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Hi there,
My 15 week old toy poodle went for his 3rd round of vaccines today. He had a different vet for his first 2 appt. but we switched him for this round to a new office since his past vet is rather far away and we wanted someone local in case of emergencies. Anyway, I haven't felt good since the appt.

First of all, my dog is really in pain. That is not fun to watch and I hope he'll feel better soon. I think it might of been the rabies vaccine. I hear some dogs react badly to it. I reviewed the bill afterwards and funny, he received another round of bordetella vaccine although it clearly states in his record that he already received that vaccine at 12 weeks. Should a dog receive 2 bordetella vaccines 3 weeks apart or did he receive one too many??? If so, should I be worried? Are there side effects from that?

My main confusion is about heartworm medication though. I asked the vet if my pup needed heartworm med. and he was evasive, told me I should make an appt. in a few weeks to discuss it. Hmmm??? I am wondering why another appt. is necessary. Do they need to run test before giving heartworm med. or is he just asking me to pay for another visit? Also, he said that we might not need it since we'll be putting him on K9 Advantix and that since K9 Advantix prevents mosquitoe bites, no need for heartworm med. This sounds plausible, but with my neighbor telling me how important heartworm prevention is and how she has her dog on it, I am wondering who to believe. What do you think???

The appt. was way more expensive than the first two we had for our pup too which made me cringe a bit more. Overall, I haven't been able to let go of the bad feeling I felt after going there and needed to ask other dog owners what they think about this. Any insight will be greatly appreciated!
 

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Thank you Lil Red Express, I read the article and is really helpful. Since I live near SF, I may not need to worry about giving any pills to my 6 pound pup afterall. I will check our weather system according to the article and find out for sure :)
 

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I'm taking a parasitology class this semester and we just spent a lecture talking about heartworm. My professor explained to us that if your dog is an indoor dog and only goes outside to potty and take walks, the chances of it contracting heartworm are very slim. Mosquitoes do not go after moving targets so the dogs that are most likely to get the disease are those that are housed outside or kept outside for the majority of the day as these dogs are likely to spend time laying in shady, grassy areas and getting bites. If you're using K9 Advantix to repel mosquitoes and your dog is mostly inside, I don't think that I would be overly worried about it, but you may want to contact another vet if you do not feel comfortable not using the preventative.
 

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Dependig on how the Bordetella was done it is common to give another dose a few weeks later for the first time getting it.
 

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Thank you BentletheYentle and Keechak for your posts. It really is helping me feel better about what took place today at the vet. I was just taken aback by the new vet, his higher prices and the fast way of explaining things. With your posts and some research I am doing on heartworms, it seems like normal protocal to call us in for bloodwork before getting the meds. But since we live in a region with mild temp. year round, and our dog is mostly indoor, I will look into seasonal treatment, if that. Thanks again!
 

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My 15 week old toy poodle went for his 3rd round of vaccines today. He had a different vet for his first 2 appt. but we switched him for this round to a new office since his past vet is rather far away and we wanted someone local in case of emergencies. Anyway, I haven't felt good since the appt.

First of all, my dog is really in pain. That is not fun to watch and I hope he'll feel better soon. I think it might of been the rabies vaccine. I hear some dogs react badly to it. I reviewed the bill afterwards and funny, he received another round of bordetella vaccine although it clearly states in his record that he already received that vaccine at 12 weeks. Should a dog receive 2 bordetella vaccines 3 weeks apart or did he receive one too many??? If so, should I be worried? Are there side effects from that?

Wow. That is an awful lot of vaccinations in a short timespan for a 15 week old small breed pup!!!!!! I think your dog received TWO too many bortadella shots. It's generally unnecessary to even have one unless the dog is about to be boarded or will be in a multi dog envoronment. At 15 weeks, no pup should really be in a multi dog environment unless it's within the home.

The puppy shots should be stopped between 14-16 weeks, and three seperate shots a few weeks apart are usually more than sufficient for *lifelong* immunity. They will need the rabies again due to laws, but those puppy shots are just that. Only for pups, should never be needed again. I wouldn't be worried, but just lay off the vaccines until the pup is due for the next rabies shot. Less is more in this case. My pups usually only have two rounds of puppy shots and no boosters, and we've never had any problems with contagious disease. There can be side effects such as supressed immune system if you continue to give unnecessary shots ...


My main confusion is about heartworm medication though. I asked the vet if my pup needed heartworm med. and he was evasive, told me I should make an appt. in a few weeks to discuss it. Hmmm??? I am wondering why another appt. is necessary. Do they need to run test before giving heartworm med. or is he just asking me to pay for another visit? Also, he said that we might not need it since we'll be putting him on K9 Advantix and that since K9 Advantix prevents mosquitoe bites, no need for heartworm med.

