Clifton Standards: Health & Genetics
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We're still working on this one page. Look for information soon about the health and care of a poodle.

GENETICS still in development


Without argument, vaccination for deadly diseases has been largely responsible for increasing the domestic dog's longevity. There are two groups of vaccines available for the following diseases: 1) Core - Those that are essential for all dogs (rabies, distemper, adenovirus, and parvovirus). 2) Noncore- Those that are not always recommended for such reasons as geographic location, age, breed, and overall health status of the dog (Lyme Disease, Leptospirosis, Bordetella bronchiseptica (canine kennel cough), Coronavirus, Giardia, Distemper-measles, periodontal disease, and Rattlesnake.

Re-examination of the standard vaccine protocol. The veterinary community is unified in advocating vaccination for all dogs. However, more recently, compelling evidence indicates that vaccines can trigger immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis), and there are data that support modification in the way vaccinations are administered or vaccine protocols which support recommended changes to the timing and regularity of vaccinations in order to maintain immunity while reducing the risks of side effects.
I follow the vaccination schedule recommended by Dr. Jean Dodds.

The risks of over-vaccination Significant scientific evidence exists indicating that over-vaccination can overwhelm the immunocompromised such as recently weaned young puppy with an immature immune system, as well as the elderly facing age-related diseases and conditions. In addition, healthy animals that are repeatedly challenged, are also at a higher risk from a heavy vaccination schedule.

Symptoms: The result of over-vaccination can be temporary or permanent. Young immune systems can be rendered permanently compromised for meeting immunity challenges, while older systems risk increased susceptibility to chronic debilitating diseases. The onset of adverse reactions to conventional vaccinations can be an immediate hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reaction, or can occur acutely (24-48 hours afterwards), or later on (10-45 days) in a delayed type immune response often caused by immune-complex formation. Typical signs of adverse immune reactions include inflammation at the injection site, fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, central and peripheral nervous system disorders or inflammation, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood cells and jaundice, or generalized pinpoint hemorrhages or bruises. Liver enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may accompany bone marrow suppression.

Titers instead of Vaccinations How big is the risk? Data are not available that quantify the risk, except for certain breeds with known susceptibility, but data clearly indicate that a conservative protocol is advisable. The most recent approach now centers initial vaccinations administered later (9-10 weeks instead of 6), followed by an annual drawing of blood to titer for serum antibodies to each common disease, as opposed to annual revaccination. If an adequate immune memory has been established, there is no reason to introduce additional antigens through booster vaccinations. Humans, with a greater longevity, do not receive booster vaccinations (except for tetanus), so it is not surprising that the veterinary community has reassessed this proven approach.

What does this all mean? Based on the data, the short and simple is:
1. First vaccinations at 9 & 12 weeks, not 6.
2. Do not vaccinate for rabies at the same time as other vaccinations.


3. Avoid multivalent vaccines, those that contain a number of different antigens - Vaccinations given within two weeks of each other can interfere with each other so separate your vaccines by at least a two week period. Giving each vaccine by itself will allow your dog to deal with each immune response, and if there is a reaction, will allow you to know to which vaccine your dog is sensitive.
4. After one year of age, ask your vet to run a serum titer for the core diseases. Do not give a booster vaccine unless the titers are low.
5. Use caution when vaccinating for non-core diseases such as Leptospirosis and Lyme Disease vaccines - Both of these diseases are caused by bacteria, not viruses, and vaccines for these two have a low efficiently (effectiveness) and the immunity does not last long. In particular, the leptospirosis portion of the DHLPP vaccine for dogs has a reputation for being the most likely portion to cause vaccine reactions, and this multivalent vaccine should be avoided. All of my dogs have had Lyme disease, despite being vaccinated, and I no longer vaccinate for this.
6. Avoid Vaccine clinics - they are not designed for dealing with your pet as an individual, and commonly use multivalent vaccines given all at one time. You should establish a relationship with a vet who know your dog, listens well, and respects your decisions.

NUTRITION still in development

I follow a mostly raw diet.  You can read more about the raw diet from the "Natural Dog"

COMMON AILEMENTS still in development

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