Rabies vaccination

Every State has different recommendations and requierments for Rabies vaccines, please be aware of your state’s law so you can avoid problems. I have outlined some of the states most of my puppies go to so that you are aware of  what your particular state requires.

PENNSYLVANIAhttp://www.pacode.com/secure/data/007/chapter16/chap16toc.html Chapter 16 Rabies Prevention and Control Subchapter C§ 16.43. Revaccination.
A dog or cat over 3 months of age shall be vaccinated to maintain immunity against rabies by the administration of a USDA licensed vaccine, including vaccines producing immunity lasting 3 years, in accordance with instructions prescribed by the manufacturer.
(1) A dog or cat vaccinated when under 1 year of age shall be revaccinated no later than 1 year later.
(2) A dog or cat vaccinated when over 1 year of age with a vaccine producing immunity lasting 3 years shall be revaccinated no later than 3 years later and at least every 3 years thereafter.

CONNECTICUT — Title 22 Section 338 http://search.cga.state.ct.us/dtsearch_pub_statutes.html

Sec. 22-338. Licensing of dogs. Fees. Rabies certificate. Exemptions. (a) Each owner or keeper of a dog of the age of six months or older, except dogs kept under a kennel license as provided in section 22-342, shall cause such dog to be licensed in the town clerk’s office in the town where such dog is kept, on or before June thirtieth, annually, or at such time as such dog becomes six months old, and annually thereafter, on or before June thirtieth. The owner or keeper shall pay to such town clerk for such license the sum of seven dollars for each neutered male or spayed female dog and the sum of twelve dollars for each unneutered male dog and each unspayed female dog, and one additional dollar in each case as the town clerk’s fee for issuing a tag and license as provided in section 22-340. Two dollars from each license fee collected for a neutered or spayed dog shall be deposited into the animal population control account, established under section 22-380g. If an owner or keeper of a dog fails to procure a license as required by this section, such owner or keeper shall pay the appropriate license fee specified in this section, the town clerk’s fee and a penalty of one dollar for each month or fraction thereof the dog remains unlicensed.

(b) Any owner or keeper applying for a license for a dog under subsection (a) of this section, except for those owners or keepers possessing a rabies vaccination exemption certificate, or a copy thereof, issued pursuant to section 22-339b, shall submit to the town clerk a rabies certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian, or a copy thereof, stating that such dog has been vaccinated against rabies, the date of the vaccination and the duration of the immunity provided by the vaccine. No license shall be issued unless the certificate indicates that the immunity provided by the vaccine is effective at the time of licensing.

(c) Any owner or keeper applying for a license for a dog pursuant to subsection (a) of this section that has been exempted from vaccination against rabies pursuant to section 22-339b shall submit to the town clerk a rabies vaccination exemption certificate issued by the department, or a copy thereof, in lieu of a rabies certificate.

(d) This section shall not apply to any dog which is imported into this state for exhibition purposes and which does not remain in this state for more than thirty days. Any person may import, from another state, any licensed dog with collar, tag and rabies vaccination certificate, and keep the same in this state for not more than thirty days, without complying with the provisions of this section.

MARYLAND — Health Code General §18-319. http://mlis.state.md.us/asp/web_statutes.asp?ghg&18-319

(2) Shall administer the vaccine in a manner that is consistent with the recommendations of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians;

 MICHIGAN – (no medical exemption) Michigan http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(jdmubd45yvxn4cavzix3v03r))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-287-266&queryid=4590976&highlight=rabies
(ii) The last day of the month of the dog’s current rabies vaccination, every third year.

