|Welcome to the American Whippet Club|
1999 American Whippet Club Whippet Annual
Pages 26 through 50
Queenie’s Mister Earthquake
Whimsy . . .
Toby - our newest champion. He thrilled us by going BOW at the AWC National in St. Louis, with his brother taking Reserve. Their dam, Monika, won a huge Brood Bitch class to top it off. In spite of their winning ways, what makes these dogs so special to us is how much fun they are to live with. Looking forward to an exciting new millennium!
Toby, Tyrone and Lily bred by Chris & Mary Downing and Christine Hopperstad
Ch. Broadstrider’s Marble Arch
Doug & Ruth Broadfoot 18915 Pheasant Lane Tomball, TX 77375 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ch. Broadstrider’s Cordelia
(Ch Sonseeahrays’ In Hot Pursuit x Ch Broadstrider’s Georgie Girl)
Abbey’s Full Monty
Ch. Locar’s Martini on the Rocks x Ch. Hamrya’s Sweet Sensation
Abbey’s Friendly Persuasion
Ch. Locar’s Martini on the Rocks x Ch. Hamrya’s Sweet Sensation
The Immune System
What really happens to your puppy when it is vaccinated? What is really going on inside their body? Does it simply impart *magic* protection? How do you decide when to vaccinate?
What does it mean when your dog is diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)?
What on earth is the immune system anyway?
Some time ago, we were talking about similar
Basically, the immune system is The Body against the outside world. The Body (or our Whippet’s body) is a happy, healthy, in balance environment that employs a small but ferocious army called the immune system. If foreign invaders (bacteria, virus, toxins) make contact with The Body, the immune system is the group who has to deal with it. When your Whippet rams into a tree doing 60 mph, the immune system is mobilized to fight infection and help with healing. The immune system’s main function is to recognize The Bad Guys (foreign substances or antigens) and rid the body of them. A good form of biologic warfare, so to speak.
There are many ways the immune system does this. Within the army’s ranks it has divisions of t-helper cells, t-killer cells, antibodies (little soldiers otherwise known as immunoglobulins), macrophages, etc., produced in several organs throughout the body. Each division has a specific job to do and specific ways they fight the Bad Guys. Once the war is over, the immune system remembers that particular invader and will respond even more quickly if it should show up again. No need to get in depth here, just need to understand the general concept. The Body against The Bad Things.
So, how does vaccination help the immune system do it’s job?
Do you really understand what happens inside the body when you inject that cute, adorable little puppy with distemper, parvo, lepto, etc.?
I used to think once they got a “shot” they would be “better”. I used to think that as well, with antibiotics for animals who were sick. Simple problem, simple answer. Well, that is not exactly it! We have learned how to use the immune system to our advantage through vaccination.
You need to have a good grasp of this to understand
vaccination protocols and what types of vaccines to use in your area. Vaccines are products
Take the parvovirus for instance. The parvo vaccine is made up of some of the proteins that are found in this specific virus (these proteins would be called antigens). When these proteins (antigens) are injected into your dog, the dog’s body will recognize them as a foreign invader and will begin to manufacture antibodies to rid the body of that antigen (remember, antibodies are the Good Soldiers of the immune army). After the dog has a good antibody response to the vaccine, the next time it is exposed to parvovirus the body will remember the antigen, produce necessary antibodies and fend off the virus, thus keeping the dog healthy. Antibody titers are a measure of the level of circulating antibody found in the body. If an animal is well protected through vaccination, antibody titers will reveal this.
There are different types of vaccines available, with advantages and disadvantages to each. Our choices in small animal biologics centermainly around killed vaccine vs. modified live virus (MLV).
1). Killed: Most of the rabies vaccines used today are killed. The manufacturers do not want to take any chance of inducing disease in the animal, thus the virus in the product is killed. Advantages of killed vaccines include: no residual virulence and less likelihood of causing immunosuppression or long-term immune problems. Disadvantages include: shorter duration and levels of immunity; adjuvants (ingredients added to make the body have more of an immune response) may cause more allergic reactions, and more boosters are generally needed.
