabies and then a 3 year. If you miss the window to get the 3 year, then you hve to get 1 yr again. Same shot, different paperwork.

Given the dog is 1 year old, I would imagine she had the 1 yr as a puppy and should be due for the 3 yr. Is it different in WA state? Do they consider all the shots a 3 yr?
 

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Bordetella - yes if you were boarding.

The influenza? Why?

And you can titer for Parvo/distemper. While you are at it, titer for Rabies too. I just read an article about some dogs not being able to produce the antibodies from teh rabies vaccine so are essentially unprotected. Just nice to know. Rabies is still required by law.
Influenza in dogs has been bad this past year...or last year now I guess. We had a major outbreak over here in Montana just about every dog in one of the towns got it plus not so far from Washington. Don't read the news much so don't know how it's been in other states. Vets in my area were/are urging to get it. It was also a weird/unknown strain apparently so not good.

Bordatella I would recommend just because emergencies can come up and if you aren't current on your shots it's going to be near impossible to board. Basically unless your vet boards and that's assuming you are in the town you live. And yes there's family/friends but you never know. Better safe than sorry type thing.

If you can titer and don't want to over vaccinate that may be a good thing to for parvo/distemper and then only get the shots if it shows she needs them. I don't know if they have to be current for boarding on these though. I'd imagine but possibly they'd accept titers?

Edit: Sorry missed that you said she isn't boarded ever. If you can I'd go with Jax's suggestion of titers. And maybe talk with your vet and talk to them a little more about the vaccinations. Maybe see what outbreaks of diseases they've seen in your area lately so you know what are higher risk diseases in your area are.
 

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Have her titered (blood test) to see how her immunity status is. I don't give my dogs anymore vaccinations after their puppy shorts. Deja's was titered a sa 4 year old and has strong immunity. She has never been sick.
 

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Influenza in dogs has been bad this past year...or last year now I guess. We had a major outbreak over here in Montana just about every dog in one of the towns got it plus not so far from Washington. Don't read the news much so don't know how it's been in other states. Vets in my area were/are urging to get it. It was also a weird/unknown strain apparently so not .
I did see something in the news on canine influenza. I don't think there is an issue on the east coast so didn't pay much attention.

OP- you should look and see if Lepto is an issue in your area. I think that is higher in the West than east as well.
 

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From my own experience with our vets (several in the franchise VCA practice that I take my boy). Imho, the franchise is sales based. Individual practices probably vary depending on the vet. That said, it was always right before the vet came in that a tech would go through the various vaccines that my boy was past due on or not yet been given and offer brochures supporting the reasons for them. With the vet tech, I always accepted the brochures and said I would think about it.

Like yours, my GSD is raw fed. Imho a titer is always best before deciding to vax. My vet when he did discuss the vax that I was declining and opting for the titers did bring up the fact that titers were more expensive. Just a heads up on that point.

Fwiw, I do have a decent relationship w/my vet. He doesn't like the raw but doesn't pester me about it. I've had disagreements with their antibiotic standard practise and needed to present fact based well documented info to change their prescribed rx course that my boy needed.

So while you are looking for a holistic vet, go in well informed, keep the communication open, honest and calm.if you have chosen to titer first, just st stay firm with your decision. Chances are your vet probably will agree with you either verbally or just inwardly.

Just my 2 pennies concerning a franchise owned vet practice.
 

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There actually was an outbreak of the H3N2 canine influenza strain along the east coast this past year with definite cases in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida as well as a few other more inward states. It can be a nasty one and considered very highly contagious since it is newer to the US and most dogs here are immunologically naive to it.
 

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VCA is now owned by the same parent company as Banfield -- Mars Petcare (a division of the candy company).

It's a corporate style of vet practice that emphasizes cookie-cutter care, with 1-year vaccines even when the AAHA evidence-based protocol recommends 3-year boosters instead. This article is a good read -- and I think you need to understand their corporate model to make a good decision about whether it suits your needs:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-01-05/when-big-business-happens-to-your-pet

You need a good vet who will give you regionally specific advice on needed vaccines. The advice should depend on what is problematic in your area. I have to do lepto vaccines because lepto cases are literally in my neighborhood and dogs around me die from it. Many other people may not need it because it's hardly ever seen in their area. You need that information from your vet to make a good, informed decision.

I recommend finding an AAHA-accredited clinic. They'll at least follow AAHA evidence-based guidelines, with 3-year core vax, etc.
https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/about_aaha/hospital_search/default.aspx

Flu and bordatella matter if you board, go to places where there are a lot of dogs in close quarters (e.g., dog parks), or foster dogs. Otherwise, it's an optional vaccine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all so much for this information and all the suggestions. We cancelled our appointment at VCA and have an appointment at an AAHA accredited veterinarian this Tuesday. I look forward to working with them as my primary vet!
 

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Fascinating, the vet I was doing puppy shots with and kept handing me VCA guidelines is listed on the AAHA directory. And they kept giving me the white butthole face when I asked about titering.
 

