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The purpose of vaccinations is to prevent disease. At this time, the majority of vaccines are made to combat viruses.
Prior to vaccines, people and pets frequently died from viral infections. Through scientific advancement and understanding of viruses and the immune system, vaccines have been developed. Since the advent of vaccines, death due to viruses that have a vaccine available has significantly declined.
When a normal, healthy puppy is born, her immune system is considered naÔve. It has not been exposed to foreign substances or viruses. Through her motherís milk, the puppy will gain some immunity from those viruses her mother is protected against. Unfortunately, this maternal immunity is temporary. In the first 5 to 6 weeks of life, the motherís antibodies are sufficient to keep the puppy immune from most common viruses. At about 5 to 6 weeks, this immunity begins to wane. By age 20 weeks, the maternal antibodies are gone and the puppy must now rely on her own immune system to fight off viruses. Without prior exposure to a specific virus, her immune system can rapidly become overwhelmed as the live, active virus takes over.
The purpose of vaccination is to prepare and arm her immune system for the time when it will be exposed to certain viruses. Vaccination prepares her immune system for an invasion and results in rapid destruction of virus and maintains the health of the dog.
Without vaccination, the dog must be exposed to and survive the viral attack in order to develop immunity from future invasions. Vaccination bypasses this by exposing the dog to disabled or killed virus. This results in stimulation of the immune system as though a live virus has invaded but the dog does not get ill. Now, the immune system is prepared for future viral attacks.
During the first few months of life, a series of vaccinations is required. The reason is related to maternal antibodies. After a vaccination is given, the maternal antibodies attack the virus particles and destroy it. As the puppy ages, these maternal antibodies become weaker and are unable to destroy the vaccine. At this point, the vaccine is allowed to stimulate the puppyís immune system and result in immunity. Unfortunately, it is not known for each puppy when the maternal antibodies are no longer effective. At some point between age 6 weeks to 20 weeks, the maternal antibodies are no longer protective. Since there is uncertainty, vaccination every 3 weeks is considered the safest way to ensure at least some protection to the puppy. After 20 weeks of age, maternal antibodies are gone and the puppy can now be vaccinated less frequently.
While young pups acquire some initial immunity from their dam toward certain dog-specific bacteria and viruses, this immunity wanes as the pup gets older and is replaced by that derived from vaccination. But the transition from one form of immunity (passive) to the other (active) is not always seamless or complete, often leaving holes in the pupís defensive armor. Itís safer to assume nothing and do everything to keep the pup free from disease, even if this entails having people take their shoes off at the door and wiping other dogsí paws off before allowing them into the inner sanctum of your (and, more importantly, the pupís) home.
"Revolution - Revolution is a monthly topical heartworm preventative medication that also protects dogs and cats against fleas, ticks and ear mites. Revolution contains selamectin, an antiparasitic agent that also works against feline hookworms, feline roundworms and sarcoptic mange, according to veterinarian Dawn Ruben. Revolution is only available with a prescription from a veterinarian and is relatively safe, but it does have some side effects, especially for debilitated or underweight dogs."
Allergic Reaction to Revolution:
"It is possible for a dog to be allergic to Revolution. Symptoms of Revolution allergy include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs or coma. A dog showing any signs of an allergic reaction to Revolution should see a veterinarian immediately for treatment."
The reason I put this in here in particular, is my sister who lives in Ontario recently took her 3 year old, very healthy schnoodle Katie in for her annual vet check and vaccinations.
Within hours, Katie started to develop hives on her belly, was throwing up, had diarrhea... all the classic symptoms of an allergic reaction.
In a desperate attempt to remove any resudual 'Revolution', Elis bathed Katie to get it off of her skin and coat, but it had already been absorbed into her body.
When Elisabeth asked the senior Vet. if this was an allergic reaction, he said that it was very possible though rare, but as a precaution, to not give Katie any more 'Revolution' as in his words, her next reaction could be much worse.
Interesting thing - While Katie was at the Vets undergoing the IV treatment, Elisabeth spoke with another lady in a local store - who did not know Elisabeths dog or the full extent of the problem, who told her that she had a Miniature Schnauzer who had a terrible allergic reaction after a treatment of 'Revolution'. She had used that same Vet office, and was unhappy with the answers and treatment, and is now going to another Vet.
So - I don't know if this means that Schnauzer breeds might be more susceptable to having a reaction to 'Revolution' or not. Ask about an alternative if you are concerned. Allergic reactions in dogs, like in people, are different with each animal.
If you are unhappy or feel uncomfortable with the Veterinarian you are using, look for another. Don't be bullied into decisions that you are uncomfortable with.
On another Note, If your dog gets sick and needs expensive Veterinary care or proceedures, common sense must come into play. Look at your budget and what you can afford. Your Vet. will give you an idea as to what the cost will be before he begins any treatment. Take a moment to really consider the expense.
Do what you can for your pets, keeping in mind when it's really going to hurt the bank account. Don't get caught up in the moment and find yourselves with a $5000 or more Vet bill when you have a family to feed and payments to make.
Will that expensive surgery benifit the dog in the long run, or will it only prolong its misery? Do I want to be giving my dog medications for the rest of its life, all the while still living in fear of another seizure? Who are we doing this for, us or the dog?
Dogs are not disposable, but they are not humans either. There can be another best friend and buddy for you or your family if your dog gets sick and should be put down.
We love all of our dogs here, and yes, we have rushed out of here in the black of night with one to the emergency Vet clinic on a Saturday when something terrible has happened. But, we know when to weigh the pros and cons of the situation, and we know when it's best to let go, hard as it is.
God put animals on the earth to work for and serve humans. Whether it be merely for companionship - like the poodle crosses we sell or the workers - that aid us in physical work, like Oxen, Heavy Horses, Sled Dogs, Stock Dogs, or to help the disabled - the many different kinds of service dogs, or for food - beef cattle, dairy cattle, chickens.... It is NOT a level playing field, no matter what some folks will have you believe.
with any questions regarding our upcoming litters!