@kembe said in Vet Recommendations - East Bay (Oakland) CA:
Wow! That is scary. I just brought my 13 year old basenji in last month. She needed 4 different shots.
Why did she need 4 shots at her age? I don't vaccinate any of my dogs after age 7 except rabies. If I lived in an area where some risks are higher, probably another year at most. As with humans, vaccinating sick or autoimmune deficit dogs is not recommended. By old age (7 and up), if your dog doesn't have antibodies for the regular shots (parvo, distemper, etc), they probably aren't going to. Like humans, if the autoimmune system is compromised, no reaction to the vaccine is strong enough to result in antibodies. The only benefit is to the vet's pocket. It is rare for older dogs to get those diseases and most that do have compromised autoimmune systems.
I think the Sr. Dog Project often strays from solid science, but with that in mind, this is a good article on vaccinating older pets:
Summed up by a write on a blog (ie opinion)
"What About My Old Dog?
Now we can get into the original question. An older or senior dog has almost a zero percent chance of ever getting sick with Parvo. Why is this? There are many reasons but the number one reason is that your dog, by the time he is 3 or 4 years old has probably already built up some very good anti-bodies to the Parvovirus, either through vaccines or through other exposure. In addition, as mentioned earlier, on the off chance your older dog does get sick with Parvo it will probably only result in a couple of bouts of minor diarrhea. It is almost unheard of to hear of an older dog dying from Parvo unless there was some other underlying medical condition that cause his immune system to become compromised. Does this mean you should not keep your dog’s vaccination current? Not necessarily. It will be up to you and to your vet as to whether or not you want to continue getting your dog vaccinated into his golden years. However, since the chance is so small of serious illness from Parvo in older dogs, the choice is really yours."
"Acute distemper occurs in susceptible young dogs and respiratory and digestive signs predominate....
Old dog encephalitis is a rare form of canine distemper that appears to be a manifestation of chronic viral infection after years of latent brain infection.( ie got it young, vaccination in old age won't help.) The clinical signs result from necrosis of cerebral gray matter and are typical of other forebrain disorders."
Anyway, just some info in case you (or others reading) weren't aware.
Congrats on having a 13-year-old! I hope you are still here posting pictures of her 18th birthday!