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Old 02-19-2016, 03:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Those of you who choose not to vaccinate for Lepto & Lyme

I'm wondering for those of you who choose not to vaccinate for Lepto, Lyme &/or Bordatella , do you allow your dogs outdoors on the grass, near dirt/soil where wild animals might have been who could be carriers of those diseases? Do you ever take your Maltese camping, or out in the woods or parks with you & walk your dogs on the ground/let them go potty on the ground?

I'm curious because I just opted out of giving Baby the 'Lyme' vaccine this year. It's the first time I haven't allowed the vet to give it & I'm concerned because during the warmer months here in the north eastern part of the USA my dog is exposed to the types of areas outdoors that I just described above.

I'm wondering if those who don't vaccinate don't allow their dogs outside outdoors or not? Do you keep them indoors & use wee-wee pads so they are not exposed to disease? Or not?Hubby & I love to be out in nature but I'm afraid it might put Baby at risk if he is not vaccinated for Lyme, Lepto & bordatella. I fear the risk of cancer and other complications that vaccines can cause. It seems like a dammed if we do dammed if we don't type situation... I'm driving myself crazy wondering if I'm doing the right thing & would never forgive myself if Baby ever got sick from a disease that I stopped vaccinating for.

{For now he only gets the rabbies vaccine & is tittered for the Parvo/Distemper. He had a bad reaction to the Lepto vaccine & I don't want to give that anymore.}
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not positive, but I believe that the three diseases you mention have different ways of being transmitted: Lyme disease is contracted through the bite of a tick, bordatella is airborne, and leptospirosis is contracted through contact with the urine of an infected animal.

I don't know that you need to keep your dog inside forever if it is not vaccinated against those three, but be an observant owner.

Lyme: I don't live in or go to places where Lyme is as much of a concern as it is in some parts of the country, but the impression I have is that you should check your dog regularly for ticks and the symptoms of the disease.

Bordatella--they say that most cases of "kennel cough" are self-limiting. That is, they don't last long. But if your dog gets a respiratory infection that lasts more than a few days or gets severe, take it to the vet--bordatella is a bacterium and is treated with an antibiotic.

Leptospirosis--be observant of your dog's energy, eating and digestive habits, and if those go downhill suddenly and especially if your dog has a fever, go to the vet. As I've mentioned before, one of my fosters got this and was cured of it because I got her to the vet pretty quickly and asked the vets about whether she might have lepto. I worry about this disease, because what if she had been with a petsitter or in boarding and they were not as observant as me? So now, if and when I board any of my dogs, I try to be sure that they are in good hands and that I will be contacted if there are any behavior or health changes.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Bordatella is kennel cough. It's transmitted from one dog to another, just the way a cold is between humans. You might need to vaccinate for kennel cough if you're going to board your dog or fly with your dog. According to what I've read, you should always opt for the intra-nasal vaccine (nasal spray). I've also read that in many cases, the vaccine doesn't work. My dogs have, at times, because I wanted to travel with them, had the intra-nasal shot. It's effective one week after the dog gets it, so you can get it on short notice. My dogs have also had kennel cough, because Ben, our rescue, came home with it. Not a good thing, but everybody recovered fine.

Lyme disease is caught through a tick bite. I always used to get the series of 3 shots when I owned larger dogs. Then, my golden retriever wound up with Lyme's disease even though he was vaccinated. The vet told me that the shot was only about 60% effective against the disease. So now, I don't vaccinate the little guys. They're not outside as much and I think you have to weigh the risks of the shot against the benefits, so I opt out.

I feel the same way with Lepto. It has pretty big risks, so I opt out of this one too. This is the one that concerns me the most, but my dogs don't go to dog parks or into the woods, and my vet supports my decision, based on where we live and my dogs' lifestyle.

I hope this helps a little. I'll be interested to see what others say.

