General Question

jiboo420_'s avatar

How long can a puppy go without getting his first shots?

Asked by jiboo420_ (122 points ) March 17th, 2008 from iPhone

my friend has a chow/husky puppy that is about 5— 5 1/2 months old and she hasn’t gotten any of the shots the dog needs (ex. Rabies, deworming). I guess my friend doesn’t have any money and thats why she hasn’t gotten the shots yet. Or at least thats what she says. The puppy is very energetic and loving and doesn’t appear to be sick at all. I’m just worried that this won’t last for too much longer, and the puppy is going to get very sick. How long will this puppy be okay? Will it be okay? Or is it too late?

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5 Answers

cwilbur's avatar

If the puppy isn’t exposed to worms, or rabies, or distemper, or parvovirus, the puppy could go indefinitely without getting sick—just as a human who hasn’t been inoculated against measles and polio who’s never exposed to those two diseases won’t necessarily get sick. But where a vaccinated dog who’s exposed to parvovirus, for instance, won’t even come down with it, an unvaccinated dog will probably die of it.

Your friend is not being a terribly responsible dog owner. What about rabies shots, or spaying and neutering?

iSteve's avatar

If your friend doesn’t have the money then why did they get a puppy?!! That’s completely irresponsible!!!

jiboo420_'s avatar

I know. Tell me about it. I guess I shouldn’t call her my friend. She’s more of an acquaintance. She actually just asked me and my girlfriend if we wanted to take it about a half hour ago, so I think we are. And guess what? The first thing we’re gonna do is get him shots! So, me asking this question was kind of pointless, but thanks none-the-less guys.

syz's avatar

Puppies should begin their vaccine series at 6–8 weeks of age and have boosters every 4 weeks until at least 16 weeks of age (Puppies receive temporary immunity from antibodies they receive from the mothers milk. That immunity begins to wear off somewhere between 8 and 16 weeks, but it’s variable. That’s why you do a series of shots so you minimize the amount of time that they are without protection.)

It is never too late to vaccinate. An older animal will need an inital vaccine to “prime” the immune system and then a follow up shot 4 weeks later that will develope the formation of antibodies. Then an annual booster is given yearly to maintain the immune response.

If your friend (and her dog) are extremely lucky, the dog may never have a problem. The more likely scenario is that the puppy will contract an illness that may require hundreds if not thousands of dollars to treat (it is not unusual for clients at our clinic to spend up to $2500 on a severe case of parvo virus). Even something as simple as a case of intestinal parasites (worms) can cause severe illness and even death if untreated.

In practically every city in this country you can find a low cost vaccination program and low cost spay and neuter programs. Anyone who takes on the responsiblity of a pet should also realize that they must take financial responsibility for the care of that animal. Take your friend on a field trip to the shelter – sick animals are usually euthanized immediately due to a lack of resources and healthy animals are killed every day because of indescrimnate breeding of intact pets.

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