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Vaccinating Dogs Yourself?

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  • Vaccinating Dogs Yourself?

    Has anyone purchased vaccines for their dogs and administered them on their own? What do you do to document the vaccinations for licensing and the like? If you've done them yourselves, have you been given any trouble about it when you go to get licenses?

    Money is super tight for the next couple of months, but I don't want my boys to go too long without their shots, and there is an event we are participating in soon (Bark for Life walk for the American Cancer Society) where I must show proof of current vaccinations. Even the low cost clinic most convenient to me will cost $41 for each of my dogs, and, though I really like my vet clinic, you can't even walk through their door without paying a $60 office call in addition to anything else that's done. :-(

    Any information and/or suggestions are appreciated.

  • #2
    You can't vaccinate for rabies in NYS; only a vet can do that, and that is how you prove it for your license. Other than rabies I'm not sure there are any other vaccination requirements for licensing, though. Can you legally vaccinate for rabies in CA?

    Comment


    • #3
      My horse vet will do rabies for $10 if she is out anyway, and provide a certificate/ tag. I also get the other cat/ dog vaccines from her and give them myself, and she bills me for each animal so I can use that if I need proof. I just have cats now though and they don't really go anywhere.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dont forget, its not always the vaccines that are important, but the physical exam. Can you listen for a new heart murmur? Can you feel an enlarged spleen? What about lymph nodes? The $60 office call is for a complete physical exam, which is often just as important (if not more) than the vaccines itself.

        Also, in most states, Rabies is only legal to be done by a vet.

        If your dogs are young enough to need DA2PP still you may be able to do this yourself depending on your state, however most dogs past age 6 that have been fully vaccinated to have good titres.

        I think the vaccines need to be witnessed and stickers added into their files, maybe your vet wil just put the stickers in their files and give you the vaccines.

        Comment


        • #5
          I do my own vaccinations except rabies. I have printed up a shot record and will take the label off the bottle and stick it to the shot record and then put the date in next to it. You can also have a column for deworming and stuff like that.

          You might call the event and ask if the above would suffice.

          For rabies, you can usually you can find a clinic doing it for $10 or around there.

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          • #6
            We go to the cheap rabies clinics (ten or fifteen bucks) for that vaccine, but for the distemper parvo lepto combo shot, we do that ourselves. We stick it onto the records/rabies certificate for that year (plus any kennel cough vaccine we give during the year, too).
            We do this with most of our foster dogs too, unless they come with vaccines already. We've had some adopters' vets pitch a fit, but usually if it's on the same papers from our vet, most offices understand that's typical for many rescues to administer their own vaccines (minus rabies of course).
            The rabies clinics and/or your large animal vet would be the cheapest options to get the rabies vaccine. If there's a spay neuter center around you they would know of some options. Also contact rescue groups in the area asking if they know of affordable rabies vax opportunities. Contact more than one group if possible- some rescues are more outreach-oriented than others.

            Comment


            • #7
              Our local shelter and our local animal control both do low-cost (based on ability to pay) vaccinations and routine check-ups as well as the usual spay/neuters.
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              • #8
                I have done my own vaccines for horses, dogs, and cats, for years. Rabies is the only vaccine that needs a vet certificate (dogs and cats) in our area. Here, the first dog rabies vaccine lasts 1 year and then it is just every 3 years. Heartworm pills need to be obtained through a vet or vet prescription. If you are short of money right now, I would do the vaccines yourself or find a low cost clinic. If the dog has been on continuous heartworm medication, you may be able to use liquid ivermectin from Tractor Supply or mail order, to keep up the heartworm prevention until you can afford to see the vet.

                There is no shame to being short on money for a time. Sometimes, you just have to wait a few months before you can afford to do things the way you would like to do them. You may even call your vet's office to see if they have any suggestions. Sometimes, you can get the vaccines at low cost through the county shelter or other resource.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for the suggestions, everyone, and I am not sure about whether rabies can be given in CA by anyone other than a vet. I am glad that was pointed out. My boys are almost 12 and almost 10. The $41 for each dog to get rabies, DHLLP, and bordetella is the low cost clinic/local shelter here, unfortunately. I will keep looking for options.

                  I am a team captain for the Bark for Life event and definitely need to have my dudes up to date by October 20. It really sucks when an unexpected expense knocks the budget onto its butt.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by laskiblue View Post
                    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone, and I am not sure about whether rabies can be given in CA by anyone other than a vet. I am glad that was pointed out. My boys are almost 12 and almost 10. The $41 for each dog to get rabies, DHLLP, and bordetella is the low cost clinic/local shelter here, unfortunately. I will keep looking for options.

                    I am a team captain for the Bark for Life event and definitely need to have my dudes up to date by October 20. It really sucks when an unexpected expense knocks the budget onto its butt.
                    At that age, Im fairly certain their titres would be good. We dont recommend the DA2PP vaccine for dogs over age 10 anymore, unless they travel or are in contact with puppies.