 NEW JERSEYhttp://www.state.nj.us/health/animalwelfare/law.shtml 4:19-15.2a. Evidence of inoculation with rabies vaccine or certification of exemption; requirement for license
4:19-15.2a Evidence of inoculation with rabies vaccine or certification of exemption; requirement for license
No municipal clerk or other official designated by the governing body of any municipality to license dogs therein shall grant any such license and official metal registration tag for any dog unless the owner thereof provides evidence that the dog to be licensed and registered has been inoculated with a rabies vaccine of a type approved by and administered in accordance with the recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, or has been certified exempt as provided by regulations of the State Department of Health. Such vaccination shall be repeated at intervals as provided by regulations of the State Department of Health, and shall be administered by a duly licensed veterinarian or by such other veterinarian permitted by law to do the same. The State Department of Health shall promulgate regulations providing for the recognized duration of immunity, interval of inoculation, certificate of vaccination, certificate of exemption, and such other matters related to this act.
NJ Department of Health Policies and Guidelines for Animal Rabies Vaccination http://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/ravacpolicy.doc 

NEW YORK — New York Laws Chapter 69 Of the Consolidated Laws. Article 7. Licensing, Identification and Control of Dogs. http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS

§ 109. Licensing of dogs; rabies vaccination requirement. 1. Licensing
of dogs. (a) The owner of any dog reaching the age of four months shall
immediately make application for a dog license. No license shall be
required for any dog which is under the age of four months and which is
not at large. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, a
license shall be issued or renewed for a period of one year, provided,
that at the option of the governing board of the municipality, a license
may be issued or renewed for a period of one, two or three years, and
provided further, that no license shall be issued for a period expiring
after the last day of the eleventh month following the expiration date
of the current rabies certificate for the dog being licensed.

OHIO — The Ohio Department of Health (614-752-1029) said there is no “state law” on rabies immunization — it is determined by the counties

VIRGINIA — VIRGINIA CODE Title 3.2 Section 3.2-6521 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+3.2-6521
§ 3.2-6521. (Effective October 1, 2008) Rabies inoculation of dogs and domesticated cats; availability of certificate; rabies clinics.

WEST VIRGINIA — West Virginia Code Chapter 19 Article 20 §19-20A-2. Vaccination of dogs and cats. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/code.cfm?chap=19&art=20A&section=3


Vaccination Article by Dr. Dodds

This is one of the handouts we were given at the seminar:

The following article ran in the February 2010 issue of Clean Run magazine.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM 1 and Ronald D. Schultz, PhD 2

There is little doubt that application of modern vaccine technology has permitted us to protect companion animals effectively against serious infectious diseases. Today, we can question conventional vaccine regimens and adopt effective and safe alternatives primarily because the risk of disease has been significantly reduced by the widespread use of vaccination programs, which convey underlying population or herd immunity.

For many veterinary practitioners canine vaccination programs have been “practice management tools” rather than medical procedures. Thus, it is not surprising that attempts to change the vaccines and vaccination programs based on scientific information have created significant controversy. A “more is better” philosophy still prevails with regard to pet vaccines.

Annual vaccination has been and remains the single most important reason why most pet owners bring their pets for an annual or more often “wellness visit.” Another reason for the reluctance to change current vaccination programs is many practitioners really don’t understand the principles of vaccinal immunity. Clearly, the accumulated evidence indicates that vaccination protocols should no longer be considered as a “one size fits all” program.

Giving annual boosters when they are not necessary has the client paying for a service which is likely to be of little benefit to the pet’s existing level of protection against these infectious diseases. It also increases the risk of adverse reactions from the repeated exposure to foreign substances.

So, have veterinarians really embraced the national policies on vaccination guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association, American Veterinary Medical Association and Academy of Feline Practitioners? Does the public trust veterinarians to be up-to-date on these issues or are they unsure? Do they believe veterinarians have a conflict of interest if they seek the income from annual booster vaccinations? Given current media attention to vaccination issues, the public is more aware and worried about vaccine safety.

Some veterinarians today still tell their clients there is no scientific evidence linking vaccinations with adverse effects and serious illness. This is ignorance, and confuses an impressionable client. On the other hand, vaccine zealots abound with hysteria and misinformation. None of these polarized views is helpful.

