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When is it considered safe to take a puppy out?
after 2nd or 3rd vaccination?


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#1 newmum2one

Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:51 PM

I'm confused about this....

Aprox 10yrs ago I worked in a vet surgery, I was there taught that puppies should not go for walks outside the home until 2 weeks after the 3rd vaccination thus making them 18 weeks old.  However, I have since read on some dog sites that it is actually fine to take a puppy out for a walk 2 weeks after the 2nd vaccination so at 14weeks.

My puppy has had a C4 at 8 weeks, a C5 at 12 weeks & this week is getting his 3rd vaccination at 16 weeks .  I really want to start walking him, I really think it'll help settle him abit as he is very energetic & getting bored of the same scenery lol so am wondering what others opinions on this are?  DYT it's safe to take my puppy out on walks now or should I wait another 2 weeks?

btw the vet never mentioned anything about not walking.

#2 ~JASB~

Posted 05 October 2010 - 04:14 PM

I asked my vet about this at my puppy's 2nd vaccination.  I was desperate to take her out by that stage as her schedule had started late - first vax wasn't till 9 weeks as she was a rescue puppy.

Vet's advice was that some people do take them out after the 2nd shot, but that really, they aren't totally covered until 10 days after the 3rd.

We started just walking her around our streets a couple of weeks after her 2nd shot, making sure she didn't come into contact with any other dogs (and watching out for other dog poop on the ground!).  But we didn't start walking her properly or taking her to the dog park until 10 days after her 3rd shot.


#3 shelly1

Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:47 PM

My dogs only had 2 shots at 8 and 12 weeks - its what the vet I use does. TBH we walked them from about 9 weeks. Just around the block on the footpath and then by 10 weeks down the park where they did meet other dogs. We dont live in a high parvo area and didnt want to risk them not being well socialised - especially with little people in the house.

Dogs can contract Parvo without even leaving their homes. If you, a bird or even stray cat step in infected dog poo you have every chance of transfering it to your soil at home (where it lives for up to 9 months) and can infect your dog. So its a tough one the risk of an unsocialised dog or the risk of parvo which like I said for us was low.

#4 Steiner-wannabe

Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:29 AM

2 weeks AFTER the THIRD vaccination!

Parvo seems to be rampant this season, so I wouldn't risk it!!

Puppy school is fine, however

#5 casime

Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:34 AM

Mine are out very early, and I do very limited vaccinations.   A pup that has been with mum for it's early life, and part of a pack of dogs should have a good natural immunity to diseases.   From eight weeks mine are at dog shows, trials, etc.   They stay in the car or in the cage with my other dogs, or they get carried around, but in all of these years, neither I, nor anyone else I know, has ever had an issue with a strong healthy puppy contracting an illness.   I favour the benefits of early socialisation over the slim chance of picking up something.

#6 Steiner-wannabe

Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:39 AM

Puppy school is part of the socialisation process, where all the pups are vaccinated.

The big wide world, ie: park, you cannot guarantee the vacc status of the dogs, and if you have a young pup, is it really worth the risk??

Ive seen many pups die a horrible, totally avoidable death from parvo as they lose control of all their faculties, and its not just pet shop pups [however, they seem the worst]

#7 Tessied

Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:48 AM

MOST dogs are covered two weeks after the second vaccination.  The only
reason three are done, is because it's impossible to know when the puppy's maternal antibodies fade.  Maternal antibodies interfere with 'seroconversion' (the puppy becoming immune to the virus).

However, ALL puppies should be taken out at 8 weeks.  They don't need to be put on the ground, but they NEED to be socialised to lots of people, dogs known to you, weird sounds, surfaces etc.  I took my large dog out and carried him to cafes, trains etc so that he'd be socialised, and he is.

Be careful - don't let them in a frequented dog park and sniffing poo, but don't avoid taking them anywhere because a puppy's socialisation period is between 8-12 weeks.

Think about it rationally too - why is puppy school safe?  It's not by default.  You have no idea if the floor was cleaned with F10 properly, or if a puppy in your class has been exposed.  They are all calculated risks.

