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Thread: Should pups stay with the breeder until after 14 weeks for best vaccine protection?

  1. #1

    Default Should pups stay with the breeder until after 14 weeks for best vaccine protection?

    Just thought I'd throw this out for discussion

    We know that pup takes Maternally Derived Antibodies (MDA) in the colostrum of mum's milk. This results in the antibodies from the mother in the pupís blood interfering with the pup being able to use the vaccine to form immunity against a disease.

    The usual routine is to vaccinate at 6 to 8 weeks, and again 2 weeks later in the hope that the pup will then be able to use the vaccine.


    Would it not be better if all pups "had" to stay with the breeder until the pup is vaccinated at 14 weeks, to remove the risk of the pup being at risk of catching DHP diseases?

    This video is of a young pup vaccinated with DHP, which then caught Parvo and almost died.

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    Mark, and my Blen - Lexie DOB 7/07/11, and my B/T - Katie DOB 01/12/12

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Benoni, 32km east of Johannesburg, Tvl, South Africa


    That’s a very horny one, Mark.

    Most puppies seem to best settle into their new homes between the ages of seven and twelve weeks. I’ve always tried to start homing my Dalmatians at eight weeks – it used to be six because they’re mature enough, but that was before parvo. Now we feel we need to wait for at least ten days after that inoculation before letting them go out into a world full of germs. With my Cavaliers I have found that ten weeks is the earliest maturity-wise and twelve weeks is better. But it leaves a very fine line because they travel out of their magisterial district on their mother’s rabies vaccination until 3 months; after that they must have their own vaccination and wait for thirty days before they can travel – this means you can’t even take them to the next town. I think most people prefer their puppies younger; also, it’s not too much hassle for a breeder (who may well have three or four litters within a month due to the availability of a good sire at the time) to cope with a litter of 4 or 5 Cavaliers, but my Dalmatians have frequently given me litters of 14; I really would not want to keep the whole lot on a quarter-acre stand for 12 weeks, and I don’t imagine my neighbours would appreciate it either! I also suspect potential owners would not be too happy at the increased airfreight costs for a larger puppy.

    Our inoculation regime is first vaccination at 6 weeks to protect those whose maternal immunity is already falling away. It is repeated at 10 weeks in order to cover those who still had maternal antibodies circulating in their system at six weeks. The third one, four weeks after this is the booster. These vaccines cover parvovirus and distemper (which have a large infection pool here, not only in our rural black population’s uninoculated hunting dogs, but also in jackals, hyaenas and wild dog) as well as para-influenza, hepatitis and coronavirus. (Lepto only occurs on a very tiny area, nor more than five miles inland, of the southern Cape coast).

    Incidentally, I had a pup from my last litter of Dalmatians who got parvo after she was vaccinated and it was just so like the scenario sketched by my late James-Herriot type family vet. He likened it to two teams on the rugby field, one being the viruses and the other being components of the vaccine. Even at half-time you didn’t know who would win, only right at the end! And glad to say, Molly is now wonderfully healthy, though I’m not sure if I will breed from her.

    We’re now starting to reduce the annual booster to a three-yearly one which makes a lot of sense to me – after all, we only give our human children one or two and then they’re immune for life. Even tetanus has been reduced from three-yearly to ten-yearly. Over-vaccination in adult dogs has a lot to answer for and greed-driven drug manufacturers for even more.


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