Further, veterinarians are still routinely vaccinating ill dogs and those with chronic diseases or prior adverse vaccine reactions. This is especially problematic for rabies boosters, as many colleagues believe they have no legal alternative, even though the product label states it’s intended for healthy animals. For more information, see www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

Alternatives to Current Vaccine Practices

1) measuring serum antibody titers;
2) avoidance of unnecessary vaccines or over vaccinating;
3) caution in vaccinating sick or febrile individuals; and
4) tailoring a specific minimal vaccination protocol for dogs of breeds or families known to be at increased risk for adverse reactions.
5) considerations include starting the vaccination series later, such as at nine or ten weeks of age when the immune system is better able to handle antigenic challenge;
6) alerting the caregiver to pay particular attention to the puppy’s behavior and overall health after the second or subsequent boosters; and
7) avoiding revaccination of individuals already experiencing a significant adverse event. Littermates of affected puppies should be closely monitored after receiving additional vaccines in a puppy series, as they too are at higher risk.

Some Frequently Asked Questions – Some questions are part of the Guidelines for Vaccination of Dogs and Cats compiled by the Vaccine Guidelines Group (VGG) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)

Q. Do dogs competing in agility or other events need more vaccines for protection than other pet dogs?
A. No, although if the event location has an exposure risk for Leptospirosis or Lyme disease , annual vaccination for these diseases should be considered.

Q. Is there risk of overvaccinating with vaccines not needed for a specific animal?
A. Yes. Vaccines contain material designed to challenge the immune system of the pet, and so can cause adverse reactions. They should not be given needlessly, and should be tailored to the pet’s individual needs.

Q. Are the initial series of puppy core vaccines immunosuppressive?
A. Yes. This period of immunosuppression from MLV canine distemper and hepatitis vaccines coincides with the time of vaccine-induced viremia, from days 3 to 10 after vaccination.

Q. Can anesthetized patients be vaccinated?
A. This is not preferred, because a hypersensitivity reaction with vomiting and aspiration could occur and anesthetic agents can be immunomodulating.

Q. Is it safe to vaccinate pregnant pets?
A. Absolutely not.

Q. Should pets with immunosuppressive diseases such as cancer or autoimmune diseases, or adverse vaccine reactions/ hypersensitibvity receive booster vaccinations?
A. No. Vaccination with MLV products should be avoided as the vaccine virus may cause disease; vaccination with killed products may aggravate the immune-mediated disease or be ineffective. For rabies boosters that are due, local authorities may accept titers instead or accept a letter from your veterinarian.

Q. If an animal receives immunosuppressive therapy, how long afterwards can the pet safely be vaccinated?
A. Wait at least 2 weeks.

Q. Should vaccines be given more often than 2 weeks apart even if a different vaccine is being given?
A. No. The safest and most effective interval is 3-4 weeks apart.

Q. At what age should the last vaccine dose be given in the puppy series?
A. The last dose of vaccine should be given between 14-16 weeks regardless of the number of doses given prior to this age. Rabies vaccine should preferably be given separately as late as possible under the law (e.g. 16-24 weeks).

Q. Should the new canine influenza vaccine be given routinely?
A. No. It is intended primarily for pounds and shelters and high density boarding facilities, as nose-to-nose contact and crowding promote viral transmission.

Q. Can intranasal Bordetella vaccine be given parenterally (injected)?
A. No. The vaccine can cause a severe local reaction and may even kill the pet.

Q. Will a killed parenteral Bordetella vaccine given intranasally produce immunity?
A. No.

Q. Are homeopathic nosodes capable of immunizing pets?
A. No. There is no scientific documentation that nosodes protect against infectious diseases of pets. The one parvovirus nosode trial conducted years ago did not protect against challenge.

Q. Should disinfectant be used at the vaccine injection site?
A. No. Disinfectants could inactivate a MLV product.

Q. Can vaccines cause autoimmune diseases?
A. Vaccines themselves do not cause these diseases, but they can trigger autoimmune responses followed by disease in genetically predisposed animals, as can any infection, drug, or chemical / toxic exposures etc.

Q. Can a single vaccine dose provide any benefit to the dog? Will it benefit the canine population?
A. Yes. One dose of a MLV canine core vaccine should provide long term immunity when given to animals at or after 16 weeks of age. Every puppy 16 weeks of age or older should receive at least one dose of the MLV core vaccines. We need to vaccinate more animals in the population with core vaccines to achieve herd immunity and thereby prevent epidemic outbreaks.

