Vaccinating A Stray Dog: Which Shots and When?

Written by Jan on July 7, 2009 – 12:01 am

Lucky Abbey strayed into the right new home
Lucky Abbey strayed into the right home

 Question e-mailed to me:

“We found a stray dog and so we have no idea what her vaccination history is or even if she has been spayed. She is probably about a year old at the most…looks like a small yellow lab.

I want to just have her vaccinated for parvo and distemper only and of course we have to have her vaccinated for rabies. But my question for you is how long to wait between the spaying and the vaccinations? And how long between before she gets her rabies shot? And which order do you recommend having all of this done? I know I have seen this information somewhere on the Internet before but it was a long time ago and I just can’t seem to find it now.

I would really appreciate any advice. At this point I don’t even know which thing should be done first, the spaying or the vaccinations.

Note: I got this question from Kat after she watched one of our K9Author YouTube Videos on vaccinating dogs.

Response: Hi Kat.  I’m no fan of the rabies vaccine because of its many adverse reactions. Neither do I like the idea of vaccinating a stressed dog; the vaccine may not “take” and the chance of side effects increases.

However … because most people wouldn’t be comfortable handling a strange dog with no shot history, I’d either have a titer test done to test immunity for rabies (which would prove immunity and not harm the dog, but would cost $150 or so and not allow you to get a license) … or I’d vaccinate.  If you do vaccinate, wait 3 or more weeks before spaying (or neutering) or giving another shot. If you can have a holistic vet or homeopathic vet give the shot, that would be great.  A homeopathic remedy given with the rabies shot can help prevent a reaction.

I would never vaccinate against anything else at the same time as the rabies shot. Read more »

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Tags: distemper, dog, dog shots, dogs, found, order, parvovirus, rabies shot, stray, vaccination, vaccination history, vaccine
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