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Chocolate Havanese


If you are like most people, recent controversy over vaccination protocols and frequency may have you worried and wondering about what is best for your pet. Vaccines carry risks as well as benefits. No vaccine is always effective, no vaccine is always safe and no vaccine is always necessary. Some Havanese breeders advocate avoiding certain immunizations for assorted reasons, including that certain diseases are rare and unlikely to be contracted, or that the disease is a minor illness that can be readily treated or that the vaccine may cause a reaction more severe than the actual illness would. So what do you do?

Thankfully, reactions in Havanese are not too common though they can and do occur. When you vaccinate your Havanese, keep your pet under close supervision for 24 hours if possible. Discuss with your veterinarian any reactions your Havanese may have had to prior vaccinations, as pre-treatment may be recommended.

Minor reactions commonly seen after a vaccination are tenderness, some lethargy, poor appetite and loose stools. These reactions are quite common in Havanese and should be mild and not last more than about 24 hours. The most serious reactions generally occur very quickly including anaphylactic shock which requires immediate treatment. Other, significant, but less severe reactions may develop more slowly over 6-12 hours. These can include pain, swelling, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, panting, unsteady gait, scratching, shaking or trembling. These reactions are potentially serious and should be attended to by a Vet as soon as possible. Your Vet may give an anti-inflammatory and/or antihistamine to control the reaction. Some herbal and homeopathic remedies may help prevent or minimize vaccination reactions. Discuss with your Vet whether these may be suitable for your Havanese.

Your veterinarian knows the prevalence of diseases in your area and is the best person to suggest the specific vaccines needed for your Havanese. Caution may be indicated with Corona, Lepto, Lyme and 7in1 as these are the most common for producing serious problems in Havanese. In addition, other information appears to indicate that in most cases, the risks of these particular vaccinations may outweigh the benefits.

1) Corona virus: generally only causes mild gastrointestinal signs and is a self-limiting disease.

2) The leptospirosis portion of the vaccines seems to cause the most reactions Leptospirosis is not common in many areas and the recent outbreaks of leptospirosis have been to types of leptospirosis that are not included in the standard vaccinations.

3) Lyme disease is a regional tick borne disease and more prevalent in certain areas though still rare (only 1 in every 50 ticks). Since ticks carry it, prevention of ticks and prompt removal can prevent this disease. Something else to keep in mind is that a tick must be attached for 48 hours before transmitting disease carrying spirochetes , so transmission is not as likely as it at first seems. Lyme disease is very different in dogs than it is in humans. 90% of infected dogs never develop any signs of disease. In dogs, serious complications, though possible, are very rare, and in most cases, Lyme disease is easily treated with ordinary inexpensive antibiotics.

4) 7in 1 - The more entities that are present in a vaccination , the likelier it is to cause a reaction. As well, if 7 vaccines are given at once, if a reaction occurs, there is no way to know which one in particular caused the reaction.

In recent years, it has become widely accepted that over vaccination can cause serious health problems. Vaccines are also improving all the time and provide more complete coverage and better protection than ever before. The new accepted information is that dogs may not require yearly Boosters. Of course there is a huge range of belief within this with some still recommending annual re-vaccinations while others maintain that a single Booster is good for life. A more cautious approach perhaps, is to provide an initial puppy series of vaccinations followed by yearly titers to check immunity, with subsequent single entity vaccinations given as needed. Please discuss this with your veterinarian so you can make an informed choice in this matter and choose what is best for you and your Havanese.