That Time of Year Again - Annual Exams and vaccinations

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Postby maberi » April 3rd, 2009, 12:01 pm

It is that time of year again that I take my crew into the vet for their annuals. I have been dreading this due to the fact that I know the conversation of vaccinations will come up and after losing Yoda last year due to vaccinosis, I've been searching the internet (and this site) for information to help me make an informed decision on what I want to do. I wish there was a clear concise answer for owners and vets, but I realize there is a still a lot of controversy over this on both sides.

I was wondering who out there is currently titering their dogs and if you are having the results done in house or do you send them out to someone who "specializes" in this (I have a friend who sends her out to a well known vet but the name escapes me).

Also does anyone out there do yearly blood work on your guys, and if so are you doing just a CBC and/or a blood chemistry panel?


Thanks in advance, and sorry to bring up a heated topic

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Postby CinderDee » April 3rd, 2009, 2:40 pm

I just had Kato in and they did a Super Chem CBC T4. I don't vaccinate, but don't do titers either.
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Postby SisMorphine » April 3rd, 2009, 2:45 pm

I have titered my dogs mostly. My vet does not do them inhouse and sends them out. When doing titers it's usually every 2-3 years.

I do yearly bloodwork as my dogs get older, or if they show health issues, otherwise I don't bother.

And truthfully this year I actually vaccinated Blue :oops: The 3 year DA2P vaccine was far cheaper than the titer so I went with that.
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Postby Malli » April 3rd, 2009, 3:00 pm

I vaccinate Oscar every yr and every 6 months for kennel cough, partly because Oscar does come to the hospital with we very frequently.

Oscar is 8 now, and probably in the next year or 2 I'll think about some yearly bloodwork, up until now he's only had bloodwork if there was cause for concern or before a procedure.

I know that what happened to Yoda was awful, but from what I've seen and been told reactions are very very rare and very infrequently deadly.

I think its often common practice for people to vaccinate less as the dog becomes more senior, and by that time, their immunity to everything save kennel cough (immunity only lasts about 6 months) should be pretty substantial, anyway.

I'm not trying to get into any debates, just helping with a little info and personal experience.
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Postby maberi » April 3rd, 2009, 3:10 pm

Thanks, I'm certainly not trying to start a debate on a subject that has been debated many times on this forum (most of those threads were rather old so I guess I was curious what people were doing now).

I know my vet office in general pushes vaccinations without even talking to you about them. They usually just send out a card indicating what dog is due for vaccinations and then pump them into them without talking to you about this. Quite honestly I didn't know any better before and never realized there was the possibility of such a reaction (I certainly take fault there).

I'm just trying to educate myself as best as possible prior to going in so I can make an informed decision. Unfortunately most of the local dog people I speak to have one story or another about a reaction to a vaccine (most are mild reactions that subside within a few days or weeks). I'm sure if I spoke to a vet they would share cases of dogs that were not vaccinated that came in very sick or passed due to this. My only concern is that vets do not see or hear from clients if their dogs have problems (most people wouldn't even consider it was the vaccine that was causing the reaction. I sure as hell know that didn't cross my mind initially until a member on my flyball team suggested it)

Malli wrote:I vaccinate Oscar every yr and every 6 months for kennel cough, partly because Oscar does come to the hospital with we very frequently.

Oscar is 8 now, and probably in the next year or 2 I'll think about some yearly bloodwork, up until now he's only had bloodwork if there was cause for concern or before a procedure.

I know that what happened to Yoda was awful, but from what I've seen and been told reactions are very very rare and very infrequently deadly.

I think its often common practice for people to vaccinate less as the dog becomes more senior, and by that time, their immunity to everything save kennel cough (immunity only lasts about 6 months) should be pretty substantial, anyway.

I'm not trying to get into any debates, just helping with a little info and personal experience.
Last edited by maberi on April 3rd, 2009, 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BigDogBuford » April 3rd, 2009, 3:15 pm

I vaccinate my dogs regularly but that's because they come to work with me and board quite regularly. Once they get over six, I do a yearly chem screen just to have base line levels. Once they start getting 'older' (maybe 6 or 7) I start doing titers for distemper instead of the vaccinations,but still vaccinate for rabies and bord.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 3rd, 2009, 3:20 pm

I'm still so torn on vaccinations. I do them, but I always wonder. The problem is you can find research to back up vaccinating, and research to back up not vaccinating. :(
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Postby SisMorphine » April 3rd, 2009, 3:24 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:I vaccinate my dogs regularly but that's because they come to work with me and board quite regularly.

See my dogs always have come to work, as well, 5-7 days a week in a vet's office and/or boarding, daycare, or training facility each week since the day I brought my first dog home (Wally). Other than deworming more regularly I don't do anything different. And I especially don't vaccinate for kennel cough. That vaccine is the bane of my existence :cuss:
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Postby dogged » April 3rd, 2009, 3:31 pm

This is what I showed my vet about vaxs and what I follow: http://www.critteradvocacy.org/Canine%2 ... dlines.htm

They can look up the peer reviewed research if they want. Either way, it's still a very personal decision.

