Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been googling around after contacting a breeder about her puppies. She adheres to a low vaccine protocol. What does that mean exactly? I've seen different things by different vets.

If you were a breeder and you had this protocol, what would that mean to you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
My guess would be minimal vaccinations. Doing titers instead of vaccines. I would ask her what she means. Most breeders are happy to explain things.
 

·
Golden Ret Enthusiast
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
Low vaccines are just that, keeping it to a minimum. They may not even do the standard 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks and final shots at 16 weeks, but maybe only 2 of those. I however do those but I titer afterwards and usually don't need to vaccinate again other then rabies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,252 Posts
We did a low/delayed schedule. First shots were at 8 weeks. Did a booster @ 12 weeks. A third booster @ 16 weeks. Rabies @ 20 weeks. Lana will get a final booster @ 1 year then rabies booster 4 weeks after that. From there, she will be titered for distemper/parvo and given rabies every 3 years to remain compliant with local laws.
 

·
Esquire Golden Retrievers
Joined
·
4,858 Posts
I don't know what she means by it, but I'll tell you what it generally means. Hang on, it's a bit of an explanation beginning with how puppy shots are given.

Newborn puppies get immunity from their mother. After they are weaned, that immunity runs out at some point. But no one knows exactly when. It depends on a number of factors, including the mother's level of immunity and the amount of colostrum the puppies get (colostrum is mother's first milk). As long as they have mom's immunity, their bodies won't respond to the vaccines and they will not get their own immunity from the vaccines. Mom's immunity will actually kill the vaccine just like it kills the germs that cause the disease being prevented. So puppy vaccinations only become effective after mom's immunity is gone.

When is that? Again, no one knows.

So on a "better safe than sorry" shotgun approach, vets generally start giving vaccines when the pups are very young (often before 8 weeks), and they keep giving them every 2-3 weeks until they are pretty sure the pup has lost mom's immunity and that the pup will likely respond to one of those series of vaccines (usually around 16 weeks). That's why you get so many shots. Only ONE of those shots works (if that, as sometimes they miss it completely because of the guesswork involved). All the rest are either killed off by mom's immunity or are redundant because an earlier shot worked and the pup already has his own immunity.

Low vaccine protocols are those that try to target that period of lost immunity more closely so they have to give fewer series, or they give fewer and stretch them out over a longer time, gambling that the loss of immunity won't fall too far from the next shot. There are different protocols. Dr. Jean Dodds has the current most popular one. But they are still all guesses.

With our own litters, we don't use that shotgun approach, at all. Instead, we give two series of shots, and that's it. Then we titer to confirm immunity. When we give those shots depends on a projection of when the pup is going to lose mom's immunity. We get that projection with something called a canine titer nomograph.

The nomograph is a blood test on the Dam that tells:

  • When maternal antibodies will drop
  • When the puppies are vulnerable to parvovirus and distemper
  • It identifies when to vaccinate - when puppies can respond to the vaccines
  • Reduces the number of puppy vaccinations required for protection
  • Enables better socialization by minimizing the time you have to protect them

What we do is we take the dam's blood and send it to a particular lab that will chart the level of mom's immunity and then run a calculation based on that to determine the smallest window of time when her puppies are likely to lose immunity. The nomograph will give us a window (though it's actually a descending arc) of when puppies are most likely vulnerable.

We vaccinate at the beginning of that window and at the end of it. Like, for example, at 9 weeks old and 11 weeks old, if that's what the nomograph reveals. We then wait two weeks after the second series and titer the puppy to ensure that the vaccines took and the puppy has his own immunity. Every time we have done this, the puppies come back fully immune on only two shots. And we know what period of time is the "danger zone" where we have to keep puppies' socialization and exposure low. That's our low vaccine protocol.

So there are a number of different ways to approach it, and the only way to know which approach your breeder is using is to ask her. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
468 Posts
Great explanation Dana. Nice insight for the non-breeder. I am curious to how a nomograph blood test on the Dam can tell when maternal antibodies drop.

dlm ny country
 

·
Esquire Golden Retrievers
Joined
·
4,858 Posts
Great explanation Dana. Nice insight for the non-breeder. I am curious to how a nomograph blood test on the Dam can tell when maternal antibodies drop.

dlm ny country
Maternal antibodies decay at a predictable rate. By knowing the level of immunity in the dam -- which is passed to the puppies through the colostrum -- you can calculate when that immunity will run out. As the puppy grows up, maternal antibodies break down in approximately two-week “half lives” until they are no longer present in the pup. Knowing the beginning level of immunity from the dam makes calculating the loss of immunity fairly straightforward.

Here's an online booklet that describes the process for breeders. https://puredogtalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Avidogs-Canine-Nomographs-ebook-5.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
We did a low/delayed schedule. First shots were at 8 weeks. Did a booster @ 12 weeks. A third booster @ 16 weeks. Rabies @ 20 weeks. Lana will get a final booster @ 1 year then rabies booster 4 weeks after that. From there, she will be titered for distemper/parvo and given rabies every 3 years to remain compliant with local laws.
That just seems like the normal schedule to me, other than titers for DHPP later...normal schedule to me would be DHPP at 8, 12, and 16 weeks and then a booster at one year, then every 3 years. Rabies at 16 or 18 weeks, one year later, and then every 3 years. Some choose to do titers for DHPP every 3 years instead, but as there is not an official level that = protection boosters were encouraged.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top