after puppy shots we do Rabies every 3, DHPP every 3, and lepto every 1. I have done kennel cough in the past, and my dog still contracted kennel cough so I may not do it again, as I've been told its not very effective and only covers certain strains. If I board or continue training classes I will get the kennel cough.
I am currently a vet tech and here is what I have found in my experience: Rabies is a MUST every 3 years, basically because it is the law. For cats that are indoors its not a big deal to get, however I have a friend who had an indoor cat who contracted rabies from a bat that got into the house and the cat had to be euthanized, the owner was also bit and had to go through the series of post exposure vaccines, so you really never know. No need to do rabies any sooner than every 3 years because they will have sufficient antibodies with the 3 year vaccine. As for DHPP, we have many clients who do not do it every 3 years but opt to do a titer yearly instead. Some of the dogs needed it every 3 years for a few times then never needed the vaccine again, while some needed to reboost in 6 or 7 years. Everyone's immune systems are different and so how they build antibodies and how long those antibodies stay in the system are all dependent on the individual. If you choose to go the no vaccine route, make sure to do titers because diseases like distemper are highly contagious and incurable. It would be incredibly irresposible to choose not to vaccinate and also not keep up on titers, if not yearly, then every 2 or 3 years, just to make sure your dogs (and the wildlife around them) are safe.
Another thing many breeders do which is very ineffective is start the vaccine series at 6 weeks old. If vaccines are given BEFORE 8 weeks, they are ineffective as the mother's antibodies are still in the puppies system. The puppy will still need 3 more vaccines to be considered to have full immunity. Also a lot of people give the vaccines early (i,e. every 2 weeks instead of every 3 to 4), this is also ineffective. The body needs AT LEAST 3 weeks to build immunity to the vaccine and introducing a new vaccine before that time does nothing to boost immunity. You must wait at least 3 weeks, 4 is ideal.
The few studies I've seen show that some puppies start losing mother's immunity at around 5 or 6 weeks, some at 8, some at 12, some at 14, etc. The reason why many breeders start at 6 weeks is you have no way of knowing (without testing) if a particular litter has lost mom's immunity or not, and if they have they are vulnerable. So they hit them all with the idea that they'll catch those 20% or so who lost immunity early and have a shorter unprotected window.
Our breeder lost an entire litter once when a puppy-visitor swore they hadn't been around other dogs and it turns out they'd been at a farm visiting another litter right before hers. Now she doesn't allow any visitors til they've had first shots, and she gives first shots around 6 weeks or so, with a booster before they leave at 10 weeks.
As you mentioned with adults, one size does not fit all and many prefer to be conservative if they aren't going to test every dog.
Has anyone had dogs that had a reaction to the rabies shot? This has happened to Bucher two times, the first time he just was sick and not himself for about a week (called the vet and he noted it on his record). The last time he had a bad reaction (vet had us come in to recheck him and made another note on his record) also a lump from the shot, which hasn’t gone away (3 years later)!! I think that this summer he is do for his 3 year rabies and I really am worried to let him get the next shot . I have talked to the vet about a certificate or something that he can sign so we don’t have to give him the shot this year, has anyone else heard of this?? Bucher was 9 in October and also had a very bad bout with Anaplasma Phagocytophilum, he still doesn’t act like himself…..I really don’t know what to do about the rabies shot.
Thank you for that info! Yes, he has gotten all the shots that they recommend up until now. I think we have taken Bucher to the vet for check ups and his shots more than I ever took my kids!! I have never liked to give him all the shots at once so I've paid for extra office visits, that also helped so we could tell what he was reacting to. I really don't want him to have it the shot at all!!