Good luck with the decision.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't get any of those shots either.
As for the lepto shot......I walk Pipper every day. We live in town don't go into the woods or in long grasses anywhere. I don't let him walk or drink out of puddles or rivers or streams. I know there is still a slight risk but the vaccine has risks too. From what I have been told, the vaccine only protects against one strain of lepto and it only protects for about 6 months so I don't think it's worth it.
My vet has never even mentioned a shot for Lyme disease....... maybe we're not in a high risk area????
As for the bordatella.......I never plan on boarding him anywhere, I don't trust other people to look after him.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had to vaccinate against bordatella years ago because of doggy day care, and they both got sick anyway. We've stopped doing day care and we've stopped using the vaccine. They still go to the groomers and to public places, but we are cautious about contact with other dogs.

Lyme: We have ticks in our area and once a year we go to a cabin in Shawnee National Forest for a week. I use an essential oils spray as a flea and tick repellent most of the time; before we go to the cabin I do apply a topical flea and tick preventative (on the advice of my holistic vet). When we're there, I also examine them twice a day for ticks.

Lepto: I used to vaccinate, until Tessa had elevated ALT shortly after a vaccine. It was then that I learned it's also only effective against 4 or 5 of the 20+ strains of Lepto, so I stopped getting it for them. They use pads but they do go on walks in the summer; we just stay away from areas where wildlife might have urinated and shed the bacteria. Same with at the cabin - they go on walks along the main drive and we leave them in the cabin when we decide to go for hikes in the woods.

As an FYI on Lepto, a couple of years ago the vets in the Chicago area were hyping the Lepto vaccine in the media because there was an increase in cases. One vet finally admitted in an on-air interview that she was seeing Lepto in vaccinated dogs so she analyzed the strains and found that the dogs were getting sick from a strain of Lepto NOT covered by the vaccine. So people were lulled into a false sense of security and were ignoring early symptoms that someone described above. Because of this, the dogs that were vaccinated against Lepto were actually the dogs who were getting the sickest; the unvaccinated in many cases had owners who were recognizing early signs and getting treatment.

You didn't ask, but the Chicago media has been hyping canine influenza the past couple of years. Again, I will not vaccinate for that for a few reasons. First, there is no proof of efficacy; in fact, the original vaccines vets were pushing weren't even for the right strain of influenza. Second, my groomer takes incredible precautions to protect her clients and last year when shelters, day cares and pet hotels were closing for sanitation, she had zero cases in her shop. Third, when there is an outbreak in the local area, my pups don't go other places where they contact other dogs, and if I see another dog in public, I'll ask if I can talk to the fluff but I won't pet it to prevent my carrying home the virus. Lastly, like with Lepto, the dogs who died from influenza had symptoms that were ignored for a week or more by the pet parents, which allowed them to develop pneumonia (that is what they died from, not the influenza).
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I do vaccinate for Bordatella because of grooming but it only is good as a flu shot like us! Depends on the strain.

I do not do the other two. In our area we do not have a lot of ticks and they are not out romping around. As far as the Lepto it also is not big in our area and although nasty it is treatable. I have mine get the three year mercury free Rabies and I titer for the rest. After Boos 1st year booster he has not had to have anything else in the last 2 years.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I read a lot here on SM and I take a lot of the information to heart before I make a decision on a lot of things. I figure a lot of mommies option is better than one. However, I can say that my vet told me that he DID NOT recommend this vaccine for my babies.( He is not a holistic vet to the best of my knowledge). I live in the south where fleas and TICS are big. He knows that Sydnie (which is the smallest of my babies and she does not go outside lest she is in someone's arms) only gets exposure to the "outdoors" ie fleas and tics if her siblings bring them in by accents.

My vet told me that he had been to seminars that advised against this vaccine for small dogs. So I'm glad for this and I did not have to bite my nails over making this decision.

My kids only get the rabbies vaccine & is tittered for the Parvo/Distemper. We don't get kennel cough any more because we NEVER board our babies. We used to get bordatella when we took them to the groomer, but that's another issue.