Q. If an animal receives only the first dose of a vaccine that needs two doses to immunize, will it have immunity?
A. No. A single dose of a two-dose vaccine like Leptospirosis vaccine will not provide immunity. The first dose is for priming the immune system. The second for boosting the immunity has to be given within 6 weeks; otherwise the series has to start over again. After those two doses, revaccination with a single dose can be done at any time.

Q. Can maternally derived antibodies (MDA) also block immunity to killed vaccines and prevent active immunization with MLV vaccines?
A. Yes. MDA can block certain killed vaccines, especially those that require two doses to immunize. With MLV vaccines, two doses are often recommended, particularly in young animals, to be sure one is given beyond the neutralizing period of MDA.

Q. How long after vaccination does an animal develop immunity that will prevent severe disease when the core vaccines are used?
A. This is dependent on the animal, the vaccine, and the disease.

· The fastest immunity is provided by canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccines — MLV and recombinant canarypox virus vectored. The immune response starts within mins – hrs and provides protection within a day without interference from MDA.

· Immunity to canine parvovirus (CPV-2) develops after 3-5 days when an effective MLV vaccine is used.

· Canine adenovirus-2/hepatitis (CAV-2) MLV given parenterally provides immunity against CAV-1 in 5 to 7 days.

Q. Can dogs be “non-responders” and fail to develop an immune response to vaccines?
A. Yes. This is a genetic characteristic seen particularly in some breeds or dog families. Boosting them regularly will not produce measurable antibody. Some of these animals may be protected against disease by their cell-mediated and secretory immunity.

Q. Are there parvovirus and distemper virus field mutants that are not adequately protected by current MLV vaccines?
A. No. All the current CPV-2 and CDV vaccines provide protection from all known viral isolates, when tested experimentally as well as in the field. The current CPV-2 and CPV-2b vaccines provide both short and long term protection from challenge by the CPV-2c variant.

Q. Are serum antibody titres useful in determining vaccine immunity?
A. Yes. They are especially useful for CDV, CPV-2 and CAV-1 in the dog, FPV in the cat, and rabies virus in the cat and dog. Rabies titers, however, are often not acceptable to exempt individual animals from mandated rabies boosters in spite of medical justifcation. Serum antibody titers are of limited or no value for (many of) the other vaccines.

1 President, Hemopet, 938 Stanford Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403; 2 Chairman, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706.

* Excerpted from: AKC Health Foundation, St. Louis, MO, 2007; J Sm An Pract 48, 528–541, 2007; 5th IVVDC Conference , Madison, WI , 2009.

Additional Literature

● Day MJ, Horzinek MC, Schultz RD. Guidelines for the vaccination of dogs and cats. J Sm An Pract, 48, 528-541 2007

● Dodds WJ. Vaccination protocols for dogs predisposed to vaccine reactions. J Am An Hosp Assoc 38: 1-4, 2001.

● Dodds WJ. Vaccine issues revisited: what’s really happening ? Proc Am Hol Vet Med Assoc, Tulsa, OK, 2007, pp 132-140.

● Paul MA (chair) et al. Report of the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force : 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines. J Am An Hosp Assoc 42:80-109, Mar-April 2006, 28 pp. www.aahanet.org

● Schultz R D Considerations in designing effective and safe vaccination programs for dogs. In: Carmichael LE (editor), Recent Advances in Canine Infectious Diseases. Intern Vet Inform Serv, 2000. www.ivis.org.

● Schultz RD. Duration of immunity for canine and feline vaccines: a review. Vet Microbiol 117:75-79, 2006.