Personally, I titre tested my puppy to be sure he'd become immune.  He had one more adult vaccination and that will be it for life.

#8 casspice

Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:09 PM

What Casime said. I too have never had a pup come down sick from taking it to a dog show etc at 8ish weeks. Guess it depends where the puppy came from though and where you are planning to take it...

#9 Unatheowl

Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:41 PM

Dont know if Tessied is a vet, but I am and what she's said is exactly what I say to my clients who ask me that question.

It is a small risk but socialisation is important too.

#10 tenar

Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:53 PM

take him out right away, the first day you have him home, if possible.

Lack of socialisation kills far more dogs than any disease.  They die because by the time they are adolescents and unmanageable, or terribly fear-aggressive, or whatever, they are taken to shelters and cannot be rehomed.  The number of dogs we kill each year this way is horrifying.

Dogs learn most of their social skills between the ages of 4-12 weeks (there is some variation with breed).  Of course, they keep on learning after this time, but not so fast.  So if you keep your puppy locked up until it is 16 weeks old or whatever, it's like keeping your kid indoors until they are 10.  By the time they are out in the big wide world, you have missed the most critical period for them to be able to learn how to cope with it.  It isn't a given that your dog will have problems because of this, but it is obviously far more likely.

Make a list of the situations that your dog may need to be comfortable with as an adult.  For me these included:  being in a park, being offlead in a park with lots of dogs, being with children, being on public transport, in a car, at the beach, in a crowd of people, at the shops, ....  Make sure that your dog is exposed to as many of these things as possible, in as relaxed way as possible, from the moment you get him/her home from the breeder.  That way you are giving him/her the best chance to be relaxed and unphased not just by these things but by many other things in life.  

This time is important for early puppy training.  By the age of 4-6 months your dog will probably hit adolescence (again there is variation with breed) and suddenly your gorgeous, obedient puppy won't want to do everything you say any more.  So it's important to get the basic training in before then.  

Now, it is true that taking them out will increase their chance of getting some disease or other, and there are some scary things out there.  But honestly, check the stats: behavioural problems, which are often caused by a lack of socialisation, kill many many more dogs than the diseases do.  And anyway: you can't protect them entirely from the diseases - you could walk the germs in on your feet from the street any day.  It's a risk, but it's a small one.  We would never choose to delay socialisation of our children just because there are infectious diseases out there, and this makes as little sense for puppies as it does for kids.

#11 newmum2one

Posted 06 October 2010 - 02:27 PM

Thanks ladies.  We took my puppy for a walk down the road last night, DD & puppy LOVED it lol

#12 ~JASB~

Posted 06 October 2010 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE (unatheowl @ 06/10/2010, 01:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dont know if Tessied is a vet, but I am and what she's said is exactly what I say to my clients who ask me that question.

It is a small risk but socialisation is important too.

So why is the information given by vets not standard??  As I said in my PP, my vet was dead against me taking my dog out until 10 days after the 3rd vaccination.  As it was, we started small walks 2 weeks after the 2nd and I really worried I was doing the wrong thing.

FWIW, she's had no problem with socialising even though we didn't do a lot of it until 18-19 weeks.


#13 casime

Posted 06 October 2010 - 04:59 PM

Jas, vaccination protocols are the breastfeeding v bottlefeeding debates of the pet world!   Skip over to any dog forum and you'll see the topic being debated at length!

Many vets that have been around for years will tend to favour the older protocol of three puppy vaccinations and annual vaccinations from there on.   That's the way it was always done.  Many vets have openly admitted that the idea of an annual vaccination was to ensure that dogs were taken to the vet once a year for a check up (and the really honest ones will admit that it's a good way to bring in money to the clinic - here's your vaccinations, and while you're at it, you'd better buy this dog food that we recommend).  