2). Modified Live Virus: One of the more common vaccines we use in dogs is the MLV. Many of the distemper and parvo vaccines are MLV. These are live virus particles that have bean attenuated or “strained” so they are avirulent (unable to cause disease) but are still infectious and immunogenic and have a strong capacity to stimulate the body to produce maximum antibodies. Advantages of MLV vaccines include longer and more complete immunity, fewer boosters needed and less chance of allergic reactions. Disadvantages include the possibility of retained virulence, immunosuppression, shedding of the vaccine virus (which may cause false positive tests with the parvo virus), and possibly long term immune problems
3). Live: Live vaccines actually contain real virus. We do not use these in the dog, but one example would be the Brucella abortus vaccine that was used in cattle. If the veterinarian was injected with this vaccine, they would develop brucellosis in their own body!
Vaccine choices and vaccination schedules
What are we vaccinating against?
2. Parvo: A viral disease, highly contagious and spread through contaminated feces. This virus is very hardy and can survive for months within fecal material at less than 20 degrees. It is easily carried on shoes, clothing and by flies, with an incubation period of 4 to 7 days. It usually affects young puppies, but can affect older adults as well. The parvovirus attacks rapidly growing cells in the intestinal tract and bone marrow. Clinical signs include: bloody diarrhea, bloody, intractable vomiting, severe depression and dehydration. Patients usually die due to dehydration. It is a very, very ugly disease to treat, with a high mortality rate in young puppies. The vaccine is very effective, depending on the breed and the type of vaccine used (Rotts and Dobes much more prone). Similar to distemper, this disease can still be seen with some frequency in non-vaccinated pups. This is a *must* to vaccinate against.
3. Hepatitis: This virus can cause anything from fever to death. It is spread by direct contact and can be shed for months in the urine of recovered
4. Corona: A viral disease that causes diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes bloody. Corona is usually a disease of young puppies, with a very fast incubation time (24 to 36 hours) and can spread rapidly. It has a low mortality however, and most cases feel better within a few days. It is a questionable vaccine that is no longer being used by many practitioners. I would recommend checking with your local vet before using it. I do not use it on a routine basis.
5. Leptospirosis: Dogs are generally exposed to the spiral shaped bacteria that causes lepto through the urine of rats. This is a bacteria, not a virus. It is very difficult to make vaccines against bacteria, as they have many more proteins than viruses do (Parvo virus may have 5 to 7 proteins, a leptospira bacteria has 33,000!!!!). This is one reason why the vaccines are not that effective. There are also many different serovars (types) of the lepto bacteria and one vaccine does not protect against ALL of them. This part of combination vaccines is thought to be the bad guy when it comes to vaccine reactions. Check with your local vet, but I usually do not recommend using lepto and never in puppies less than 12 weeks of age.
6. Bordatella and Parainfluenza: Together, this combination is one of the main causes of kennel cough, which can spread rapidly through dogs via aerosol transmission. While influenza is a virus, bordatella is a bacteria. This vaccine needs to be given twice a year for maximal effectiveness
7. Lyme disease: The Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia, is a nasty little creature that is most often transmitted via the deer tick. It has an experimental incubation period of 2 to 5 months. Clinical signs include intermittent lameness and persistent fever. Lyme disease can be very hard to diagnose, as dogs exposed to the bacteria have positive antibody titers just as affected dogs do. This disease can usually be treated with antibiotics in the dog. As far as vaccination, the bacterin (vaccine against bacteria) for this disease has very questionable efficacy. I suppose if I lived in an area where Lyme disease was endemic (the northeast), I would think long and hard about using this vaccine. You would have to weigh the possibilities of reaction vs. protection vs. the vaccine, itself, causing disease. I would probably try to prevent ticks by the use of something like Frontline, rather than vaccinating. If you are not in an area where the host tick lives, don’t use this vaccine!!!!!!!!! We have never seen a case of this disease or any of the host ticks in Colorado, yet there are practitioners who sell this stuff every day to their clients. I feel this is a disservice to the animal, if not the owner.
