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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19748
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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I adopted a puppy from the pound last week - she was supposedly

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I adopted a puppy from the pound last week - she was supposedly 8 weeks old. She had already received a DHPP vaccination (at six weeks). She was suffering from fleas and only weighs 4 lbs. so my husband took her to our local vet - who in addition to giving her something for fleas gave her another DHPP vaccination (just 3 weeks following her first). She is now EXTREMELY lethargic in comparison to her high energy just days prior. I have read that the final shot in the DHPP series should be at 16 weeks or older. My question is, now that they have given the second shot at only 9 weeks - - can I wait another 9 weeks for the final DHPP and vaccinate her when she's 16 weeks old?
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

The vet was correct to give another distemper vaccine. We typically vaccinate at 6, 9, 12 and 16 weeks of age. We vaccinate every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks of age, not just twice at 6 and 16 weeks.

The lethargy after the vaccine is not uncommon. We'll often see some lethargy and sometimes soft stools and joint pain following vaccines. This is common in people as well, as it causes your body to mount an immune response against the vaccine. Those signs typically resolve on their own over 2-3 days.

I would consider giving her a Benadryl injection prior to her next vaccine at 12 weeks of age. This can help blunt that immune response so we don't have quite as severe of lethargy or pain after the fact. You can talk to your vet about this option.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

All the information I have read states that the DHPP series is only 3 shots with the last one given after 16 weeks of age. Why would I give her four?

Some people do 3, some do 4. Usually it's 1 from the breeder at 6 weeks and then another 3 when they are with the owners. If you go every 4 weeks, the it could end up being 3. The important thing is that you're vaccinating every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks of age. This is mainly to protect against distemper virus and parvo virus. Those are the two most serious diseases that we're protecting against as puppies.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So the fact that they made her next appointment in 5 weeks is incorrect?

Yeah, that's a little long. I would make it no longer than 4 weeks from the last vaccine.

Here's a good link on vaccines that you can read over as well:
Dr. Gary and 2 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Terri,

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

Dr. Gary
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She's doing much better, thanks for the information.

Oh good, thanks for the update.