· Distemper
· Adenovirus (Hepatitis)**
· Parvovirus
· Rabies
* vaccines that every dog and cat should have
** immunity provided by a CAV-2 vaccine


· retrospective cohort study; 1.25 million dogs vaccinated at 360 veterinary hospitals
· 38 adverse events per 10,000 dogs vaccinated
· inversely related to dog weight
· vaccines prescribed on a 1-dose-fits-all basis, rather than by body weight.
· increased for dogs up to 2 yr of age, then declined
· greater for neutered versus sexually intact dogs
· increased as number of vaccines given together increased
· increased after the 3 rd or 4th vaccination
· genetic predisposition to adverse events documented
* from Moore et al, JAVMA 227:1102–1108, 2005


Factors that increase risk of adverse events 3 days after vaccination:

· young adult age
· small-breed size
· neutering
· multiple vaccines given per visit

These risks should be communicated to clients
* from Moore et al, JAVMA 227:1102–1108, 2005


Dr. Dodds – titers

Please remember that the information I am posting comes directly from  Dr. Dodd’s seminar and handouts, I am not adding my own opinion to these posts. Please also know that this is not meant to replace your own Vet’s advice. Every dog is different and has different needs and different issues. I just want to provide you with this information so you are aware there are options out there and so that you can be informed. I wanted to mention something that was said at the  seminar - vaccinating a dog is the act of adminestering a vaccine but immunization occurs when the dog’s body produces antibodies.

The whole article  written by Dr. Dodd is on my site (copied onto my site with written permission) under my Natural Canine  link but here is a piece of it relating to titers.

 ”veterinary vaccinologists have recommended new protocols for dogs and cats. These include: 1) giving the puppy or kitten vaccine series followed by a booster at one year of age; 2) administering further boosters in a combination vaccine every three years or as split components alternating every other year until; 3) the pet reaches geriatric age, at which time booster vaccination is likely to be unnecessary and may be unadvisable for those with aging or immunologic disorders.  In the intervening years between booster vaccinations, and in the case of geriatric pets, circulating humoral immunity can be evaluated by measuring serum vaccine antibody titers as an indication of the presence of immune memory. Titers do not distinguish between immunity generated by vaccination and/or exposure to the disease, although the magnitude of immunity produced just by vaccination is usually lower.

Except where vaccination is required by law, all animals, but especially those dogs or close relatives that previously experienced an adverse reaction to vaccination can have serum antibody titers measured annually instead of revaccination. If adequate titers are found, the animal should not need revaccination until some future date.  Rechecking antibody titers can be performed annually, thereafter, or can be offered as an alternative to pet owners who prefer not to follow the conventional practice of annual boosters. Reliable serologic vaccine titering is available from several university and commercial laboratories and the cost is reasonable (Twark and Dodds, 2000; Lappin et al, 2002; Paul et al, 2003; Moore and Glickman, 2004).
Relatively little has been published about the duration of immunity following vaccination, although new data are beginning to appear for both dogs and cats.

Our recent study (Twark and Dodds, 2000), evaluated 1441 dogs for CPV antibody titer and 1379 dogs for CDV antibody titer. Of these, 95.1 % were judged to have adequate CPV titers, and nearly all (97.6 %) had adequate CDV titers. Vaccine histories were available for 444 dogs (CPV) and 433 dogs (CDV). Only 43 dogs had been vaccinated within the previous year, with the majority of dogs (268 or 60%) having received a booster vaccination 1-2 years beforehand. On the basis of our data, we concluded that annual revaccination is unnecessary. Similar findings and conclusions have been published recently for dogs in New Zealand (Kyle et al, 2002), and cats (Scott and Geissinger, 1999; Lappin et al, 2002).  Comprehensive studies of the duration of serologic response to five viral vaccine antigens in dogs and three viral vaccine antigens in cats were recently published  by researchers at Pfizer Animal Health ( Mouzin et al, 2004).

When an adequate immune memory has already been established, there is little reason to introduce unnecessary antigen, adjuvant, and preservatives by administering booster vaccines.  By titering annually, one can assess whether a given animal humoral immune response has fallen below levels of adequate immune memory. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster can be administered.” …


“Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus (MLV) vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces an immunity which is good for the life of the pet (i.e: canine distemper, parvo, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not “boosted” nor are more memory cells induced.”
Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. “There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines.” Puppies receive antibodies through their mother’s milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks
apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 months) will provide lifetime immunity.”

