" This information contained below is for general purposes only. I am in no way proclaiming to be a medical practitioner in the animal field. In fact, I work hand in glove with my veterinarian and get a lot of my information from her. With the amount of research that I do, these are some of the issues I find and confirm with my veterinarian about the validity of the information. These are my opinions and my experiences only."
Since I became involved in the Show World of Poodles, I felt that if I were going to be breeding to the standard of the breed, I would do it to the best of my ability and knowledge. To that end, I have made it a priority to research and investigate everything and anything that I could find by way of health issues. All of my poodles have been blood tested and will never develop the prcd form of PRA. This is what causes night blindness and finally total blindness in poodles.
I have found a lot of controversy about having hip x-rays done. I have found a number of articles and heard a number of stories about breeders x-raying all their breeding animals for generations, and still having puppies develop hip dysplasia. I have had my miniature poodles x-rayed for hips and all are good or excellent.
Legg-Perthes Disease has many aliases; Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, aseptic necrosis of the femoral head, and a vascular necrosis of the femoral head. By any name, this is a disease producing lameness of the hip joint in young, small breed dogs. A wide range of small breeds/mixed breeds up to a year of age can be affected. The problem begins with an interruption of the blood supply to the head of the ball portion of the hip. Symptoms of this disease are limping or favouring the leg. Trauma to the hip is thought to be a major cause of this disease, although some feel it could be genetically determined.
The best treatment is surgical removal of the femoral head and neck of the hip joint. The dog will return to full functional use of the leg after surgery, as the procedure does not affect the major supporting muscles in the hind leg. The body forms a “false joint” consisting of a cushion of scar tissue between the cut edge and the hip socket. The result, especially in small to medium sized dogs, is a pain-free return to good function.
Unless there are signs that the dog may have a problem, there is no way to tell if Legg-Perthes disease is present. None of my dogs show any signs of this disease and my veterinarian checks for any abnormalities at the same time as she checks for patellas.
Legg-Perthes is also known to occur in children, usually between the ages of 7 to 10 years of age.
My veterinarian checks for patellar luxation on my puppies beginning at 8 weeks and she also checks for any hip problems. If she were to find anything amiss, then that puppy would be x-rayed to see if there was something wrong. This is still an ongoing research project as I keep searching for more information on this subject. If I find anything relevant, I will be adding it.
Another disease that can occur in the Poodle as well as other breeds, is seizures. At present, there is no test available to determine if any dog has or will have seizures. There is no known cause or reason, but some experts feel that air pollution, chemicals in food and water and other environmental issues could be suspect, as well as stress or a possible imbalance in the brain. None of my dogs have shown any signs of seizures to date.
NEW PRINCIPLES OF IMMUNOLOGY
"Dogs immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus 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). 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 titre 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 haemolytic anaemia. "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 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 mo) will provide lifetime immunity. CURRENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DOGS Distemper & Parvo "According to Dr. Schultz, AVMA, 8-15-95, when a vaccinations series given at 2, 3 & 4 months and again at 1 year with a MLV, puppies program memory cells that survive for life, providing lifelong immunity." Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against challenge at 2-10 years for canine distemper & 4 years for parvovirus. Studies for longer duration are pending. "There are no new strains of parvovirus as one mfg. would like to suggest. Parvovirus vaccination provides cross immunity for all types." Hepatitis (Adenovirus) is one of the agents known to be a cause of kennel cough. Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as CAV-1 vaccines carry the risk of "hepatitis blue-eye" reactions & kidney damage. Bordatella Parainfluenza: Commonly called "Kennel cough" Recommended only for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs. The intranasal vaccine provides more complete and more rapid onset of immunity with less chance of reaction. Immunity requires 72 hours and does not protect from every cause of kennel cough. Immunity is of short duration (4 to 6 months). Lymes disease is a tick born disease, which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart disease in dogs. Ticks can also transmit the disease to humans. The original Ft. Dodge killed bacteria has proven to be the most effective vaccine. Lymes disease prevention should emphasize early removal of ticks. Amitraz collars are more effective than Top Spot, as Amitraz paralyzes the tick's mouthparts preventing transmission of disease.
VACCINATIONS NOT RECOMMENDED
Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction. Canine Corona Virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell & Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs. Leptospirosis vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs. Most of the clinical cases of lepto reported in dogs in the US are caused by serovaars (or types) grippotyphosa and bratsilvia. The vaccines contain different serovaars eanicola and ictohemorrhagica. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived. Lepto vaccine is immunosuppressive to puppies less than 16 weeks.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS Giardia is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in North America, 30% or more of all dogs are infected with Giardia. It has now been demonstrated that humans can transmit Giardia to dogs & vice versa.
THE VIEW FROM THE TRENCHES; BUSINESS ASPECTS Most vets recommend annual boosters and most kennel operators require them. For years the pricing structure of vets has misled clients into thinking that the inherent value of an annual office visit was in the "shots" they failed to emphasize the importance of a physical exam for early detection of treatable diseases. It is my hope that you will continue to require rabies & Kennel cough and emphasize the importance of a recent vet exam. I also hope you will accept the new protocols and honor these pets as currently vaccinated. Those in the boarding business who will honor the new vaccine protocols can gain new customers who were turned away from vet owned boarding facilities reluctant to change.
Dogs no longer need to be vaccinated against distemper, parvo, etc. on a yearly basis. Once the initial series of puppy vaccinations and first annual vaccinations are completed, immunity from MLV vaccines persists for life. The AAHA and all 27 veterinary schools of North America are our biggest endorsement for these new protocols. Dr. Bob Rogers
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