8. Rabies: The BIG one. You must vaccinate for this, it is only the frequency that is in question. There are 3-year products and l-year products. If you live in an area where the 3-year vaccination is allowed, I would use this product and would not vaccinate any more frequently than that. This is the only vaccine that is federally- or state-regulated and you must comply with the rules. However, if you have a dog with immune mediated disease, you may be able to have your veterinarian write a letter concerning your dog’s health and the need to not vaccinate due to possible induction of disease.
You can get a variety of combinations of the above viral antigens in combination vaccines. Thus you can find 3-in-1, 4-in-1, etc. More is not necessarily better, so it is necessary to speak with veterinary health professionals in your geographic area to determine which vaccine choices are right for your Whippet(s).
In addition to different viral vaccine combinations, there are also many different vaccine companies with varying quality of products, ie. NOT all vaccines are created equal. If you vaccinate your own litters or adult dogs, I highly recommend you set up your program initially with the help of a veterinarian who can recommend good quality, efficacious vaccines that impart high levels of immunity with minimal side effects. Quality control with regard to vaccine type, method of shipping and handling and the company that provides the vaccine can seriously affect the final immunity of your dog.
Now that you know what is in vaccines, we will next discuss vaccination schedules.
This is a subject of great diversity and debate right now and you will find almost any answer to your question if you keep looking. If you try to plan your vaccination schedules with the Immune System in mind, you will at least be making an educated effort instead of “shooting from the hip”.
It isn’t going to help that there are no hard and fast answers to this - there just never is a free lunch! Each individual dog has to be considered: what it is going to do in its life, what the exposure to possible disease is going to be, etc. This will be a general discussion and hopefully your vet has already developed a program, based on current knowledge and what types of vaccines are needed in your area.
1). Puppies: As a general rule, most of the whippet puppies we will be breeding or acquiring will be from dams that have been well vaccinated. When puppies nurse, they get “pre-made” antibodies from their mother that help protect their innocent little immune systems while they are developing (remember, antibodies are the good little soldiers). After leaving the womb, the puppy is exposed to millions of foreign proteins (antigens - Bad Guys) on a daily basis. If left to protection by its own immune system, the puppy would surely die; thus the loss of many pups who don’t nurse or who lose their dam. If you have a litter or a puppy that is born to an immunocompetent (well vaccinated) dam, then you usually do not need to start vaccinating until the age of 8 weeks, 6 weeks at the earliest.
The reason we have to give a series of boosters is that we never really know when the mothers immunity begins to wear out in the puppy and when the baby immune system begins to gear up and produce its own antibodies. If, at the time of vaccination, the puppy still has a high level of maternal antibodies, the puppy’s own immune system won’t respond and the vaccination is useless. This is why puppy vaccinations are given as a series; we have to catch the puppy when his maternal antibodies are low enough for the vaccine to be effective, but we don’t want to wait too long, and leave him defenseless.
Typically, some 30% of puppies can respond to vaccines given at 9 to 10 weeks and the percentage rises to 100% between 12 to 16 weeks. I have known some well vaccinated pups that end up coming down with Parvo around 12 to 14 weeks and it is likely due to something called “the window of opportunity” between the loss of the dam’s immunity and the beginning of the pups production of antibody. It can be hard to understand, but it is very important.
The schedule for pups is usually 8, 12, and 16 weeks using combination vaccines that include distemper, parvo and whatever else you need, depending on where you live (lepto no younger than 12 weeks). If you have a puppy of questionable immunity (ie. did not nurse well, dam died, found as a stray, etc), then you can start them at 6 weeks with a distemper/measles combination product, and continue the 8, 12, and 16 week regimen (and keep them indoors - limit exposure!). For susceptible breeds, you can also add a 20 week parvo to ensure protection.
