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So I know this question has been asked a million times but Sam our golden retriever got his first shot at 6 weeks and then one at 9 and he is gonna go back at 12. How safe is he after that third one? We also are gonna take him for a fourth at 15 weeks...should we? Should we wait till 16 weeks? Or should we at all? Thanks!
 

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I would absolutely advocate for a full series of vaccinations for parvovirus (and distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, leptospirosis), including the final booster at 16 weeks. You may want to consider lyme if its prevalent in your area (it is in mine), as retrievers have a higher rate of lyme nephritis leading to kidney failure.

Vaccinations in puppies are tricky, because the mother has antibodies that are transferred to the puppies, and they eventually wear off (anywhere between 6-20ish weeks) but no one knows exactly when. This varies between the actual viruses, different breeds, litters, and between individual puppies even. Sometimes it takes multiple shots for a puppy to develop enough immunity to prevent an infection, and if the vaccine is given while the mother's antibodies are still in the system, it may not be effective. Some veterinarians will recommend that Rottweilers and Dobermans actually receive their final parvovirus booster at 20 weeks rather than 16 because of this.

It may seem like overkill, but as you probably know parvovirus can be fatal to young puppies, and sometimes cause long lasting health consequences. I would say to go along with whatever your vet recommends. If they are OK with you coming back at 15 weeks, then its probably fine. If they say wait until 16 weeks, then I would do that. Its traditionally 16-17 weeks for the final set of shots.
 

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Follow your vets recommendation first. Every area is different. It also depends on where you plan to take your pup. We attended puppy kindergarten beginning at 8 weeks because we're not in a high risk area and all the dogs that attend classes are required to be vaccinated. With the puppies they must have at least the first vaccination. If you plan to go to the dog park or someplace outdoors with a lot of dog traffic, I would wait until after all vaccinations are complete. I personally don't go to dog parks because of the risk of dog fights and other accidents. A poor little Pomeranian just died from a broken neck at our small town dog park.
 

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I'd absolutely follow your vets recommendation. Vaccines are tricky due to the mothers antibodies, but often when they receive a vaccine early(6-weeks like your pup), they do give a fourth to ensure total protection. I would not mess around with puppy vaccines.
 

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Vaccination is not immunity. Some dogs though it is very rare are non responders. They never build immunity regardless of number of vaccination. If you really want to know, you need to titer usually 3 weeks after the final shot at 15-16 weeks.
 

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Chloe got four. The breeder gave the first one kind of early so the vet went ahead and gave her w fourth when she had her rabies at 16 weeks.
 

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My Vet said last one at 16 weeks.....had something to do with ensuring final hormones, proteins or whatever was in the Mother's milk to work its way completely out of the pups immune system so that the vaccine would be ensured to protect against Parvo fully.....
 

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They way I understand it is that the puppy is covered under the mother's vaccines anywhere from 6 to 16 weeks, we have no idea when that day will be that the puppy is no longer covered, so we give the puppy series. During the puppy series, if the puppy already has the antibodies for that disease, then the vaccine is useless, once the anitbodies are no longer there, then the next vaccine starts will provide the antibodies for the puppy. This is the reason why a puppy that has had vaccines, but is in the middle of the puppy series, can come down with the diseases if he is exposed during the short window that he is no longer covered by his mother but has not had the next vaccine.

I was also told that it is safe to wait 4 months - closer to 17 weeks for that last vaccine.
 
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