There is no doubt that application of modern vaccine technology has permitted us to protect companion animals effectively against serious infectious diseases.

Some veterinarians have challenged the validity of using vaccine titer testing to assess the immunologic status of animals against the common, clinically important infectious diseases.

With all due respect, this represents a misunderstanding of what has been called the “fallacy of titer testing”, because research has shown that once an animal’s titer stabilizes it is likely to remain constant for many years. Properly immunized animals have sterilizing immunity that not only prevents clinical disease but also prevents infection, and only the presence of antibody can prevent infection. As stated by eminent expert Dr. Ronald Schultz in discussing the value of vaccine titer testing, these tests “show that an animal with a positive test has sterilizing immunity and should be protected from infection. If that animal were vaccinated it would not respond with a significant increase in antibody titer, but may develop a hypersensitivity to vaccine components (e.g. fetal bovine serum). Furthermore, the animal doesn’t need to be revaccinated and should not be revaccinated since the vaccine could cause an adverse reaction (hypersensitivity disorder). You should avoid vaccinating animals that are already protected. It is often said that the antibody level detected is “only a snapshot in time”. That’s simply not true; it is more a “motion picture that plays for years”. 

Furthermore, protection as indicated by a positive titer result is not likely to suddenly drop-off unless an animal develops a medical problem such as cancer or receives high or prolonged doses of immunosuppressive drugs. Viral vaccines prompt an immune response that lasts much longer than that elicited by classic antigen. Lack of distinction between the two kinds of responses may be why practitioners think titers can suddenly disappear. 

But, not all vaccines produce sterilizing immunity. Those that do include: distemper virus, adenovirus, and parvovirus in the dog, and panleukopenia virus in the cat. Examples of vaccines that produced non-sterile immunity would be leptospirosis, bordetella, rabies virus, herpesvirus and calicivirus — the latter two being upper respiratory viruses of cats. While non-sterile immunity may not protect the animal from infection, it should keep the infection from progressing to severe clinical disease. 

Therefore, interpreting titers correctly depends upon the disease in question. Some titers must reach a certain level to indicate immunity, but with other agents like those that produce sterile immunity, the presence of any measurable antibody shows protection. The positive titer test result is fairly straightforward, but a negative titer test result is more difficult to interpret, because a negative titer is not the same thing as a zero titer and it doesn’t necessarily mean that animal is unprotected. A negative result usually means the titer has failed to reach the threshold of providing sterile immunity. This is an important distinction, because for the clinically important distemper and parvovirus diseases of dogs, and panleukopenia of cats, a negative or zero antibody titer indicates that the animal is not protected against canine parvovirus and may not be protected against canine distemper virus or feline panleukopenia virus. 

Finally, what does more than a decade of experience with vaccine titer testing reveal ? Published studies in refereed journals show that 90-98% of dogs and cats that have been properly vaccinated develop good measurable antibody titers to the infectious agent measured. So, in contrast to the concerns of some practitioners, using vaccine titer testing as a means to assess vaccine-induced protection will likely result in the animal avoiding needless and unwise booster vaccinations. 


Reasons for Vaccine Titer Testing: *

1. To determine that animal is protected (suggested by a positive test result).

2. To identify a susceptible animal (suggested by a negative test result).

3. To determine whether an individual animal has responded to a vaccine.

4. To determine whether an individual vaccine is effectively immunizing animals.


 * from: Schultz RD, Ford RB, Olsen J, Scott F. Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices. Vet Med, 97: 1-13, 2002 (insert).




Dr. Dodd seminar – vaccines

I just came back from Dr. Dodd’s seminar and I have to say that I enjoyed it tremendously. I would like to share some of what I consider the most important information for you to know. I will start with the topic of vaccines. Some of you might be familiar with the information because it is the same protocol I follow and recommend when I place a puppy in a new home. The vaccination protocol Dr. Dodd recommends is on my site  under the Natural Canine  link so please feel free to check some of the information there regarding the puppy vaccine protocol. Here is some other information regarding vaccines.

