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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Long story short: Our dead dog missed some vaccines at 4 years old while we were dealing with his severe epilepsy, and now I'm concerned it will cause difficulties for us looking to adopt again after one shelter specifically asked for his [incomplete] vaccine records. Will this be a giant problem?

Long story long:

Some of you know that Sebastian died earlier this month and we have started the process of searching for a new family member.

As I've been trying to get records together from Sebastian's multiple vets that rescues want to call, it occurred to me that he missed a number of vaccinations at around four years old. I feel miserable and mortified just saying so; it makes me feel so irresponsible. I'm quite certain it was at a time when his epilepsy was especially vicious and we were running back and forth from the ER to the specialist seemingly every other week. There's no good excuse, but that's how it happened, along with the fact that we had been looking for a new primary vet for quite some time and he kept needing to go to the neurologist, instead. He basically just saw her for a while to try and get a handle on the seizures. Our primary vet was really not good about mentioning the vaccines-- I have no recollection of him reminding us even at 4-year physical-- which is a good example of why we were looking for another. I know the lack of vaccinations is really not great and without them, another dog probably shouldn't have been homed here were Sebastian still living, but he's not.

One rescue has already explicitly asked for the vaccination records, knowing Sebastian has passed, which is what alerted me to the fact that a bunch of them don't exist. He had all his puppy vaccines and annual boosters, just not the set that appears to be due at four years old. I certainly don't intend to lie to the rescue about this and I know we took very good care of Sebastian otherwise, especially given his health challenges, which I thought would be clear to see from his extensive medical records. But I also have a feeling in my gut that they are going to be extremely unhappy to hear this. Or maybe my worrying nature is getting the best of me and I just need to be forthright?

And is this something that many/most rescues might find problematic to the point of disqualifying? Does it just depend? The whole thing is making me very anxious.

Any and all advice about this would be highly welcome and appreciated.

Despite all of this and just to be clear, I like it when rescues and shelters have stringent requirements and are working to make sure a dog is going to a caring, capable, and responsible home. I definitely understand why they would be concerned about whether or not a still-living dog is up-to-date on vaccines, and I also imagine that for a healthy dog, vaccination records may be some of the only other health records available beyond regular check ups. Sebastian's other health records are a mile long, though, and he is no longer with us. I honestly don't really understand why vaccinations are the specific records this rescue wants over any others. Can anyone explain?

Thank you so much. I'm feeling real guilty about this right now. :redface:
 

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Honestly your dog should not have been vaccinated ANYWAY during time of figuring out seizures, or any kind of illness. Vaccinations are for healthy animals ONLY and it even says that on the label. Personally, I only do puppy series, an adult booster and then titer after that. Our dogs don't need a vaccine every year. I would never even consider a vet that would not allow the proven 3 year vaccine. But to each their own of course. :) Vaccines are being more and more proven to be effective much longer than was previously considered. Your dog was more than likely protected and you should not feel the least bit guilty.

You did nothing wrong. You can preemptively tell them that your dog was battling epilepsy and the vets clearly weren't worried about vaccines during that time. It may or may not hurt your chances with the rescue. It's unfortunate but if they are really that picky I wouldn't want to adopt a dog from them. I mean.. I know people who get dogs vaccinated every year but they eat the crappiest food in the world, are loaded with fleas and never leave the house except to go to the vet for those vaccines. You can only be honest and give them the info they require. :/
 

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Most rescues won't ask you records, especially from 6 years ago! They'll just want to call your vet to make sure that you're a good dog owner. Some shelters/rescues just go WAY overboard, and I would just look elsewhere... but it really won't be a problem at all for most of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both of you. This made me feel so much better. I was just sort of flipping out about it, but I've calmed down a lot. I e-mailed the rescue in question and just told them the truth: the vet never mentioned it, very likely because Sebastian was too sick to worry about them, but that he had his puppy and early vaccines and we'd be happy to send those and any other records over. What can you do! Fortunately, they are just a rescue I am familiar with and generally like; our first choices for adoption happen to all be with another rescue atm, so it might be a total non-issue regardless.

But yes, you are clearly right, all I can do is be honest and forthright and feel assured we took the best care of Sebastian that we could, because we did.
 

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Yeah, I also don't vaccinate my dog every year. He gets a 3 year rabies and titers for everything else. I don't want to over vaccinate and my vet has been accommodating and supportive in that venture. I also agree that he shouldn't have been vaccinated anyways while dealing with illness. Rescues can be tricky, because some would be totally understanding while some may be super strict and not make any exceptions on their policies. I don't think you have anything to feel guilty or bad about, and I hope the rescues you speak with will hear you out. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To update/kind of close out the thread, it's good to know what others do about the vaccination schedule, especially as we approach another adoption. It turned out the vaccines really weren't a problem after all; we had a good talk with this rescue tonight and if it weren't for a bonded pair we are moving forward with as of now, it sounds like there was a dog they were hoping we could take. The woman we spoke with was gracious and excited for us about the pair, though, and made clear we should definitely call them if that falls through.

I get the impression from talking with two rescues (one for large dogs, one specifically for Pyrenees) that both get a lot of applications claiming to be familiar with Pyrenees, which is then not proven in further interviews. In both cases, the adoption coordinators seemed relieved that we both know and genuinely love the typical Pyrenees personality, and are comfortable working with it. So, the rest was pretty much a non-issue. Anyone looking at Sebastian's vet records and using a reasonable metric should be able to see we tried really hard to take good care of him, and I'm hoping that's basically what happened here.
 
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