Regarding HW meds. NO. You do not need to test regardless of what the Vet$ would liek you to belive. If a dog is found to be HW positive, they will be given high doses of ivermectin. However, much lower doses of ivermectin are given in the prevention, so their reasoning makes no sense whatsoever. The test is just another money making scheme. Ugh. I get generic Ivermectin in a paste for $3-4. This will cover at least a dozen dogs for a few months.
If the pup is on something like Advantix or Bio Spot, which repell mosquitoes, then no, they do not need HW meds unless you're in a really HW infested area of the country, like the deep south.
Personally I use Garlic supplements for fleas/ticks (it repels skeeters, as well, btw) and if the mosquito season is very bad I will go to the low dose Ivermectin. It's not only economical but it's also easier on their systems. JMHO.
 

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Just like any other professional relationship...some people don't speak the same language and explain things in a manner that the other person understands. My daughter works for a vet clinic with two vets. One is very basic and explains things so that any patient could understand, writes instructions down if need be, likes to hear about your family and other pets, takes the time. The other vet is very clinical, great knowledge base and very up to date on the new stuff, talks in very medical terms that not every patient might understand, has the receptionist hand out take-home instructions vs talking to you about them, call her if you have any problems...

So, sometimes if you don't feel comfortable it is best to seek another vet. Ask co-workers or neighbors who they use and why they like them.

As far as your dog being in pain...not normal. A bit of discomfort maybe. But your dog should not be in pain. I would call the vet on Monday AM (unless things get worse before then) and ask some questions, explain the symptoms. And in the future you need to advise any vet that your dog has had reactions to vaccinations in the past. They may do the vacs in a different order / combo or suggest that you give some meds before the vacs.
 

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About the heartworm meds, if the vet wants you to have a blood test before starting refuse it.

Heartworms have a 6 month lifecycle within a dog and it is impossible for them to show on a test before 6 months.

Okay, let's explain it...

An adult heartworm in a dog produces "babies", microfilaria properly called, and those are what you look for on blood tests. To produce the microfilaria the dog must have been infected 6 months earlier. So there is no reason to test a pup under 6 months because it is impossible to get a positive test, even if the pup was infected the day it was born.

Since the likelihood of infection the day the pup was born is extremely slim most vets wait until at least 8 months for a heartworm test. The exception would be that some heartworm tests also test for other diseases like lyme. The clinic I'm at does test at around the 6 month mark but that is more because we are looking for lyme then heartworm, and we have gotten positives back for lyme at that age.

Now, why should you test for heartworm ever? Well, those microfilaria can be very plentiful in a dog and the heartworm preventitive can kill them off all at once. That can cause the dog to go into shock (simplfying here) and possibly die. Yes, the treatment for heartworm is killing them but it must be done under a vet's supervision to be safe. Treating heartworm is far from safe and can be deadly if not done carefully.

As to ivermectin being a treatment for a dog already infested in heartworm, well... It can be but it's not the preferred one. Ivermectin treatment takes a long time to kill all the adult heartworms (2 years generally) and in that time the adult worms are still eating at the dog's heart and possibly other organs depending on how far they have spread.

The preferred treatment is to used an arsenic based medicine (immiticide) that kills the worms within a very short period of time. It's risky, no doubt, but is overall better for the dog because it gets the worms more quickly and stops the damage they are doing to the heart. Different vets have different protocols for how the use it but it generally goes something like two shots 24 hours apart and one shot a month later, or something along those lines.

As to the bordetella, did they use the kind that goes in the nose (the dog sniffs it, not an actual shot) or the injectable type? The kind that goes in the nose does NOT have to be boostered. The kind that is injectable does require a 3 week booster.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you everyone for your very thoughtful responses! It all makes sense and I will do a lot more research before I speak to ANOTHER vet about heartworm meds or any other matter.... Since this is our first puppy, I feel like a walking idiot when it comes to dogs and I can just see myself agreeing with whatever a vet tells me since I just don't know any better. I sensed that I was being taken advantage of but I just didn't know enough to counter that! The bottom line is, I just didn't like this vet and I think that is why I felt bad after the appt. Plus, the visit costed me about $300 which seems abnormally high for a routine vaccination of 4 shots and 4 doses of Advantix! Don't you think so?
Our pup is feeling a bit better. He seems sore to the touch when I pick him up but that is lessening too.

Oops, somehow, my post got posted before I could finish.... Just wanted to reiterate: THANK YOU UrbanBeagles, Briteday, and Xie for your responses! I really appreciate it. It is really interesting that year round vaccines may not be necessary. I will read up on it and be (hopefully) way more informed before his next round of shots.

