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Ask Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP Your Own...

Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Small Animal Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1752
Experience:  DABVP, Specialist in Canine and Feline Medicine, Veterinarian since 2000
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can i give my dog her distemper shot myself

Customer Question

can i give my dog her distemper shot myself?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 5 years ago.
The answer is yes, you can purchase a distemper combo vaccine and administer it yourself. However, there are several factors that warrant careful consideration:

I would caution you on admistering your own vaccines, and recommend that you use your veterinarian. I have personally seen numerous cases of dogs and puppies who develop parvo and other diseases after they were vaccinated by the owner/breeder. (In trying to save a few dollars, they ended up costing themselves hundreds of dollars, and sometimes, their pet's life.) To work properly, the vaccine has to be effective (there is a huge difference in quality and ingredients in vaccines), and be shipped, stored, and handled properly. If it warms above refrigerated temperature for several hours, it may not work properly. You are counting on your mail courier or your local employee at the co-op to handle it properly, which involves a certain amount of risk. The vaccine also has to be administered properly. Distemper needs at least 1 booster if it's the first time, and puppies need several boosters to overcome maternal antibiodies that interfere with your pup generating a proper response.

Most vaccines are sold in combo - several different ones in one vaccine. Some contain too many ingredients and the risk of a reaction is increased. In addition to distemper, your dog may also need parvo, adenovirus, and others. Vaccines can cause reactions, sometimes rare and life threatening, so you need to be aware and monitor your pet after the vaccine is administered.

More information on vaccinating your pet:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=524

In addition, there is no substitute for a thorough physical exam by your veterinarian. (If your vet doesn't do a thorough exam, I would find one who does). Routine bloodwork can help catch diseases before they progress or are evident yet. Many vets are also going to 3 year protocols for many vaccines, using 3 year vaccines, but it depends alot on the dog's individual risk.

In addition, your dog will need an annual heartworm test and monthly prevention, and a check for intestinal parasites, depending on the part of the country where you live.

Let me know if I can answer anything else for you.
Sincerely,
Dr. Devlin



Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 5 years ago.
The answer is yes, you can purchase a distemper combo vaccine and administer it yourself. However, there are several factors that warrant careful consideration:

I would caution you on admistering your own vaccines, and recommend that you use your veterinarian. I have personally seen numerous cases of dogs and puppies who develop parvo and other diseases after they were vaccinated by the owner/breeder. (In trying to save a few dollars, they ended up costing themselves hundreds of dollars, and sometimes, their pet's life.) To work properly, the vaccine has to be effective (there is a huge difference in quality and ingredients in vaccines), and be shipped, stored, and handled properly. If it warms above refrigerated temperature for several hours, it may not work properly. You are counting on your mail courier or your local employee at the co-op to handle it properly, which involves a certain amount of risk. The vaccine also has to be administered properly. Distemper needs at least 1 booster if it's the first time, and puppies need several boosters to overcome maternal antibiodies that interfere with your pup generating a proper response.

Most vaccines are sold in combo - several different ones in one vaccine. Some contain too many ingredients and the risk of a reaction is increased. In addition to distemper, your dog may also need parvo, adenovirus, and others. Vaccines can cause reactions, sometimes rare and life threatening, so you need to be aware and monitor your pet after the vaccine is administered.

More information on vaccinating your pet:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=524

In addition, there is no substitute for a thorough physical exam by your veterinarian. (If your vet doesn't do a thorough exam, I would find one who does). Routine bloodwork can help catch diseases before they progress or are evident yet. Many vets are also going to 3 year protocols for many vaccines, using 3 year vaccines, but it depends alot on the dog's individual risk.

In addition, your dog will need an annual heartworm test and monthly prevention, and a check for intestinal parasites, depending on the part of the country where you live.

Let me know if I can answer anything else for you. Best luck!
Sincerely,
Dr. Devlin



Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 5 years ago.
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