Dr. W Jean Dodds, DVM

Core Vaccination Protocol I Recommend

9 - 10 Weeks of Age

  • Distemper

  • Parvovirus

14 – 15 Weeks of Age

  • Distemper

  • Parvovirus

18 weeks of age

  • Parvovirus only

Note: New research states that last puppy parvovirus vaccine should be at 18 weeks old.

1 Year After Last Vaccination (Optional Booster)

  • Distemper

  • Parvovirus

If the client decides not to give this optional booster, run a serum antibody titer instead. If the client intends to just retest serum antibody titers in another three years, this optional booster at puberty is wise to give for more assured protection.

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired.


Distemper @ 6 weeks or younger -Not recommended. At this age, maternal antibodies form the mother’s milk (colostrum) will partially neutralize the vaccine, and giving MLV CDV vaccine earlier can cause vaccine-induced signs of distemper especially seizures and paralysis.

Parvovirus @ 6 weeks- In endemic parvovirus outbreaks, MLV CPV vaccine can be given at 6 weeks initially; then followed up with usual protocol above.

Hepatitis (Adenovirus 2) MLV often in a combo with CDV and CPV-Not preferred. Giving MLV CDV with Adenovirus-2 causes immune suppression for up to 10 days in puppies and increases chances of post-vaccinal encephalitis (PVE). Note: Merial Recombitek combo vaccine cannot cause PVE. IF adenovirus vaccination is desired, can give to older adolescents with oral or intranasal (not injectable) Bordetella as it induces interferon that protects against the upper respiratory viruses.

Coronavirus-Not recommended. Disease usually only affects young puppies that are malnourished and parasitized. Rare clinical disease. Mild self-limiting disease; produces orange-colored stool. Virus killed by 80 degrees F and dry housing.

Leptospirosis (4-Way killed vaccine)-Not recommended. Rare clinical cases; a reportable zoonotic disease, so check local veterinary and public health agencies for documented cases. Vaccine side effects common. 4-way vaccine often contains the wrong serovars causing disease in local areas. There is poor cross-protection between serovars. Two doses initially needed given 3-4 weeks apart followed by yearly boosters.

Lyme Vaccine, Recombinant-Not recommended. Most cases are in Northeast and around the Great Lakes. Annual booster required after initial 2-dose series.

Bordetella (Oral or Intranasal) (killed bacterin). Injectable version (not recommended) Generally not recommended. Oral preferred over intranasal, as it cannot spray vaccine around the face and those close by. Injectable not recommended as it does not release interferon to protect against the other upper respiratory viruses (kennel cough). Not 100% effective; may be required for boarding or grooming. Offer to sign written waiver to hold facility harmless instead.

Parainfluenza Vaccine (MLV)Included as part of combo vaccines; but rarely clinically important or needed.

Influenza Bi-Valent H3N2/H3N8 Killed Vaccine-Being widely recommended as these viruses are highly contagious. Not recommended routinely by Dr. Dodds as disease is mild and self-limiting unless fever is very high (>104 degrees F) and for those dogs harboring Streptococcus in their respiratory tracts. Distinguished from common kennel cough which does not produce a fever unless secondary pneumonia follows in 7-10 days. Influenza produces a fever immediately. 2 doses required 3-4 weeks apart and boosted annually.

Giardia Vaccine or Ringworm Vaccine -No longer available; not recommended.

Source: W. Jean Dodds, DVM


Desi, a picture of health


Top Ten Facts on Nutrition

1. Nutrition is the key to a healthy immune system and resistance to disease.
2. Provide variety of whole, nutrient dense foods for health and longevity.
3. Feed species appropriate diets; needed not just to survive but thrive.
4. True food allergies rare; food intolerances common. Food elimination trials poorly followed.
5. Dogs have become obligate omnivores; genome evolved to digest and assimilate starch. 
6. Cats remain obligate carnivores.
7. Raw balanced diets are superior; use common sense safety precautions.
8. Commercial raw diets should be high-pressure pasteurized; freeze dried, dehydrated or frozen.
9. Homemade balanced diets with human-grade ingredients also very good.
10. Grain-free, preferably gluten-free commercial diets are suitable too.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843


Reasons why DaySpring feeds their Havanese raw food:

  1. Overall Health - to date, our Havanese have not had any sicknesses or diseases.

  2. Homemade is better than commercial - our food is sourced at the same grocery store where our family buys our food! No food recalls, no poisons or germs or unwanted items are ever added.