Protocol is now moving towards a three year vaccine in place of annual vaccinations.   There are those that are even more radical and work on the titre test approach and get our dogs antibodies tested instead of vaccinating.   Puppies receive maternal antibodies through their mother.  If you vaccinate too early, the vaccine is useless as the MDA (maternally derived antibodies) are still present in the pup.  Also, puppies that are socialised around dogs from "safe" populations, should naturally begin to build their own antibodies as they spend less time with their dam.   Dogs "shed" antibodies in their everyday lives and herd immunity exists in dogs that are around other dogs.

For example, I favour a very limited vaccination protocol with my animals.   My old girl, who is still going strong at 11 years of age, hasn't had a vaccination since she was twelve months of age.  Her last titre result, which checks the antibodies in her system, showed that she was at a minimum, over 100 times the required immunity for each of the diseases that they would normally vaccinate for.   She was even immune to rabies, despite never having a rabies shot and never being in an area where rabies is present.  I see no value in injecting a live vaccine in to a dog that already has immunity.  In the recent kennel cough epidemic that went around the sport, my unvaccinated dogs were the only ones that seemed to not get sick, whilst all the dogs that were routinely vaccinated annually all developed the disease.  

You should do some research, there's heaps of it online, and discuss with your vet if you are concerned.  



#14 Unatheowl

Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:17 PM

QUOTE (~JAS~ @ 06/10/2010, 05:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So why is the information given by vets not standard??  As I said in my PP, my vet was dead against me taking my dog out until 10 days after the 3rd vaccination.  As it was, we started small walks 2 weeks after the 2nd and I really worried I was doing the wrong thing.

FWIW, she's had no problem with socialising even though we didn't do a lot of it until 18-19 weeks.


How is this not standard?  It is true that to reduce the risk even further you should wait until 2 weeks after the the third vaccination.  However, MOST dogs are OK 2 weeks after the second vaccination for the reasons previously given.  As I said, the risk is small but socialisation is important.

Also, it is true that dogs are probably over-vaccinated and that most have very strong immunity even on a limited vaccination protocol.  However, the only way to be sure is to titre test and watch the kennel cough vaccines as these do not tend to induce as long lasting immunity as some of the others (and they are all different).  It is fairly common for the kennel cough component to not even last the 12 months.  now having said that I'm sure someone will come on and tell me about thier 30yo dog who still had immunity after only having 1 puppy vaccination (roll eyes)...it is all done on averages so is true for most dogs.  Some will be well above the average, some will be well below.

#15 Tessied

Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:20 PM

I have found it is older vets who seem unwilling to change.

#16 ~JASB~

Posted 06 October 2010 - 08:15 PM

QUOTE (casime @ 06/10/2010, 04:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You should do some research, there's heaps of it online, and discuss with your vet if you are concerned.

That comes across a bit rude - I hope it wasn't intended that way.  I HAVE researched the annual vaccinations that you are talking about - which is why my cats haven't had yearly vaccinations, but that isn't what I was asking about.  I was specifically asking about puppy shots and when they are covered.  That's completely different to the annual vaccination debate - on which I agree with you!  I like the bottle feeding vs breast feeding analogy though.


QUOTE (unatheowl @ 06/10/2010, 06:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How is this not standard?  It is true that to reduce the risk even further you should wait until 2 weeks after the the third vaccination.  However, MOST dogs are OK 2 weeks after the second vaccination for the reasons previously given.  As I said, the risk is small but socialisation is important.

It's not standard advice because my vet specifically told me NOT to walk her until after the 3rd shot - which is different to what a vet here is saying.  She said nothing about MOST dogs being ok after the 2nd.  That is how the advice is not standard.

My vet is young btw, probably late 20's/early 30's.

#17 Unatheowl

Posted 06 October 2010 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE (~JAS~ @ 06/10/2010, 09:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's not standard advice because my vet specifically told me NOT to walk her until after the 3rd shot - which is different to what a vet here is saying.  She said nothing about MOST dogs being ok after the 2nd.  That is how the advice is not standard.

My vet is young btw, probably late 20's/early 30's.


