Vaccinations and Other Health Concerns

Vaccinations

Vaccinating our pets against disease is an important part of keeping them healthy and happy.  Normally, for an adult dog, annual vaccinations are all that is required.  When working with rescued dogs we dare not assume that each animal has been vaccinated by whoever was caring for it before it ended up in the shelter.  To keep diseases like Parvovirus – which can decimate the population of a shelter – at bay they vaccinate all animals on intake.  This is standard practice for all reputable shelters.

Most vaccinations require a booster to provide effective disease prevention.  This booster is administered 2 to 3 weeks after the initial vaccination in adult dogs.  Puppies require two or three boosters, two weeks apart to get their immune systems going.  Most shelters in our region administer just the initial vaccination.  When Piney Mountain Foster Care pulls a dog from them, we need to provide the booster to be sure they are protected from disease.

Both shelters in Cocke County are currently using Duramune® Max 5 which prevents Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.
This is a modified live virus for use in puppies and dogs six weeks and older.
Made in the USA, $130.00 (for 25 doses) when bought from Revival Animal Health

At Piney Mountain Foster Care we don’t take in young puppies, so we use Nobivac® Canine 1-DAPPv (Galaxy DA2PPv) which prevents Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.  Same protection but designed for adult dogs and more affordable.
This is a modified live virus injectable vaccination which protects against all known strains of Parvo and is Thimerosal free.
Made in the USA, $80.00 (for 25 doses) when bought from Revival Animal Health

We also use Nobivac® Intra-Trac® KC (Progard KC) which is a Bordetella Bronchiseptica Avirulent live culture
Intranasal vaccination for rapid onset of protection.
This is for healthy dogs three weeks of age or older and is Thimerosal free.
Made in the USA, $100.00 (for 25 doses) when bought from Revival Animal Health

Bordatella requires no booster, so we do not normally administer this on intake unless the medical record that came with the dog shows that it was not vaccinated for this.  This is more for the long-term dogs (forever fosters) who need the annual vaccination and we buy these in small quantity, not a full tray.  The per-dose price goes up buying this way, but they won’t expire sitting in our fridge.

Heartworm

Once a dog has been tested for heartworm, and is negative, we begin administering a heartworm preventative that we make ourselves from Ivermectin.  Commercial heartworm prevention costs $10.00 or more per dose and must be administered every month.  This is not bad if you have one or two dogs, but when we have 10 dogs to treat each month that becomes a serious expense.

Some of the commercial preventatives protect against a wider range of parasites, making their cost more palatable, but we treat for intestinal worms in other ways and don’t need this doubled protection.  The Ivermectin solution is perfectly safe for most dogs and is effective when handled and administered properly.  And, for less than a month’s worth of commercially made preventatives cost, we can make enough doses to last us over a year.  A considerable cost savings without compromising effectiveness against heartworms.

Testing

Heartworm testing is done with a simple test kit using a few CCs of the dog’s blood.  That does require getting blood out of the dog.  In some dogs, that can be quite a challenge!

At this time we are having this done by our Veterinarians.  We are looking at buying the test kits and doing this ourselves.  Doug worked as a Tech in a shelter in 2017 and became proficient in drawing blood from dogs.  But even the best canine phlebotomist needs someone to help hold the dog still while he or she uses a syringe to draw blood from a vein in the dog’s leg.  Right now no such help is available.

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