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Here are some articles and info:

Per Dr. Jean Dodds - Vaccine Researcher

2016/17 Vaccination Protocol:



9 - 10 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
e.g. Merck Nobivac (Intervet Progard) Puppy DPV


14 – 15 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV


18 weeks of age
Parvovirus only, MLV

Note: New research states that last puppy parvovirus vaccine should be at 18 weeks old.


20 weeks or older, if allowable by law
Rabies – give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines


1 year old
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
This is an optional booster or titer. If the client intends not to booster after this optional booster or intends to retest titers in another three years, this optional booster at puberty is wise.



1 year old
Rabies – give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines




Dogs should be tittered each year BEFORE a vaccination is given. If titer is sufficient for such as Parvo or Distemper, a vaccination should not be given.


Articles
Vets On Vaccines: Vets On Vaccines - Dogs Naturally Magazine
Leptospirosis Vaccines adverse reaction, Dr. Jordan DVM
Frequently Asked Questions about Titers and Vaccination Protocol by Dr. Dodds
Puppy and Kitten Vaccinations: Timing is critical
Rabies: The Science & the Current Law
Vaccines: When too much of a good thing turns bad
Vaccines: When too much of a good thing turns bad (Part 2)
Avoid Unnecessary Vaccines with Titer Tests (Part 3)
Response: Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia Report and Article
Q&A with Dr. Dodds: Is the puppy’s severe physical reaction due to a routine vaccine?
Q&A with Dr. Dodds: What should I do to protect my adult dogs during a parvovirus outbreak?
To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate for Infectious Canine Hepatitis?
Q&A with Dr. Dodds: I had a dog who had a bad reaction to the rabies vaccine and now I am concerned about giving it to my other dogs. What should I do?
Q&A with Dr. Dodds: Kennel Cough Complex Vaccines
Yes or No to Snake Vaccines?
Canine Influenza H3N8 Article - Dr. Dodds’ Additions
Clinical Approaches to Managing and Treating Adverse Vaccine Reactions
Dr. Schultz on Lyme Vaccine
Dr. Schultz Update on Leptospirosis Vaccines (2012)
More on Vaccine Titer Testing
Q&A with Dr. Dodds: Newborns and immunity from mothers
Mercury-Induced Inflammation: Yet Another Example of ASIA Syndrome
Canine Non-Core Vaccines
Snapshot of Leptospirosis Strains and Vaccines
Puppy Vaccination Schedule and Socialization: Can they go together?
Kennel Cough Complex: A complicated phrase for the canine common cold
A Pilot Study: Dose Vaccines for Small Dogs
More on Vaccinations & Small Dog Vaccine Study
Canine Influenza H3N2 Outbreak
Immune Disorders and Vaccines
Know Your Bordetella Vaccine

Canine NON-Core Vaccines: Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | Search results for: core vaccines
"Dr. Dodds considers infectious canine hepatitis (adenovirus-1), canine adenovirus-2, bordetella, canine influenza, canine coronavirus, leptospirosis, and Lyme regional and situational. Please research the prevalence in your area, and discuss it with your veterinarian."

The Purdue Vaccination Studies and Auto-antibodies by Catherine O’Driscoll on April 26, 2011 The Purdue Vaccination Studies and Auto-antibodies - Dogs Naturally Magazine
Taking The Risk Out Of Puppy Shots by Dogs Naturally on July 12, 2011 Taking The Risk Out Of Puppy Shots - Dogs Naturally Magazine
Protecting Your Puppy From Disease: Protecting Your Puppy From Disease - Dogs Naturally Magazine

There is also a 4 part video series on vaccinations by Dr. Ron Schultz and Dr. Karen Becker at www.mercolahealtypets.com

Dr. Ron Schultz's (Vaccine Research) study results:
Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines:
Distemper- 7 years by challenge/15 years by serology
Parvovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
Adenovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 9 years by serology
Canine rabies – 3 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
Dr. Schultz concludes: “Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.”

Moms :)
 

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Fascinating, the vet I was doing puppy shots with and kept handing me VCA guidelines is listed on the AAHA directory. And they kept giving me the white butthole face when I asked about titering.
Mars acquired VCA quite recently (early 2017):
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mars-incorporated-completes-acquisition-of-vca-inc-300517872.html

The really interesting thing would be to point out that he's still listed, but that VCA is not following AAHA guidelines to see what he says. ;)

I think AAHA researchers have a 5-year challenge study underway. That's important, as they have a huge influence on what the standard of care is.
 

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Here's a link to the AAHA guidelines, so that you can review before your visit:
https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/aaha_guidelines/aahas_canine_vaccination_guidelines.aspx

They are supportive of titering, separate core vs. non-core vaccines, use lifestyle/exposure factors to recommend whether non-core vaccines are needed and emphasize that booster and non-core vaccine recommendations are individual (not cookie cutter):
https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/aaha_guidelines/aahas_canine_vaccination_guidelines.aspx
 
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