I see your point.  Perhaps your vet is super risk-averse - maybe that is why she has told you that?  She is right...but so am I original.gif  She may well have said nothing about most dogs being ok after the second vax..doesnt mean its not true or she doesnt think that.  Did you ask her?  These are not mutually exclusive concepts.  It goes like this:

2 weeks after the third vax = safest
2 weeks after the second vax =  probably safe
after first vax = unsafe

It just depends upon what level of risk you are willing to accept. Regardless, the theory behind it is as Tessied has described so you can make your own decision.

Yay...I am young too original.gif  Probably closer to the early 30's mark than the late 20's mark....but you cant win them all! wink.gif

#18 ~JASB~

Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE (unatheowl @ 06/10/2010, 08:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I see your point.  Perhaps your vet is super risk-averse - maybe that is why she has told you that?  She is right...but so am I original.gif  She may well have said nothing about most dogs being ok after the second vax..doesnt mean its not true or she doesnt think that.  Did you ask her?

Yer I did and I guess that's why I find it frustrating LOL.  I had actually thought it was after the 2nd vax it was considered safe and at that appt I was excited saying "yay I can take her out now".  I was told "no no no, not yet!"  Who was I to question her advice?  It had been 13 years since I'd had a puppy.  Even after my pup's 3rd shot she made a point of saying "in another 10 days" she was safe to socialise.

Wish this thread had come up a few months ago! original.gif

#19 casime

Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:23 PM


QUOTE
That comes across a bit rude - I hope it wasn't intended that way. I HAVE researched the annual vaccinations that you are talking about - which is why my cats haven't had yearly vaccinations, but that isn't what I was asking about. I was specifically asking about puppy shots and when they are covered. That's completely different to the annual vaccination debate - on which I agree with you! I like the bottle feeding vs breast feeding analogy though.


Sorry Jas, I didn't intend on it coming across rude and it wasn't directed at you, more of a general comment.  What I really meant was that people should do their own research and discuss with their vet if they want to change the vaccination protocol, not just take the word of someone on the net.  

As for puppies, the reason my vet tells people to wait until after the final vaccination, whilst taking her own puppies out and about from an early age, basically comes down to liability.   If, there was that one small chance that a puppy did pick up something, she's not wanting that person to come back at her and say "you said it was ok".  

It's also to do with not knowing the background of where the pups are coming from.   A puppy taken from mum at an early age and kept in a cage will have less immunity than a pup that has stayed at the milk bar for longer and been raised amongst a pack that has their own strong levels of immunity.  There's also an element of hygiene, where the puppy has come from, where it sleeps, eats, etc.   Vets can't know what level of immunity that puppy has without testing it, and so to be safe, they say to wait.    

I myself (with my vets blessing), do take my pups out at an early age.   It's a decision I made, to balance the risks of exposure, with the benefits of early socialisation.

#20 ~JASB~

Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:28 PM

Thanks casime original.gif  In truth, I guess even I don't know my puppy's very early background.  She and her littermates were surrendered at the pound, I'm not actually sure at what age so I don't know how early she was taken away from her mother.  She was with a foster carer when I first met her at 8 weeks but I didn't think to ask when she had left mum - it didn't occur to me to ask, although it should have.

I understand the liability issue as well - unfortunately that makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, as I said, Lexie has socialised well even though she didn't start till later - probably very much helped by puppy school.


#21 Unatheowl

Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:47 PM

QUOTE (casime @ 06/10/2010, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for puppies, the reason my vet tells people to wait until after the final vaccination, whilst taking her own puppies out and about from an early age, basically comes down to liability.   If, there was that one small chance that a puppy did pick up something, she's not wanting that person to come back at her and say "you said it was ok".


Again, this is true.  Younger vets at uni are now being made very aware about the fact that they are dealing with the general public and you could get a nutbag at any time (and they turn...my god do they turn when you least expect them to).  Covering themselves against complaints is a very important priority now making them a little OTT with advice and being uber-careful like never before.




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