The vet asked that our pup get another bordetella (the injection type) at 6 months, that it's done every 6 months. I just want to take pup to puppy Kindergarten and a few dogparks now and then... Do you think every 6 months is necessary?
 

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At the previous vet, our pup did get Revolution at 8 weeks and also at 12 weeks. Do you think I should keep him on Revolution for flea, tick and heartworm? The only reason I opted for anything else is because we have deer tick in our backyard (open space with deers and other creatures around outside the fence). That's why we got K9 Advantix from the new vet yesterday, but we have 2 cats so I have decided to not administer that product afterall. I am still at a loss to which product to use for our 6 pound toy poodle. Most likely Frontline Plus since it's okay with cats too, but if you think Revolution is better way to go, please let me know. The previous vet seem to really like Revolution but when our pup was visiting him, he was still my brother's dog with a different life/house style (no yard there). Thanks!
 

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The every 6 months bordetella isn't necessary with the injectable, BUT most doggy daycare places and boarding places still require a bordetella within six months. The intranasal should be every six months.

I'm more curious about why they would choose to use an injectable bordetella. It doesn't protect against as many strains as the intranasal and is generally only used on a pet where it isn't safe to get close to the muzzle. I sincerely doubt your little pup is that vicious, lol.
 

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Hi there,
My 15 week old toy poodle went for his 3rd round of vaccines today. He had a different vet for his first 2 appt. but we switched him for this round to a new office since his past vet is rather far away and we wanted someone local in case of emergencies. Anyway, I haven't felt good since the appt.

First of all, my dog is really in pain. That is not fun to watch and I hope he'll feel better soon. I think it might of been the rabies vaccine. I hear some dogs react badly to it. I reviewed the bill afterwards and funny, he received another round of bordetella vaccine although it clearly states in his record that he already received that vaccine at 12 weeks. Should a dog receive 2 bordetella vaccines 3 weeks apart or did he receive one too many??? If so, should I be worried? Are there side effects from that?

My main confusion is about heartworm medication though. I asked the vet if my pup needed heartworm med. and he was evasive, told me I should make an appt. in a few weeks to discuss it. Hmmm??? I am wondering why another appt. is necessary. Do they need to run test before giving heartworm med. or is he just asking me to pay for another visit? Also, he said that we might not need it since we'll be putting him on K9 Advantix and that since K9 Advantix prevents mosquitoe bites, no need for heartworm med. This sounds plausible, but with my neighbor telling me how important heartworm prevention is and how she has her dog on it, I am wondering who to believe. What do you think???

The appt. was way more expensive than the first two we had for our pup too which made me cringe a bit more. Overall, I haven't been able to let go of the bad feeling I felt after going there and needed to ask other dog owners what they think about this. Any insight will be greatly appreciated!
At the animal hospital where I work, they do heartworm tests but a client can waive the test by signing a waiver and Revolution is dispensed. Apparently, the other heartworm meds like Sentinel and Advantage, are more dangerous if your dog has heartworm but Revolution seems to be the safest. whether you need heartworm or not depends on the climate where you live, which other posters have already informed you about.

Why did your pup get bordatella? Are you planning to board him or take him to leash-free parks? If not, there's no need. Where I work, they have an injection or an intranasal bordatella vaccine. The injection requires a first shot and another booster in a month in order for it to be good for a year. The intranasal vaccine (through the nose) is one dose and it lasts for a year.

If your dog drinks from ponds, puddles, lakes etc., your vet will reccommend the leptospirosis vaccine as well. This is a respiratory disease which I believe can be passed onto humans. If your dog doesn't drink or swim in ponds, lakes etc., then don't worry about this vaccine. The vet may suggest this one to get more money out of you.

Vets aren't regulated, at least here in CAnada, so they can pretty much charge you whatever they want. At my hospital, the exam fee is $66 but at the one down the street, the fee is $110. Vets can mark up food, drugs, fees to whatever they want. It's kind of scary actually on how we have to sell stuff. Right now, during heartworm season, I have to do a 'compliance review' and even if the client isn't visiting for vaccines, I have to 'remind' them that their pet is due for vaccines even though we send them a vaccine reminder in the mail and get two reminder calls. Then I have to suggest a wellnes screen which is a comprehensive blood test which screens your pet for any problems. If the client opts for this test, they get their heartworm test free. This test is $140 and I know it doesn't cost the vet that much. By the time a client is done with his/her appointment, the bill is over $300 or more and they just came for a simple heartworm test ($50). It's up to the client but they do their spin about how it's good for your pet's health etc. and the client is hooked. So the moral of my story is to be careful of the stories they spin.
 
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