  1. Puppy vaccines should be  given 3 -4 weeks apart
  2. vaccines should not be given while pet is anesthetized
  3. smaller doses or half doses of vaccines (other than rabies) can be given to toy dogs
  4. the last dose of vaccine given to a puppy should be given between 14 and 16 weeks. Rabies should be given separately as late as possible under the law
  5. When adequate immune memory has already been establish,  is little reason to introduce unnecessary  antigen adjuvant and preservatives by administering booster vaccines. By tittering every 3 years , one can assess whether a given animal’s immune response has fallen below levels of adequate immune memory. In that even an appropriate vaccine booster should be considered
  6. avoid unnecessary vaccines or over vaccination
  7. avoid vaccinating a sick or febrile animal
  8. be aware of reactions after booster
  9. Reactions after vaccination can occur 24-48 hrs after administration or later 10-45 days in a delayed type of  immune response
  10. liver enzymes can be elevated after vaccination

Core vaccines for dogs to be given at puppy hood :

  • Distemper – not available as a single vaccine anymore
  • Adenovirus
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies

Vaccines not recommended:

Not recommended.
1.) Disease only affects dogs <6 weeks of age.
2.) Rare disease: TAMU has seen only one case in seven years.
3.) Mild self-limiting disease.
4.) Efficacy of the vaccine is questionable.

Not recommended
1) There are an average of 12 cases reported annually in California.
2) Side effects common.
3) Most commonly used vaccine contains the wrong serovars. (There is no cross-protection of serovars) There is a new vaccine with 2 new serovars. Two vaccinations twice per year would be required for protection.).
4) Risk outweighs benefits.

Not recommended
1) Low risk in California.
2) 85% of cases are in 9 New England states and Wisconsin.
3) Possible side effect of polyarthritis from whole cell bacterin.

(Intranasal) to be given only but not recommended

Not recommended
Efficacy of vaccine unsubstantiated by independent studies




Rescue Maltese available and in need of a home

I feel that as a breeder I am responsible for the dogs who we bring into the world. Sadly not all breeders feel the same way and once in a while you have situations were beloved pets  need a home and the breeders will not take them back. Although I am not these girls’ breeder, I do feel that I need to help these poor puppies and aid them to find a home where they can be loved and live the rest of their lives.  

I know of 2 little Maltese who are in need of a home. For more information email me directly at Josymir@aol.com .

Maltese #1 – female, 6 to 7 years of age, house trained, cute, about 5.5 lb. I picked this little girl up from her owners who couldn’t keep her any longer due to financial hardship. She is trained to go outside and has lived all her life as a pampered pet.  She is very sweet and gets along well with other dogs and people. She has a great sweet loving personality and has a very nice demeanor. She needs a loving home where someone can take good care of her.

Maltese #2 – Maltese female, about 8-10 lbs and maybe 6 years old.   She’s NOT house trained. She’s NOT spayed.  She likes to get attention, but she needs someone who is used to working with dogs and can provide structure and training.  The guy who has rescued her from her breeder’s name is Jeffrey.  He lives in Magnolia, Arkansas.  His phone # is 870-562-2011. – and he is just trying to find someone who will love her forever.   Please contact him directly for information about her.


Maltese puppies

5 month old girl

this is a 5 month old girl who is currently 2.8 lb

girl on Left boy on right

current pics of my old puppies, boy on right girl on Left.


Poem – a breeder’s heart

Maltese breeder of Maltese puppies

the love for our Maltese never ends




I love my little puppy; she makes my house a home.

    She is my very sweetest little friend: I never feel alone.

She makes me smile;she makes me laugh;she fill my heart with love’

    Did some person breed her; or did she fall from above?

I’ve never been a breeder: never seen life though their eyes;

    I hold my little puppy and just sit and criticize.

I’ve never known their anguish; I’ve never felt their pain.

    the caring of their charges, through snow or wind or rain.

I’ve never waited the whole night through, for babies to be born,    

    The stress and trepidation when they’re still not there by morn.

The weight of responsibility ,for this body in my hands.

   This darling little baby, who weighs but 60 grams.

Should you do that instead of this…or maybe that was wrong?

