Goldendale and surrounding Klickitat county are home to a fair number of dog breeders and dog sport enthusiasts. Without a local kennel club, breeders and trainers are left to their own devices to provide that all-important early socialization and training for young dogs. Some of us take our young dogs to pet-friendly stores such as Costal in The Dalles, but in this age of COVID it is difficult to get that “hands-on” socialization that young dogs, particularly those destined for the show ring, need.
Most dog shows have been cancelled the past year, but not all. And more and more shows are being scheduled for 2021. Any breeders or exhibitors interested in forming a group for informal (and free) conformation show run-throughs with a variety of “judges” helping young dogs to learn the ropes are welcome to contact Diane at DanBarRanch@outlook.com. The group will be meeting at Ekone park, weather permitting.
I’d like to mention something I feel will be of interest to all dog owners, but particularly those who have concerns about parvo virus infection. Klickitat County is a parvo hot spot due primarily to populations of very poorly cared for and unvaccinated dogs that exist in pockets around the county. Even if these dogs don’t leave their home area, their owners spread the virus by simply walking on contaminated ground, driving to another area, and walking there. The parvo virus is very robust and can live for weeks, even months, on the ground. Primarily transferred by one dog making contact with an infected dog’s urine or feces, parvo has been known to be carried on a bit of feces and transferred from one person’s shoe to another and taken home in that fashion.
Parvo has been a scourge for decades now, with even fully inoculated puppies falling prey to the disease. Why? Because vaccinations for puppies are at war with the mother’s natural maternal instinct. A puppy receives immunization against a host of diseases from its mother’s milk. Historically, shots given to nursing pups failed to provide immunity until the mother’s natural immunity faded away, sometime between six and 17 weeks of age. This caused “open spots” in the coverage, allowing for puppies to contract disease when fully protected by either natural or man-made immunity. Because of this, many breeders would keep their pups locked up tight until after the last shot at 16 weeks, thus robbing the puppy of valuable socialization experience during its most impressionable age.
For those like myself who feel that early exposure to the outside world is vitally important, there is a product introduced to me by a fellow breeder that has more than met my expectations. While researching this vaccine, I was pleased to see that the very special puppy kennels belonging to Guide Dogs for the Blind in Oregon use this vaccine, called NeoPar.
Here, according to the manufacturer, is what makes NeoPar a superior choice for protecting very young puppies from parvo virus:
NeoPar vaccines contain a High Antigen Mass (more vaccine units per dose) which results in a “short period from vaccination to protection”; a “higher level of protection” (many times greater than the level needed for basic protection); long duration of immunity; stimulates antibody production in the presence of existing maternal antibodies; antibody production begins after the first dose (other canine parvovirus vaccines require two or three doses to stimulate an initial antibody response); eliminates the need to use complex combination adult vaccines (commonly referred to as 5, 6, 7 and even 10 way vaccines); more efficient in stimulating antibody production than complex combination vaccines; less likely to produce a vaccine reaction than complex combination vaccines.
NeoPar’s ability to override moderate to high antibody levels such as those found in puppies having maternal immunity is what makes this vaccine so effective in very young pups. Directions advise the first vaccine at 42 days; however, field studies have shown it can be given as young as three weeks of age.
I can report personally that I have had very good results, even with puppies exposed to parvo. NeoPar should be alternated with NeoVac DA2, which offers protection against distemper and adenovirus type 2. These products can be purchased from NeoTech, Dresden, Tennessee.
So get those pups protected, and let’s look forward to the time (hopefully very soon now) that COVID will be knocked down and we can get back to exhibiting our dogs in shows and trials. Those interested in practice run-throughs for either conformation or obedience, drop me an email at DanBarRanch@outlook.com