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Monday, October 4, 2010

Ah, Summer at last!!

I can't believe what nice weather we are having, after such a crappy Summer!! Sure it rains every Monday or Tuesday (is there a song about that?), but after that the week improves and we have above normal temperatures! We can't call this "Indian Summer" as by definition that doesn't occur until later Autumn or early Winter. So we'll call this "Extended Summer"!! By the way, we could go all Winter without snow and still have enough moisture reserves in the Spring.  I dug up the last row of carrots on Saturday and the clumps of mud around them were unreal--had to leave them lying in the garden for a day so the mud could dry a bit.

Sunset, yesterday evening.

A zoomed in view.

On another topic, I am feeling a lot happier about having a chance to go to Obedience classes with Duffy and then pursue things like agility, etc. Last week I was really frustrated that first the school(s) were requiring proof of a bordetella vaccine and a rabies vaccine or titers for them. We went to the vet last Monday--had to have an exam first, as we hadn't been there since Duffy was a puppy.  Then she took blood for a rabies titer panel.  They don't do titers for bordetella (also known as Kennel Cough-KC), but she was ready to give Duffy the nasal vaccine. Um, NO!! Of course it was pointed out to me that as Duffy has never had a rabies shot, there probably won't be any titer values. Possibly, but research on DNA has shown that dogs that have never had a rabies shot or been exposed to rabies in any way, have it in their DNA.  So it is being passed along genetically through the massive vaccination campaign that sees dogs in the USA, being given a rabies shot every year or it they are really lucky, every 3 years. Duffy has an American born sire and dam and totally American lines. On top of that, I wouldn't be surprised if Duffy hasn't been exposed to dogs shedding a recent rabies vaccine. And bordetella, too. An event that occurred in the Spring leads me to think this. On our walking circuit through this neighborhood, we pass by a Mastiff's place at the end of our street.  He had always been friendly and we usually took Duffy over to the fence for a hello. Everything was fine until one day in March--I took Duffy over to the fence and suddenly the Mastiff started growling, snarling, frothing at the mouth, and being really scary.  Duffy had done nothing provoking.  We removed ourselves from there quickly!! I believe the mastiff had received a vaccination, probably rabies, and was demonstrating elements of the disease.  So we will see what the titer panel says in about 3 weeks.

In the meantime, I called the dog school today and told them that a rabies titer panel was being done but that I was not going to vaccinate my dog for bordetella.  I had spent that last 2 days reading everything I could find on the internet about bordetella and the vaccine and had a whole raft of arguments.  I never got a chance to list them off, as the receptionist went to talk to the boss, came back and said that it was okay if Duffy didn't have a bordetella vaccine. Just as a long as I knew the risks.  Yes, like the ones where unvaccinated dogs are much less likely to get KC, that dogs who receive the vaccine, actually get KC, a raw-fed dog has less chance of getting KC and if it does, it will be a milder form, that KC is essentially a cold, and no big deal, especially if the dog is fed a species appropriate diet? Nevertheless, I was pleased that we could go ahead with attending classes.

Tomorrow is our first class--Basic Manners!! I've been working with him on sits, stays, down--but a class environment will be a further test, as he doesn't focus on me very well and is easily distracted.  We need Basic Manners before we can do other Obedience levels and Agility. Wish us luck!! We'll need it!


onecollie said...

how exciting to hear about your new adventure with Duffy! If he is like Kort he will be super great at it!!
I will be interested also in seeing what the titers say as Kort has never had a rabies vaccine either, or a kennel cough shot, & he never will...there are thousands of strains of kennel cough & one measly shot will not even come close to protecting ours dogs....

Dianne SS said...

Well I don't know about Duffy being great at this. He likes to think about a command before he acts on it and even then...! He's also an action dog, so doing these kind of exercises might not be his thing. But we need this under our belt, so let's hope for the best!!
As for KC vaccines, yes that's it--it's not a vaccine preventable disease because of the complex factors associated with it. In addition to the many strains, there are other factors like stress, dust, humidity, molds, mycoplasma, etc. which affect dogs too. I'll certainly let you know about the rabies titre. I'm off to the vet to get the letter about the previous titre panel on parvo and distemper and that a rabies titre panel is at the lab.

J. said...

Way to go on taking on the establishment with the dog're awesome!! You really know your stuff (obviously!!).

Good luck with the first class...let us know how it goes!

Dianne SS said...

Thanks J.!!! My next big fight might be over the rabies vaccine. I'm going to blog about the class, so stay tuned!

Squishy said...

Good job Dianne. I thought in Canada the rabies vax was not required. Or only in some provinces? Also, what might you do if his titre isn't high enough? And, those poor souls with the mastiff.....they have got to be wondering wtf happened to their sweet dog. They'll probably blame in on something else, like mean dogs that antagonized him at the fence, or some family member that they thought wrecked the dog etc, etc. Thou to be fair and for the sake of my curious mind, I would be interested in asking them if the dog did have that vax recently. Or, maybe they don't even notice.....and then when he's out of control they can't figure out when that happened. That is the "beauty" of vaxs. The damage isn't always immediate.
I also love the fact that these groups/individuals who require vaccines (other than rabies which is zoonotic but that's another HUGE subject in itself....), that shouldn't we be the ones to be scared if they believe in vaccines??? I never got that. "Your dog doesn't have vaccines!! I don't want them near mine!!!" THAT makes sense!! I actually don't want my little puppy near freshly vaccinated animals. A friend keeps wanting to bring her puppy to play with mine and I tell her no, not if he's been vaxed recently. It's an ugly cycle.