Some folks recommend the separation of distemper and parvo (especially the alternative practitioners), with the use of killed parvo virus in young pups. What I hate to see is breeders who vaccinate their puppies every 2 weeks or who start vaccinating younger than 6 weeks. This only serves to create a completely immunosuppressed puppy that never has the chance to fully respond to the vaccines. It takes at least 10 to 14 days for a puppy to mount a good immune response (production
of antibodies) to a vaccine. If you give another vaccination about the time this is happening,
2). Adult dogs: After you give a full puppy series and the one-year follow-up vaccines, the area becomes a bit gray. I usually recommend that people vaccinate the second year and then every three years after that. To be honest, some dogs will be immune for life for parvo and distemper after a good puppy series, but unless you do titers every year, you will not know if this is your dog or not. Titers can tell you how much antibody
3). Geriatric dogs: It is thought with distemper and possibly rabies that the immunity of old age is not as good as it once was (like everything else in the geriatric years). Some practitioners recommend vaccinating more frequently after the age of 10; I do not. I have never yet seen a dog that has contracted parvo or distemper in the geriatric stages of life. It is hard for me to justify vaccinating those old creatures yearly, when they are suffering from other maladies that will be their demise much sooner than distemper. I feel geriatric dogs need their immune systems to fight other types of disease, thus I still only vaccinate this age group every three years.
Some people are concerned with vaccinating their dogs due to the growing awareness of immune-related disease possibly linked to over vaccination. While I believe there is definitely merit in being aware of immune-related disease and NOT over vaccinating, if we do not protect our dog population against these common viral invaders, we will begin to experience viral disease (distemper, parvo) with growing frequency and lives may be lost that could be saved with simple vaccines. In other words, you still need to vaccinate, just do it in an informed and judicious manner!
As I said before, this is a hotly contested area and there are many, many different vaccination protocols. I strongly recommend that you consult with your own veterinarian when developing a vaccination schedule for litters you breed, your adult dogs or the puppies your purchase and acquire in the middle of their vaccination series. Hopefully you will glean something useful out of this that you can apply to your own dogs.
Bill & Lynn Weller
Ch. Merci Isle Celestial Light, SC, FCh
IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR…
Mostly, however, we are proud of the results at the four West Coast specialty weekends, with the average entries of around 100 Whippets per day: 3 BOB, 3 BOS, 4 Awards of Merit, 5 majors, 2 major reserves, Best in Sweepstakes and BOS in Sweepstakes – all divided between 9 different dogs from 3 homebred litters.
A highlight, of course, was watching “Winona,” Ch. Bohem Age of Innocence, (owned by Pattee & Curt Singer) win the AWC Western
We feel guilty about not running the dogs, but there just isn’t time. Our own dogs have to content themselves with ground squirrels, but we are happy that Kim Otero is doing so well with “Tootsie,” Bohem Romanesque, that some people cannot believe she is show-bred…
First year well worth celebrating!!! – Toast with us to their future success!
SBIS Ch. Starline’s Reign On, JC, ROMX BIS Ch. Bohem Of Thee I Sing
Multiple Group Winner
What can we say except, Dreams Really Do Come True.
SBIS Ch. Starline’s Reign On, JC, ROMX BIS Ch. Bohem Of Thee I Sing
AWC Futurity Class Winner 1997
Cruise has been waiting in the wings during his sister Winona’s specials career.
Bohem Three Ring Circus
In 1999, in very limited showing - only on Specialty weekends - he won BOS in Sweeps
In 2000, we intend to get serious…
Ch. Bohem Circus Runaway
Pictured with breeder-judge Julie Holm.
strid and Pippi are from a litter of three
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