  3. Our veterinarian recommends it and feeds her pets raw!


Why DaySpring Does NOT use Flea or Tick or Heartworm Products:

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on September 20, 2018 about the isoxazoline flea and tick products fluralaner for dogs and cats (Bravecto®), afoxalaner for dogs (Nexgard®), and saroloner for dogs (Simparica®). The recently introduced isoxazoline, lotilaner (Credelio®) for dogs falls into this same class.

Dogs and cats with no known prior medical history of muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures have experienced those adverse reactions to this class of flea and tick preventive pesticides. While the FDA is not pulling the four flea and tick preventatives off the market at this time, they will all have to carry an FDA warning on their packaging.

Clinical, evidenced-based reports have been coming forward for the past several years and many studies are currently percolating about the reported adverse reactions to isoxazolines, synthetic pesticides. Dr. Jean Dodds is currently on a privately convened expert committee researching this topic and their report should be issued soon.

Monthly Heartworm Prevention: Why It’s Unnecessary

By: Julia Henriques


Has your vet recommended monthly heartworm prevention meds?

According to the package recommendations, heartworm prevention drugs like Tri-Hart, Sentinel, Trifexis and Heartgard are meant to be given every 30 days … … but with a bucket full of side effects, is monthly heartworm prevention necessary … or even a good idea? Before breaking open that blister pack, you might want to take a look at the risks of giving heartworm drugs to your dog and why he doesn’t need them!

What Is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm is a parasite that enters your dog’s system and can eventually make its way into the heart and pulmonary arteries. When this happens, your dog’s body will start fighting back, which can irritate the blood vessel lining and cause heartworm disease. Here’s what the process looks like:

Step 1: A mosquito bites a dog that’s infected with heartworm.

Step 2: That mosquito carries around those tiny microfilariae and they develop in its system.

Step 3: That same mosquito bites your dog, transferring the larvae. These take up residence in your dog’s tissues.

Step 4: Over the course of about 5 ½ months, these tiny larvae grow into adult heartworms and travel to the heart and pulmonary arteries.

Step 5: These adult worms reproduce and larvae may be found in your dog’s blood, starting the process over again. This entire process takes around 7 months. But in order for this to happen, the environment has to be perfect:

  • Your dog has to be bitten by the right species of mosquito (and one that’s already bitten another infected animal)

  • There have to be living microfilariae already in your dog when he’s bitten

  • The average temperature needs to reach and stay at or above 57°F for 45 days in a row, with at least two weeks of temperatures over 80°

And, it takes at least 5 ½ months for larvae to grow into adult heartworms. 5 ½: Remember that number, I’ll get back to it later.

Why You Need To Say No To Heartworm Prevention Drugs 

So you’ve looked at the risks and decided that heartworm’s something you want to protect your dog against. Great. We want that too … … But that does NOT mean monthly heartworm prevention with drugs. Pumping your dog full of drugs every 30 days is just going to make his immune system unable to defend itself and cause who knows how many negative side effects. Here are 3 important reasons to just say no:

  1. Heartworm prevention drugs don’t actually prevent heartworm. They kill heartworm larvae that may already be in your dog’s body. So, if your dog hasn’t been infected, you’re giving him harmful drugs for something he doesn’t even have.

  2. Heartworm drugs are neurotoxic. That means they work by paralyzing the nervous system of the microfilariae in your dog’s body. That is so not good for your dog’s own nervous system!

  3. All the heartworm meds your vet’s going to recommend contain dangerous ingredients like Ivermectin and Praziquantel with many common side effects.

Healthy litter

Healthy litter

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