Vaccinations & Great Danes
*It's the Law, you HAVE to
*It's best to get them all done at once
*Your Dane will be just fine
*Your breeder is dramatic and uneducated
*I've never heard of or seen anything like that before
......on and on and on.......
*You don't have to do anything you are not comfortable with
*Your dane may do "just fine" but who wants to run the risk?
*I AM educated and have taken the time to read studies and understand both approaches
*I have heard of and seen seizures and auto immune disorders result from over vaccination
Let's talk vaccines! It's pretty reasonableto expect that during your initial vet visit with your great dane, your veterinarian will inform you about the vaccines required by law and what is mandatory for your area. All great information. What they will fail to mention, is that, especially for your great dane, it is healthiest to take a staggered approach, rather than a combo approach. They will also push the Rabies vaccine by 14-16 weeks of age - again neglecting the specific needs of your breed, given their rapid growth that occurs up until 6 or 8 months of age!
Now, I know not ALL vets are this way! In fact we have three different vet offices we work with and could rave about each for many different reasons. Also, there is small (but growing) population of Holistic Vets who will guide you in a drastically different direction! In the next couple sections, I hope to convey some very important information concerning a couple dangerous vaccines as well as our general recommendations for a staggered vaccination schedule - keeping in mind, ONLY the health of our great danes!
While Rabies is incredibly dangerous and most likely lethal to both dogs and humans, unless you plan to leave your dane outside unattened for long periods of time or have recently had an outbreak in your area, the push to vaccinate prior to six months of age is unnecessary. Rabies is the only state regulated vaccine and is usually requred by 14 weeks of age. The danger in early administration is in three parts: It is a very strong vaccine; It is usually teamed up with the final round of combo vaccines; And finally - the requested timing falls well with the rapid growth period of great danes! The dangerous overloading of puppies immune system has often resulted in auto-immune disorders such as seizures and epilepsy. The best plan is to stagger the core vaccines and request to wait until atlest two months after you complete those to do the Rabies vaccine on its own.
Again, a very lethal diseas, Lepto is dangerous to both humans and dogs. However, due to the incredibly negative and harmful after effects of the vaccine we do not provide this vaccine to puppies prior to them leaving our home. In fact, the vaccine is not generally recommended unless there is an outbreak in your area. Additonally, the disease actually has multiple strains and thus requires several, terribly painful vaccinations to complete the sequence. In the end, it does not prevent the illness, rather may lessen the severity if contracted.
...So, given the facts we have to work with, it's clear there are some tough decisions to be made regarding vaccinations. And please, do not mistake our view as "anti-vaccine". Responsible pet ownership dictates that you protect your pet with proper protocol, however being responsible does not mean following the masses with generalized practices! There is an awesome article in Dogs Naturally Magazine which outlines some interesting data on vaccines as well as a holistic approach to responsible pet vaccinations! Make sure, when you are considering purchasing a dane, that you choose your Vet carefully! Find a practice that is willing to listen to your concerns and update you with correct information - not drug company marketing materials! And please, as always, call or email us with questions!