                    Can you borrow a vaccinated dog for the event if money is tight?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I vaccinated my last dog for years myself,except for the rabies to save money. My current dog I have been taking to the vet since she is just two. Wanted to be sure she wasn't going to have any reactions. I can purchase the dog vavines from the feed store where I buy horse supplies.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Besides an actual low-cost clinic (as in a building) there are also out-reach programs that set up near a store (in my case, it was outside the Sunland CA KMart) and you just walk/carry your dog/cat to them, you pay a minimal fee they do some minor paperwork and administer the shot. The trick is finding when/where they are. Often the shelters will have a bulletin board with such announcements or a staff member will know.

                        And at least until 2002, it was legal to administer vaccinations to your own pets except for the Rabies shot (I left CA in 2002 so don't know if anything changed.)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Found this for CA (link at http://www.vmb.ca.gov/consumers/faqs.shtml ):

                          "Who can administer rabies vaccinations?

                          "A California licensed veterinarian can administer the rabies vaccine or can delegate the administration of the rabies vaccine, to either a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) or unregistered assistant. A RVT and/or unregistered assistant can administer the rabies vaccination under either direct or indirect supervision of the California licensed veterinarian.

                          "The veterinarian may delegate supervision of the rabies vaccination administration to a California RVT, but, in that instance, when administering the rabies vaccination, the unregistered assistant must be working under direct supervision of the California RVT. The levels of supervision are governed by the requirements the California Code of Regulations, sections 2034 through 2036.5. For additional information regarding rabies requirements, please contact Department of Health Services, Veterinary Public Health Unit at (916) 522-9740."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Also will second keeping your receipt and the label from the bottle if you do your own. God forbid you do need to prove the other vaccinations, but as an example, say your dog gets sick or hurt and you have to take it to the vet. A lot of them will say we won't hospitalize (or maybe even treat) your dog unless it has all its shots. They won't take the word of the owner who gives their own. Sounds crappy, but the reality is that owners lie like rugs about this stuff.

                            They'll ask you for proof. Around here they want to see the label to prove that you actually did have the stuff in your possession. Can't remember if they asked for label & receipt or just label. But easy to put both in your pet's file so you have them if needed.

                            The low-cost clinics around here are quite reasonably priced and always give you a receipt to prove what shots you got.

                            As to titers, where I live it's actually cheaper to get the shots again than to get titers run. Maybe that will change.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by laskiblue View Post
                              Thanks for the suggestions, everyone, and I am not sure about whether rabies can be given in CA by anyone other than a vet. I am glad that was pointed out. My boys are almost 12 and almost 10. The $41 for each dog to get rabies, DHLLP, and bordetella is the low cost clinic/local shelter here, unfortunately. I will keep looking for options.

                              I am a team captain for the Bark for Life event and definitely need to have my dudes up to date by October 20. It really sucks when an unexpected expense knocks the budget onto its butt.
                              I wouldn't even bother with the DHLPP or bordetella.....just go with rabies as required by law.

                              First off...bordetella is only good against certain strains just like a human flu shot is. I show my dogs and go everywhere with them....I've never given them the vaccine and have never had a problem.

                              Secondly-your dogs most likely have a high enough titer for DHLPP so that's not needed either. My 4 yr old had a titer done this spring and hers was very very good so she did not get a booster (I will be titering for now on for this).

                              Dogs these days are WAY over vaccinated!!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by vtdobes View Post
                                I wouldn't even bother with the DHLPP or bordetella.....just go with rabies as required by law.

                                First off...bordetella is only good against certain strains just like a human flu shot is. I show my dogs and go everywhere with them....I've never given them the vaccine and have never had a problem.

                                Secondly-your dogs most likely have a high enough titer for DHLPP so that's not needed either. My 4 yr old had a titer done this spring and hers was very very good so she did not get a booster (I will be titering for now on for this).

                                Dogs these days are WAY over vaccinated!!

                                This. Just get the rabies shots and tags if they are due, and pass on the other two. We don't recommend the DHLPP at that age either. I never do the bordetella and I do Lepto because of where we live. Then get back into the vet for checkups as soon as you are able.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Much as I love my vet, I do my own routine vax except for rabies but only b/c I can't do it legally.

                                  With five dogs, six cats, eight horses and two cows I just can't justify the expense or hassle.
                                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks, everyone. I can swing just the rabies for both my guys and will probably be able to do that this week.

                                    I know if I needed to board them I would have to get the other two vacs, but I don't think money will allow me to visit my family in the Midwest for the holidays this year.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I do like many of the other posters, have the vet do rabies and I do everything else. I actually take the labels from the vaccinations and give them to the vet who puts them on the dog's record.
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                                      • #20
                                        Every vet clinic I've ever worked at will do non-exam rabies. Current clinic is I believe $15 for non-exam rabies... not as cheap as a rabies clinic, but we can also easily provide a new tag if needed. We also have it written on a chart and in the computer so easily looked up if needed.
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