Dogs Are People Too!

This blog is dedicated to our four-legged friends-everyone's favorite pet-the beloved dog. Here we can discuss anything and everything related to dogs. We can share stories, photos, health and training tips, grooming tips; anything and everything related to the canines in our lives. Welcome and please do not hesitate to comment! I love to read other's stories and this blog was created to share. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back often!
ABOUT MAGGIE-We decided to get a puppy and began scouring the local online market places in the beginning of July in 2005. We answered an ad that was advertising small, mixed breed pups, made an appointment and drove an hour north to NordingrĂ¥ to visit the puppies. The breeder had the puppies out in her yard in a small enclosure. The pups were 8 weeks old. She told us that the mother was a Papillon and that the father was a Yorkshire Terrier. Both parents were there. One of the puppies looked very much like a Chihuahua, as he was short-haired and black and tan colored. I questioned the owner, because the father of the puppies did not look like a pure bred Yorkie to me, but she insisted that he was.There were four puppies in the litter. One had been sold already. Beside the one that looked like a Chihuahua, there was Maggie and then another female that had the same features as Maggie, only she was all brown with a black stripe running down the middle of her back. We decided that we liked the coloring of little Maggie and her sweet disposition, so we happily bought her and took her home that day.I have heard of so many names of this mixed breed. They can be called Yorkipaps, Papiyorks or Yorkillons! Maggie has the Yorkie face with the Pap ears and coloring. So many people that meet her have said what a perfect combination of breeds she seems to be!One of the neat things about Maggie is that we will never forget her birthday. She was born on May 5, 2005, so it's 5/5/05! So I suppose you could say that her lucky number is 5!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vaccinating Puppies - The Basics

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Along with "house breaking" part of raising a puppy is making sure they get their "shots".

We people often believe vaccines make our pets (and us) completely immune to specific diseases.

True or false?

Some of both. In reality it's complicated... and not precise.

How Do Vaccines Work?

Pets (and humans) have an immune system. It's function is to defend against invaders. It's a survival mechanism. Without one your pet would quickly be overwhelmed by diseases that would ultimately kill it.

The purpose of vaccines essentially is to "teach" the immune system to defend your dog against specific germs.

Vaccines contain "antigens" - foreign invaders. When the immune system detects invaders, it responds by producing "antibodies". Antibodies attach to the foreign invaders making them inactive.

Vaccines use a small enough amount of antigen to illicit a defensive response but not overwhelm the immune system. This process forms a "memory" in the immune system that allows it to quickly recognize that germ in the future by mounting a strong defense. The ability to defend against a particular antigen is consider "immunity".

The Downside of Vaccinations

This process is neither precise or individualized.
You give the puppy a dose - all be it a small dose - of a virus. Maybe he can defend against it, maybe he can't.

Next, vaccines can contain "adjuvants". Adjuvants are foreign proteins that stimulate a general immune response. Adjuvants are used as "insurance" - if there isn't a strong enough specific immune response to defend against the vaccine, a general immune response may be enough.

Next, preservatives such as thimerosol (very high in mercury) and aluminum are used. These are carcinogens.

Last, vaccines tend to come in "cocktails"... multiple vaccines in one dose. With multiple antigens hitting it at one time, the immune system can become overwhelmed and confused.

Decrease vaccination risks by:

- Don't vaccinate a puppy when their immune system is compromised which is the case if they are sick or having surgery (such as spay/neutering).

- Don't vaccinate if they're receiving pharmaceuticals especially steroids

- Minimize the number of vaccines at one time.

- Only vaccinate against diseases your dog is at risk for.

- Decrease stress before and after vaccination.

- Maintain good nutrition.

Learn the history of vaccination for dogs and cats, the risks, the current science and recommendations from leading Vets at Get the best information to make the wisest care choices for your companion.

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