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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28298
Experience:  25 years of experience in large and small animal medicine.
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I have a 12 week old Australian Shepherd puppy, who came to

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I have a 12 week old Australian Shepherd puppy, who came to me August 1 at 9 weeks with coccidia and promptly developed pneumonia. She spent Aug 4 in an isolation oxygen chamber on IV antibiotics, and has been on chlorampenicol for 19 days. She also had a bladder infection, which we discovered Aug 10, and has also been on Clavamox for nine days. Her weight on Aug 20 was 15.6 lbs, she has been gaining steadily.

She is acting quite normally now, playing and bright, but I am trying to keep her activity level down and give her crate rest at intervals during the day.

Her last xray was Tuesday Aug 20 - it showed much improvement but there was still an area of congestion. This is the plan the vet worked out with me - I would like an evaluation and comments:

Keep her on the Chloramphenicol for one more week (ending Aug 27)
Up the Clavamox to 125 mg (there were still white cells in the urine Aug 20)
Three days after the Chloramphenicol is finished (she will have been on it 23 days), vaccinate her with the 12-week booster
Do another progress xray on Sep 3 to determine if all congestion is clear.

My issue is the vaccination and timing - I only have a four weeks left in the 16-week socialization window to take her nearby places socialize her with other dogs - she will be 16 weeks on Sep 18. She is already great with people and kids. I can't take her off the property safely without the vaccination; the vet said I could take her to friend's homes if their dogs are vaccinated, but that's it.

How would you evaluate the timing of getting the puppy better versus getting her a) vaccinated and b) socialized?

Good Morning and welcome. I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

I am so sorry that Phoebe has had all of these makes for a bad start but is common because their immune system is not mature enough to fight off infections.

I agree with your vets protocol especially since Phoebe is so young. It is better to be proactive for her. The vaccines must only be given when the puppy is perfectly healthy. I say this because the vaccine will suppress the immune system against other invaders while it is building an immune response against the diseases in the vaccine and could put Phoebe in another bad situation.

I know you are worried about socialization according to the correct timing but this "timing" is only an approximate. You will have no trouble socializing Phoebe even after this 16 week period....Phoebe is already socialized with children and people and this personality will have no trouble adapting to other dogs when it is safe for her to go to the dog park.

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please Reply so I can clarify for you

Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We weren't going to give the vaccination until 3 days after we stopped choramphenical. That would be on the 31st. However, she will still be on the Clavamox. The 2-week followup xray is scheduled for Sep 3.


My vet says that Clavamox will not interfere with the vaccination - however, is it your opinion that I should wait to vaccinate until the xray shows clear on Sep 3rd? She will be 14 weeks old on the 4th. That is 4 days before her puppy class starts at a dog training facility. Is 4 days enough for the booster to be effective? I suppose another way to ask this question is - how long does the 8 week vaccination's effectiveness last?.


I won't be taking her to a dog park, but she will be walking with another of my dogs in a planned community where there is the opportunity to meet a lot of dogs. She is walking with my dogs now daily but only about a 1/3rd of a block to either side because they don't have dogs :-(

HI Melanie...

The 8 week booster will last for greater than 6-8 weeks which all depends on the rate of maturity of Phoebe's immune system and that is hard to know. This is why we give boosters every 4 weeks until they are 16 weeks. At that time, her immune system will be competent to hold onto the immunity for a year...these, of course, Melanie, are all approximates but in most cases, Phoebe will be protected.

I agree with your vet that the Clavamox will not interfere with the vaccine and if Phoebe is obviously healthy that is determined by physical exam, there is no reason not to vaccinate. I would only hesitate if there were any symptoms of disease since this takes the immunity away from the disease process.

If you choose to wait, the 4 days will be enough time for the immunity to take effect since she has already had a vaccine and this will only "boost" the immunity.

It is wise the way you are walking Phoebe, Melanie. It is better to be cautious especially considering that poor little Phoebe has already had problems that are challenging her immune system.

Does that make any more sense, Melanie?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



It has been like an intensive care ward here since Aug 3 - I have lost 5 pounds, missed more work days than I would like, and have worried a great deal - especially the jugging act with all the medications, trying to start a bit of trick training, housebreaking, and integrating her into my canine household. Gaaaaah!!!


This particular puppy is sired by the father of this year's Aussie Nationals and Westminster BOB winner, and the bitch is a grand champion. I will show her in conformation as well as all my performance venues - agility, obedience, musical freestyle. So Phoebe is going to have an interesting, active life and is more than just a pet to me, we'll have a lifelong partnership. (my oldest Aussie just passed 15 years and is still swimming in the pool every day after a ball.) :-)


Thank you for the detailed responses, I appreciate it!

Oh my, and Phoebe have been through so much!!

I am very impressed by her bloodlines, Melanie...I have had Aussies for years, usually the ones that the show people did not want...I have always been for the underdogs but this breed is truly my favorite....rode with me on 50 mile endurance horse rides. They are more than a companion,,they are family and will let you know every day like your oldest being in the pool after a ball every day.

You are doing all the right things, Melanie...keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing Phoebe on the circuit :))
Dr. Loretta and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you so much, Melanie for your kind rating and generous bonus. It is very much appreciated! Do not hesitate to contact me with any other concerns that you may have about Phoebe's condition. If you have other questions, please Reply. I am confident that you will do all the right things for your precious girl, Melanie...Phoebe is special!

Have a great day!!

Hi Melanie,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Phoebe. How is everything going?

Dr. Loretta