Puppy Vaccination: The Importance of Planning AheadGiving puppies a vaccination the day before or the day of moving to their forever home, won't give the puppy the protection he needs. Don't expect immunity immediately after you pull the needle out. It takes two weeks to receive the full benefits of a vaccine.
StressThe stress of moving to a new home is hard enough on a puppy, so your goal is to not add to this stress. Make sure puppies are given their vaccines to date at least one to two weeks before being moved to their new home. Not the night before. A puppy can deal with a new home or deal with a vaccine, but not both. That means he may not get the protection desired from the vaccination. I recommend breeders give two parvo vaccines and one distemper, at least one week before going to a new home.
Allergic ReactionsThe risk of an allergic reaction is the second reason not to vaccinate right before the puppy leaves. Thankfully, the reaction rate in vaccine use is low, less than one percent. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean it's something we can ignore. Allergic reactions can happen to any dog; however, smaller breeds under three pounds have a slightly higher rate of reactions or sensitivity than larger breeds.
Two Most Common Times for Reactions to Vaccines:
- During the first three hours after the vaccine is given. The immediate reaction is the most common type of reaction. When this happens, most puppies just sit and don't want to play or eat. They definitely won't push in to compete with littermates for food, so watch for this and treat it if you see it. Swollen faces are less common, but if you notice this, it should be treated with an antihistamine.
- From three to five days. Delayed reactions are usually milder and easy to treat. The puppy typically aches all over and doesn't want to participate with their littermates. Treat with an antihistamine when you see it.
Don Bramlage, DVM, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
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