Inoculations are a very important part of a puppy’s health. They protect our canine loved ones from several potentially fatal illnesses. But as important as it is that our dogs are inoculated, it’s equally important that it’s done in such a way as to not overwhelm the immune system of the puppy. The recommended inoculation protocol is for your Havanese puppy to receive their first Distemper/Parvo (DHPP) shot at 8-10 weeks of age, the second at 12-14 weeks of age, and the final one at 16-18 weeks of age. This allows your puppy’s immune system sufficient recovery time between each shot. Due to high instances of adverse reactions in the breed, the Leptospirosis vaccine is not recommended for Havanese unless your puppy is in a high risk area or environment. If your vet does deem it necessary, the leptospirosis shot should be administered separately from any other inoculations to minimize the stress on your puppy’s system. The rabies shot should be given 3-4 weeks apart from any other vaccines, at around 18 weeks of age. After one year, a DHPP booster should be given, and rabies 3-4 weeks later. It is strongly recommended that titers be drawn every three years after that to determine whether further inoculations are necessary, when allowed by law. This ensures that your dog is not over inoculated, which research is showing might be a contributing factor to life threatening conditions such as cancers and auto-immune diseases. If you’d like more information, this is a great website.
There are several differences between reputable Havanese breeders and those who would be considered a puppy mill or a backyard breeder. Things like adherence to breed standards and breeding for the betterment of the breed rather than for profit, providing a clean and safe environement, willingness to take back a puppy at any time, accessibility for answering questions and helping with challenges, and the one I’d like to discuss today, health testing.
What is health testing and why do we do it? Every breed of dog experiences a propensity for certain genetic faults. For example, Cocker Spaniels can be prone to seizures. Labrador Retreivers can have Activity Induced Collapse. A lot of breeds suffer from hip dysplasia or eye problems. The Orthapedic Foundation for Animals collects data on each breed and keeps statistics on how often they are affected by each disease or condition. Then, based on the compiled data, recommendations are made on which health tests should be performed for each breed. For Havanese, the recommended tests are an eye exam by a boarded ACVO Opthmalogist (CERF), congenital deafness (BAER), hip dysplasia (OFA, OVC or PennHip), and patellar luxation. The results of each test can be filed by the dog’s owner on the OFA website. Any dog that does not pass all of the above tests should be spayed or neutred rather than be placed in a breeding program. While health testing cannot totally eliminate these conditions from occuring, it can minimize the possibility. Breeding healthy dogs = the healthiest puppies possible, which means less vet bills for you and more years with a happy, loving companion.
It all seems pretty straightforward, right? Test your dogs for the genetic conditions they’re most prone to having and don’t breed any dog that fails any test. But if you do your research, you’ll find a lot of breeders say their dogs are health tested, but do not actually follow the guidelines I’ve mentioned above. These are the most common excuses given:
- My dogs are checked by my veternarian — Just like with human doctors, veternarians can have specialties. The vet you take your dog to is the canine equivalent of a human General Practioner. “A General Practitioner (GP) is someone who is trained in a wide range of medicine and medical procedures, whereas a consultant undergoes speciality training in a specific field of medicine after completing the same basic medical training.” This means that most vets do not have the training to be qualified to perform the above mentioned tests. For example, when OFA does their evaluation for hip dyplasia, x-rays of that dog’s hips are independently evaluated by three board-certified veterinary radiologists. Each radiologist’s scores are then averaged and a rating is given. CERF testing needs to be performed by a board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist. BAER testing requires special equipment to evaluate the components of the external ear canal, middle/inner ear cavities, cranial nerve and selected areas of the brainstem. Currently there are only 3 veteranarians in the entire state of North Carolina that own the device and one of those is the Vet School at NC State. So no matter how good a breeder’s vet is, they are not qualified to perform all of the recommend testing!
- It’s too expensive to have the testing done — It costs an average of $450-$600 to have all four of the above tests performed and recorded. Other than CERF, which costs about $30 and is conducted annually, these tests only need to be given once. Considering the average price of a Havanese puppy is $2,000 and an average dam will have 4 litters of 4, the cost of health testing is a very small percentage.
- Health testing isn’t necessary because Havanese are a healthy breed — Havanese in general are a healthy breed, but in order to keep them that way, it is imperative that we only breed the healthiest dogs. Otherwise we’ll end up having the same rate of health issues that plague breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels or German Shepherds.
- Health testing doesn’t guarantee healthy puppies — No, unfortunately it doesn’t entirely eliminate these conditions from occuring. But it does greatly minimize them.
The puppies are here! 2 boys and 2 girls arrived on 4/27/18. All puppies are $2,000. This will be a breeding with our own Bunny and GCH CH Honor If Life Gets 2 Hard 2 Stand – Kneel (Kneel). Ready for forever homes around 7/7/2018. Please contact us for an application if interested. See Available Puppies page for pictures, pedigrees and health testing information.
The question frequently comes up what the difference is between full registration and limited registration. “Limited” registration sounds kind of scary, but that’s actually the type of registration that is appropriate for most of our puppy buyers. Put simply, it means that you are purchasing your puppy to be a pet and that you will not be showing or breeding it. Full registration is needed if you are going to show your puppy or if you are planning on breeding it in the future. Both types of registration are “AKC Registered.” We do occasionally sell puppies with full registration, but only on a co-owner basis.
The babies turned 5 weeks old yesterday and they are growing so fast! Their coats are starting to come in and they’re getting fluffy. I gave them their first bathes and blow dry the other day. Everyone did fine with it. Paisley thought the bath was horrible but that hair dryer was actually pretty cool, so I guess he takes after his mother. When I’m blow drying my hair in the mornings, Willow will come into the bathroom and have me blow the air at her while she rolls on the carpet so I don’t miss any spots. Anyway, I posted their pictures on the “Available Puppy” page if you’d like to check them out. I especially like the one of Chase who I think might have a future in doggy modeling:
Too cute, right?
The puppy cam is here! You can follow the babies’ antics in real time at http://www.mycampage.com/raleighhavanese! They are still in their temporary crate for the next week or so as they master the art of walking, then will move to their larger enclosure. The puppy cam will usually be up from around 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.