Good luck mommies!
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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We've vastly changed the shots Tyler's gotten over the years. He got all of them except lepto the first couple of years, then after educating myself -- much of it from this amazing forum-- I started to titer for Parvo/Distemper. The first year I asked for it the vet gave me push back saying it was just a snapshot of his immunity that day. Well I knew from my human son who had life threatening allergies to eggs and only got a first dose of MMR that we used titers throughout the years and showed immunity. As a side when the measles outbreak was in CA where he was living I suggested he see a doc and get the shot (he outgrew that allergy and I think it isn't even a part of it now) or titer. A 3 or more would show immunity. He's 25 years old and he had a 30! Anyway, the next year when I came back to the vet no pushback. I think more vets are educating themselves about vaccine efficacy and risks.
I used to do Bordatella - first the shot, then they came out with nasal. He had his first reverse sneezing after the nasal. Last year they had it orally- by mouth. He got it and he kissed me not that long after. For some reason my lip blew up like a balloon. I insist it's from that because I didn't eat nor was exposed to anything that would cause it. The vet of course says no but I turned it down. We don't do daycare, our groomer is not an issue in her apt in our building.
Tyler got bitten by a tick this December for the first time. Very engorged. Because it was winter I wasn't giving him frontline Plus and we live in NYC. There are now either 12 or 13 tick born diseases including Lyme so if the shot is for Lyme, don't think it covers rest. The hospital where the tick was removed said they're seeing ticks all year round lately so need to have him on topical meds which I'm doing now.
I let Tyler run around on leash at the park, on the streets of NY which are as far from clean as you can get (I think exposure to all this builds up their immune system and is good for them) and I check carefully (and more so now) for ticks. Everyone has to folo their own heart armed with the info they get but for such small dogs I think the overuse of vaccines is a risk and just a way for pharama companies to make money and vets to get people to bring their dog in yearly...which I do anyway to get bloodwork, check teeth, get dental, etc.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When I flew to Chicago for Nationals last year, I was surprised to find Southwest Airlines required no vaccine documentation, YAY! I guess it depends on the Airline, or maybe because they are contained in their carrier in the cabin, but I will fly Southwest whenever possible.

The way I look at it, vaccines have many known adverse effects and continued yearly vaccination can only increase the toxins in our pets bodies.

It is a risk/reward decision for each of us as pet parents. I choose not to vaccinate If the condition is easily treated and titer regularly. When we RV to other areas that create more risk, I take precautions. Checking for ticks/fleas multiple times daily, essential oil sprays, diatomaceous earth, avoiding risky areas, etc.

Many veterinarians will try to sway your decisions, but ultimately it is your choice, except rabies as required by law, which I hope changes in time and allows titer in lieu of vaccination.



QUOTE=harrysmom;3921217]Bordatella is kennel cough. It's transmitted from one dog to another, just the way a cold is between humans. You might need to vaccinate for kennel cough if you're going to board your dog or fly with your dog. According to what I've read, you should always opt for the intra-nasal vaccine (nasal spray). I've also read that in many cases, the vaccine doesn't work. My dogs have, at times, because I wanted to travel with them, had the intra-nasal shot. It's effective one week after the dog gets it, so you can get it on short notice. My dogs have also had kennel cough, because Ben, our rescue, came home with it. Not a good thing, but everybody recovered fine.

Lyme disease is caught through a tick bite. I always used to get the series of 3 shots when I owned larger dogs. Then, my golden retriever wound up with Lyme's disease even though he was vaccinated. The vet told me that the shot was only about 60% effective against the disease. So now, I don't vaccinate the little guys. They're not outside as much and I think you have to weigh the risks of the shot against the benefits, so I opt out.

I feel the same way with Lepto. It has pretty big risks, so I opt out of this one too. This is the one that concerns me the most, but my dogs don't go to dog parks or into the woods, and my vet supports my decision, based on where we live and my dogs' lifestyle.

I hope this helps a little. I'll be interested to see what others say.

Good luck with the decision.
Debbie[/QUOTE]
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm in agreement with most everyone who has posted. Lepto and bordatella vaccines seem like a much greater risk than the risk of the infection itself. If I lived in an area where lepto was a big concern, I might feel otherwise, but not in the climate where we live. My dogs would no sooner drink from a puddle than I would. Same goes for Lyme.

Also, I have never even considered a flu shot for myself....and I haven't had the flu )KOW) since I was in high school. I think that multiple vaccines are taxing to the immune system in humans and in dogs.

I just hope we can, in the near future, eliminate the state laws that require too frequent rabies boosters. But, the pharmaceutical companies are pretty big dragons to slay.
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