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Puppy Vaccination & Flea/Tick/Heartworm Prevention Questions

by Penny
(Houston, TX)

I have a 4 1/2 month old collie puppy and the breeder gave him at 8 weeks the Spectra 5 (distemper, adenovirus Type 2, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus) and at 11 weeks the Spectra 7 (same as above but plus the Leptospira can. & Leptospira ict.


My question is, should I do a 3rd round of the Spectra 7 as have heard different views and don't want to over vaccinate (but I do want to make sure he gets the necessary shots to keep him safe and healthy)?

Also, at what age should I get his first rabies shot and then how long before I follow up after that first rabies shot for his next rabies shot?

I live in Houston, Texas and was wondering when I should start him on heartworm and flea combination and what is best type or brand name of heartworm and flea prevention. I know I shouldn't give ivermectin to a collie which I believe is in some of the heartworm medications.

Thanks you for your advice.

Sincerely,
Penny

Comments for Puppy Vaccination & Flea/Tick/Heartworm Prevention Questions

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Dec 15, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Puppy Vaccination & Flea/Tick/Heartworm Prevention Questions
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Penny,
Congratulations on your new adoption!

It sounds like you are trying to start your puppy off to a healthy start, but unfortunately, breeders tend to start vaccinating MUCH too early and too young! Maternal antibody (the protection that the puppy gets from the mother in the colostrum/first milk) will usually provide protection up through 10-12 weeks for distemper and 16 weeks for Parvo.

This means that the vaccines the breeder gave to your puppy at 8 weeks DID not stimulate him to produce any 'active' immunity, since he still had mom's antibodies protecting him. The vaccination at 11 weeks may have started some protection for the distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and the Lepto. But NOT the Parvo.

At this time (he is 4 1/2 months old), I suggest just giving a single Parvo vaccination. Not one that is combined with everything else.

And at one year of age, he should have one more vaccination with Distemper and Parvo. I would seek the help of a holistic veterinarian regarding continuing the Lepto vaccines. If Leptospirosis is NOT prevalent in your area, specifically the canicola and icterohemorrhatica serovars, I would not give any boosters.

Rabies should be given at 6 months of age, and is usually boostered one year later. Dr. Ron Schultz advises to then do antibody titers to monitor how much immunity your dog has BEFORE automatically giving another vaccination to distemper, parvo, lepto, rabies, etc.

You wrote,
"I live in Houston, Texas and was wondering when I should start him on heartworm and flea combination and what is best type or brand name of heartworm and flea prevention. I know I shouldn't give ivermectin to a collie which I believe is in some of the heartworm medications."

It is best to start puppies on heartworm prevention when they are weaned from the mother and start on solid food, especially in endemic heartworm areas such as Texas. And you are correct, ivermectin is dangerous to give to collies and collie-related breeds. AVOID Heartgard, as this does contain ivermectin. Sentinel does not contain ivermectin and would be a much safer choice. I advise giving it every 45 days.

I do not advise owners to automatically start flea/tick prevention. Fleas are parasites, and as such, they are attracted to weak and unhealthy animals. Keeping your pup healthy will prevent flea problems.

For ticks, use a product made of cedar oil called EVOLV. Actually, this product will protect against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, gnats, roaches, ants, and almost ALL insects!!

I also do not automatically deworm puppies, but advise the owner to take in a stool sample to check for parasites every 4-6 months, while a puppy is growing up, since they seem to pick up EVERYTHING in their mouth! Then check 1-2 times per year.

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO

Dec 15, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Puppy Vaccination & Flea/Tick/Heartworm Prevention Questions PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Penny,
Here is the rest of my response.

Diet is also very important. And you should check into the raw diets that are available. See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

Related Pages:
- Dog Vaccination Schedule,
Related Pages:
- Dog Heartworm Symptoms,
- Natural Heartworm Treatment for Dogs,
- Dealing with Dog Ticks Naturally
- Dog Tick Removal
- Dog Flea Medicine, Treatment & Prevention
- Dog Symptom Checker - Photo, Question & Answer Library for Thousands of Dog Symptoms


DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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