I still have to do rabies as required by law and I don't titer. As far as yearly checks go, it usually involves a once-over by my vet and a CBC if the dog is over 7.
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Postby Malli » April 3rd, 2009, 3:57 pm

but, even if most people don't make the connection, usually the reaction is within a few hrs to a day and the vet should make the connection for them.
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Postby maberi » April 3rd, 2009, 4:02 pm

Malli wrote:but, even if most people don't make the connection, usually the reaction is within a few hrs to a day and the vet should make the connection for them.


Maybe this is why my vet didn't make the connection. What is scary is when I saw a bunch of specialists (including a very well regarded neurologist) they all indicated reactions 1-2 weeks later were not uncommon
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Postby maberi » April 3rd, 2009, 4:27 pm

Here is an interesting publication by the American Animal Hospital Association (I believe Demo posted something similar a few years back but this version is updated).

This was developed by a group of infectious disease experts, immunologists, researchers and practicing veterinarians, these guidelines were first released in 2003 and revised with new information in 2006


http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/ ... evised.pdf
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Postby call2arms » April 3rd, 2009, 4:39 pm

Just on a side note... Many people come up with things happening to their dogs shortly after vaccinations and ''accuse'' it, when usually it's not the case. I think there is a good 50-50 division of people who just vaccinate and don't think that X is related to it, and the other half, their dog scratches wrong the next day and it's gotta be the vaccine... Reactions do happen (I've seen it especially in smaller breed, when giving multiples or Lyme/Lepto vaccines... They puff up, some even end up in the emergency a few hours after, and those guys never get vaccinated again, just titered)... But it's rare and some also come for vaccines, but just get a dose of benadryl prior to it, and stay over in observation.

In retrospect, most of these dogs will probably never encounter parvo - but I know for myself (I do DHPP and Rabies every 3 years, bordetella every year, no Lyme or Lepto) that if mt dog caught parvo I would kick myself in the head for not vaccinating (cause chances of catching it while vaccinated slight, but still there)... I know that for you, with Yoda and all you went through, it weighs heavy in your balance of ''am I taking a chance to expose them to X disease''... So titering might be the way to go, but it's going to cost, I guess that's an investment you're more than ready to make.

I think bottom like it's more of a personal choice, although isn't it illegal not to vaccinate for Rabies ?
(I personally think that if it isn't, it should since humans can have it and it's pretty much deadly, and horrible).
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Postby BigDogBuford » April 3rd, 2009, 4:41 pm

SisMorphine wrote:
BigDogBuford wrote:I vaccinate my dogs regularly but that's because they come to work with me and board quite regularly.

See my dogs always have come to work, as well, 5-7 days a week in a vet's office and/or boarding, daycare, or training facility each week since the day I brought my first dog home (Wally). Other than deworming more regularly I don't do anything different. And I especially don't vaccinate for kennel cough. That vaccine is the bane of my existence :cuss:


This issue is that I can't really NOT vaccinate my dogs for the stuff that we require from clients, ya know? Plus, I take in foster dogs from the shelter so there's a huge 'unknown' factor there. Personally, I've never had a problem with the kennel cough vaccination but I ask for the sub Q and not the intra-nasal.

My cats never go anywhere so I don't vaccinate them at all except for Rabies because it's law.
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Postby airwalk » April 3rd, 2009, 4:44 pm

I vaccinate. As my dogs age (5-7) I begin the annual blood workups (holy moly Scooter is just about 5)

Sis I know you feel kennel cough is unnecessary, but mine get it every 6 months because they are exposed to so much at the shelter and I did take it home to my old man Charlie once...seeing how completely miserable he was I vowed to never let that happen again if I could help it...and it never has.
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Postby Leslie H » April 3rd, 2009, 7:30 pm

I don't have any concrete info, but I just started seeing a homeopath/vet w/Soleil. Her sun sensitivity and her last heat cycle being early causes me to think she's not quite balanced, the vet feels the same way. She feels that vaccine responses can happen months down the line, and she'll be helping me out when Soleil needs her rabies in Sept.
I'm of the minimal school of vaccination, I don't do Lyme or Bordatella (sp), and try to do the 3 year protocol. I do bring my dogs lots of high traffic places.
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Postby Patch O' Pits » April 3rd, 2009, 7:36 pm

Well I do the 3 year with most but have also done a titer before and skipped a year. I would do more titers if it wasn't so darn expensive.

I'm trying to find a vet that does them less them what mine charges.

I do yearly check ups and my seniors get two check ups per year and blood work.
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Postby Mickle » April 3rd, 2009, 9:09 pm

I titer, My vet does it in house. I also dont do any lyme, lepto, or kennel cough. My dogs go into daycare, play with other dogs and training facilities often, I also have dogs here all the time.
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Postby CinderDee » April 3rd, 2009, 9:11 pm

How much are the titers?
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Postby Mickle » April 3rd, 2009, 9:27 pm

My vet does it for 40
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