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Doing Your Own Vaccinations

When it comes to vaccinations, there are a lot of opinions out there. My own opinion about vaccinations has changed multiple times over the years. People and breeders and veterinarians.. generally form their opinions based on their experiences and in the case of veterinarians, usually what they are taught in school, and sometimes veterinarians go against what they are taught in school. It’s important to remember when we talk with others about vaccinating, that we all want our puppies to be healthy. Don’t let yourself get caught up getting angry at others about what they believe about vaccinating. Everyone decides what’s best based on their own experiences, and everyone has different experiences, so we all have different opinions. The more passionate someone is, the more they fight for what they believe in. Just don’t let yourself get angry – whoever you are fighting with – their ultimate goal is the same as yours, and that’s to have healthy puppies.


Here are some things to consider that are my viewpoints on vaccines.

– Veterinarians may not honor vaccinations done by a breeder. Veterinarians may choose to ignore the vaccines by a breeder if the puppy received vaccines from the breeder instead of another veterinarian. They do this because they say they can’t control if the breeder properly handled the vaccinations. Proper handling of vaccination prior to giving the vaccine is important. They need to be stored at a certain temperature to keep them cool to work properly. Veterinarians can be distrustful of breeders, thinking that the breeder may have cut corners and never even gave the vaccines.

– Make sure you include the stickers on the sides of both bottles when you buy your vaccines from a local tractor supply company.

– There is an increased risk of mishandling of vaccines from a tractor supply. Many people have reported seeing vaccine doses laying out on the counter at the tractor supply where they warm up. This can greatly increase the risk for the virus contained in any “LIVE” virus vaccine to grow and multiply and make your dog very sick with the virus if you buy it and administer it. However, I believe this situation to be very rare. It could just as easily happen at a vet’s office when a tech leaves them out on the counter.

– One concept that I have learned after many years of experience, is that you can have a genetically disease-resistant breeding stock. If I have 3 litters of puppies, and all of the puppies get sick with a bug/virus except one mom and her babies. The mother and babies that didn’t get sick could potentially just have stronger immune systems. In nature, if you have a weak immune system, you die. We have a tendency to breed for looks and health testing. You have to be a smart breeder to be able to look at your lines and find those signs that determine which lines have strong immune systems. The line with strong immune systems is a genetic trait, and you can breed that into your line. I wish I had realized that as a young breeder. When you start breeding and your only breeding one female, you don’t really have the opportunity to make this observation. I personally breed for strong immune systems. I breed for puppies that can be exposed but survive. The lepto vaccine, which I would never give even to an adult dog, covers around 7 strains of lepto, and there are some 200 + strains of lepto. I don’t think it’s smart to depend on a vaccine to do all of the work when you should be breeding hardy and strong. Hardy and strong covers your Yorkie puppy on the 200 +. The vaccine comes with risks and only covers your pup on 7  or so strains. Think with your own mind. Not just what the Veterinarian is saying. Listen to every source and then make up your mind.

– DNA testing through embark helps you determine if your dog has many forms of immune system diseases.

– I originally started doing my own vaccines because of the risk of exposure at the veterinarian’s office. Sick dogs go to the vet’s office. I do think most vets are doing everything they can to keep their offices sterilized after every visit. Some vet offices even have separate entrances for sick and healthy dogs. I was in a vet’s waiting room with a pregnant mom in my arms. I was sitting on a bench when someone came in with a dog that was sick, a possible parvo case, with no leash on, and the dog jumped up on the bench with me trying to nose my puppies. I jumped up and got away. But if you know anything about parvo, it’s a killer, and it spreads like fire. If that dog had parvo – it was all over the floor and bench already. You can track it in on your shoes. So that’s an added risk to think about when you have puppies and you’re taking them in to get vaccinated at the vet.

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