    Alone you fight and hope, one day, he’ll grow up proud and strong

You pray he’ll live to bring great joy to someone else’s home

    You know it’s all just up to you: you’ll fight the fight alone.

Formula, bottles, heating pads, you’ve got to get this right.

    Two-hour feedings for this tiny guy, throughout the day and night

Within your heart you dread that you will surely lose this fight.

    To save this little baby, but God willing…you just might.

  Day one: he’s in there fighting; you say a silent prayer.

    Day two and three, he’s doing well, with lots of love and care.

Day four and five …he’s still alive ; your hopes soar to the heavens.

    Day six he slips away again, dies in your hands, day seven.

You take this little angel, and bury him alone.

    with aching heart and burning tears, and an exhausted groan.

You ask yourself, “Why do this?….why suffer through this pain?”

    Yet watch the joy your puppies bring, and everything’s explained.

So, when you think of breeders, and label them with “Greed”,

    Think of all that they endure to fill another’s need.

For when you buy your puppy, with your precious dollars part,

    You only pay with money…while they pay with all their heart.

                                                Author Unknown


Recognizing Pain in your Maltese puppy

Here is a great checklist to know or learn how to recognize pain in your Maltese:


  •        Prefers lying to sitting or standing
  •        Sitting or resting in abnormal position


  •        Crying/Whining
  •        Unusually quiet


  •       Limping
  •        Stiffness, particularly after resting
  •    Trouble getting up from a lying or seated position
  •    Lagging behind or tiring easily during walks


  •      Panting excessively 


  •        Lost interest in doing things that are typical for your dog
  •        Reluctance to go for walks/climb stairs
  •        Restless
  •    Shivering/trembling


  •     Cries or tries to bite when handled
  •        Withdrawn
  •        Doesn’t respond in situations that he/she used to


  •        Change in normal eating pattern


  •    Looks unkempt
  •    Licking or chewing in one area

If you have placed a checkmark beside any of the above behaviors, your pet may be in pain. Early diagnosis and treatment contribute to your pet’s quality of life. Discuss these signs with your vet to determine the best course of action.


Maltese puppies available

Here is an update picture of my Maltese babies. They are now 6 weeks old. 
Maltese puppies available
Maltese boy on left and girl on right

 The boy has found a great home ;) and the girl is looking for a great home. I just thought I would share how adorable they are…and yes, I am not partial

Maltese breeder

Maltese puppies


Maltese puppies- get to know your Maltese well

During the ordeal with Page often times people would ask me “how did you know she was in trouble so early on?” To me that was an easy answer, she wasn’t her normal self. I spend a lot of time with my Maltese kids and I know them really well, their quirks, dispositions, habits, personalities, etc. which allows me to detect the smallest change in them right away. I thought I would put together a short guide on how to detect problems with your dogs and to help you determine if your dog is in trouble.  It is very important for all of us to know these things so we are able to know when something is not right quickly. This is by no means meant to replace the advice your vet gives you but it is intended to help you determine how fast you might need the vet’s assistance.  When you call a veterinarian he may ask you to tell him if your dog has a temperature or if there gums are pale so these are things you want to know how to check. 

Gum color:One  of the ways I was able to determine if Page was improving was by the color of her gums. Here is some great advice Evelyn, one of my puppy moms,  wanted to pass along “check their gums as this is where you will see the first sign of anemia (or problem). I tell everyone who gets a puppy to look in their mouths and get a good feel for the color of their gums so that they can check often and that when the color gets pale to get to the vet and that the paler the gums the more emergent the care”  To check your dog’s gums  lift the lips and look at the color under his lip and above his teeth and that should be a nice pink color, if it is then he is probably in good shape. If it is too dark, too blue, too red, brick red, or too white, then your dog is probably in serious trouble

Temperature: The average temperature of a healthy dog is 101 °F or 38 °C, however, the normal temperature of a healthy dog may range from 99 °F to 102.5 °F (37.2 °C–39.2 °C). Taking your pet’s temperature involves placing a thermometer in their rectum, after which anything below 99 degrees or above 102.5 degrees is worth a call to the veterinarian.


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