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Carnach

Canine Herpes Vaccination

Breagha mated on March 1 so we were at the vets yesterday to get her canine herpes vaccination as a protection against fading puppy syndrome which has links to herpes infection.
I have never had the problem with a litter but I've always vaccinated - there are some risks with the vaccine of course, primarily reabsorption of the pups, but I feel I could cope with that far better than a litter dying at three weeks or so.

Just wondered if anyone else vaccinates their bitch against canine herpes?
Lorrainelovesplants

Never heard of this - but, as Id like to breed from Lily, can you tell me more about it?i
Carnach

Canine herpes is very similar to human herpes (cold sores) in that it is a common infection which becomes active when the body is under stress.  In a bitch the stress of pregnancy can promote the virus.  Fading Puppy Syndrome is a horrible, almost incurable condition.  The pups grow normally until about three weeks when eyes are open and they look totally adorable.  Then the pup stops suckling, becomes too weak to wean, cries constantly  much to the distress of the bitch and human carer.  It goes through the whole litter and all one can do it PTS to prevent further suffering. Even if one manages to survive, the pup never thrives. Canine herpes has been linked to Fading Puppy Syndrome for some time.  Accepting that like cold sores, the infection is very common but the symptoms usually dormant, the vaccine is to give the bitch protection at the point where she most needs it, around mating and then again about ten days before the stress of whelping.  The virus is very persistent and a bitch where there has been a FPS litter is generally not used again. Similarly, even after exhaustive disinfection, a whelping area where there has been FPS can still retain the virus for up to two years.  

Sad to say, my breeding mentor lost two litters of GSD to this and only successfully bred again by using the vaccine and changing her whelping area. I have always vaccinated and (touch wood) not had a problem.
Lorrainelovesplants

Would you be looking at possible vaccination for mates also then?  If you vaccinate the bitch prior to breeding, should you be looking to only mate with dogs from Canine herpes free stock?

Im only asking what I think is a reasonable question, having never heard of this.  Quite concerning (and obviously distressing to all at the time).
Carnach

Hi, yes even if the bitch were free of the infection it can be passed to her at mating by the stud.  It is just so common but the symptoms are rarely visible.  Hence vaccinating the bitch around mating (there are two protocols but I do after mating not before) and again before whelping to ensure her resistance is as high as it can be and she passes that immunity on to the pups.  It is about 90 for the two vaccx and I think money well spent.
Come back to me by pm if you want more specific info or on the thread if you think it is of general interest.
Lorrainelovesplants

thanks - I will.
conundrum

I always vaccinate during the bitch's heat cycle, prior to mating, then again a couple of weeks before the pups are due, this ensures plenty of anti-bodies are there to pass onto her pups via the colostrum.

By the way, the puppies can be affected much earlier than three weeks, it is just that after three weeks it is more rare.

Hope you have a lovely litter and we all get to see pictures!!
Carnach

Thanks for the good wishes, Conundrum.  Quite correct about the timing of infection in pups, I was just trying to give a brief account of the problem.
If everything goes well there will be loads of puppy pics!
Lorrainelovesplants

Just to update you both - Im speaking to the vet today regarding this.  Lily is in the middle of her first season, and we are now looking to definately breed her next time round.
Thanks for the info.
Carnach

Jut as a co-incidence, Breagha went for her second canine herpes vaccination today and the vet and I were speaking about it.  My vet practice is having to use locums at the moment and the person I spoke to today told me there had been a recent study showing the risk of pup re-absorption was now lower if the vaccx was used than in the general population - apparently there has been some 'tweaking' of the vaccine. So that was good to hear as that was the only reservation I had about it. She couldn't give me the reference so I could read it up myself but she did seem very clued up about it.
Lorrainelovesplants

My vet breeds dogs and he dosnt vaccinate.  He feels that it is expensive and is no guarantee against failing puppy.  He suggests I dont have it (Lily dosnt have it) and just to do my homework on a stud dog and make sure he is a proven sire with no problems in his fathered litters.
As this is quite some time away yet, I have loads of time to think about it.

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