Chihuahua People Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm self-employed (organizing/personal assistant to clients in the wealthy part of Nashville) and I've lost several clients recently due, in large part, to economic woes. While I'm slowly building back up, still it's had its effect on my life across the boards, and that includes my dogs.

They're late on their shots. They are both overdue for dentals, Tango more than Jazz, and they missed their bi-yearly well dog visits. This sucks. :(

It's going to be a while before I'll be back up to my original income level, and meantime am trying to come up with solutions to make sure my dogs don't get impacted too much. The one thing I'm stretching my budget to continue to do is to keep them on the superior quality food and treats they're used to having. At least that's one thing I can do to contribute to their overall health.

Meanwhile, I've made an appointment for a dental for Tango at my Vet's, though I made sure to wait for their 20% special discount month in February. Honestly, he needs that dental more than he needs his shots. His teeth are BAD, major plaque buildup, they always have been trouble, and I don't want him losing any more (he's had 3 pulled already, the first time I took him for a dental.) Jazz's dental will have to wait....I can't afford another expensive visit for a while, plus her teeth aren't anywhere NEAR as bad as Tango's. Hers have hardly any buildup on them.

I'm keeping an eye out for the Rabies clinics in my area that usually pop up in March. They offer very discounted rabies shots which I will take advantage of.

As far as their shots and other services, I'm not sure what to do. My daughter was a Vet Tech for years, so she can administer the shots/whatever medications they need, but is there even a way for me to purchase the medicines inexpensively online or somewhere, so that she can give them? Or do I just need to save my pennies and get them shots from the Vet.

And also, regardless of where they get them, what are the priorities? Can I not get some, or should I be sure to get all of them? They currently get yearly Bordatella, DA2PL-CPV, rabies, a fecal exam and a heartworm test.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,441 Posts
You do NOT need to give any more shots! EVER! They are definitely, most defintely immune already. Giving shots yearly will depress their immune systems. There's lots of vaccination threads on here. But that would be something you can definitely NOT do!

Keep them on the best food you can. That will help keep them healthy.

Do you brush their teeth?

If you are in a high incidence of heartworm area, keep them on their heartworm meds but give them every 45 days, not every 30 days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You do NOT need to give any more shots! EVER! They are definitely, most defintely immune already. Giving shots yearly will depress their immune systems. There's lots of vaccination threads on here. But that would be something you can definitely NOT do!

Keep them on the best food you can. That will help keep them healthy.

Do you brush their teeth?

If you are in a high incidence of heartworm area, keep them on their heartworm meds but give them every 45 days, not every 30 days.
Thanks, Trace, for getting back so quickly. I guess you can tell this has me stressed some.

Yeah, I brush their teeth regularly, plus I've had Tango on probably every product (including gimmicks) out there, in an effort to reduce his plaque buildup. The latest thing I've tried is Plaque Blast. I haven't converted to raw which I think would help, for a variety of reasons ... not gonna get into it in this thread because I don't want to pull it off topic. But they get chicken parts regularly.

I already do the every 45 day heartworm schedule. I have that heartworm calendar, and dose according to it.....6 months out of the year iirc. Because I don't keep them on heardworm meds year round, I've wondered if I then SHOULD be getting those heartworm tests? I'm back and forth, because I know the heartworm meds don't actually PREVENT heartworms, they just kill any that have taken up shop. And my research indicates that the schedule I have them on + the incidence in my area + life cycle of the heartworms = they're protected so a test is unnecessary. But I tend to second guess myself. I'd have a hard time forgiving myself if they got sick from heartworms. And especially with chis, they're so small that the treatment would be particularly hard on their little systems....not to mention the cost!

And as regards the shots? I'm in the same quandry with shots for them that I was in with my kids. :foxes15: There is SO much conflicting information out there that my head spins when I try and evaluate it all. I've thought about just doing the blood titers, but that's expensive too, and if it turns out they DO need shots based on the results, then it's even MORE expense.

Can you tell I'm pretty flustered about all this? :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,441 Posts
I understand and I'd be flustered too. Take a deep breath. :) The good thing is that you have two healthy dogs. Shots can wait. Dentals can wait. All they REALLY need is good food. Throw in some bony chicken parts (wings, necks, backs) for dental health and you are really doing OK.

I understand where you're coming from on the heartworm stuff. I would probably go ahead and do a test and then keep them on the every 45 day cycle once the temperatures get up to the risky level. So many things have to align perfectly for an infected mosquito to bite and infect the dog, but prevention is certainly easier and less costly than treatment. Use your own judgement on that.

But I'd definitely skip the shots. Their little bodies have had them over and over again. I can just about 99.9% guarantee you that they are NOT going to contract distemper or parvo. Bordetella? Just a cold to a healthy dog and you would treat symptomatically. Hedge your bets on that one and save your money.

I think you're actually pretty far ahead of the game. :) Your kids will do fine until you get back on your feet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,558 Posts
It's just a sign of the times--we have to do better with the $ we have :)
I don't do fecal tests on my dogs unless I see signs of something wrong--not happened
so far...
I'm stopping Bordatella vacs since I read more that Tracy said about them as unnecessary.
I don't get vaccines myself; so, why give them to my dogs! The only time they are in around
a bunch of other dogs is at the groomer. And they are picky about sick dogs coming in to the shop.
I have gone to my Vet and negotiated prices on things like Dental. Jerry is
going in Feb because it's less expensive too. Instead of every 12 months, they
are going about every 16 months for dental. Any way to cut expenses and still
provide all they need :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
My dogs are all on raw and I brush their teeth every night, but Emma's mouth is SO small and plaque builds up easily.

I started using the Petzlife dental spray a few days ago, and her teeth already look better.

There's something called Leba III which is supposed to work really well. It's $45 a bottle on Amazon.

I don't do any vaccines after puppy vaccines. I believe in limited vaccines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,714 Posts
Sorry you've been hit so hard by the downturn of the economy. I hope it bounces back soon for you. I am another one here for limited vacinations. I get puppy shots, one year check-up shots and then they never see an vet again unless they are sick or hurt. I don't do dentals, I give chew bones. Though, I must say, Tico needs one, his teeth are terrible. They are a lot better than when I got him, but I've done all I could. I don't know if they will risk putting him under to do them, I am asking the next time I take any dogs in. We are lucky, we do not have heartworms here. So the only thing they get is their rabies. At a low cost clinic at a park, it's $15 for a three year shot. And unless I see worms in their stool, I do not get a fecal done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Sorry to hear about the financial situation, it's hit us too the last few months. My furkid's licenses are late, one needs her big girl vaccinations, and the heartworm preventative has lapsed, although my vet said that we are in a very low risk area. I just wanted to say a few things. First of all, the vet's office can't legally dispense meds to you unless they have had some sort of exam with them within a year. Taking them in for something else DOES count as the vet having seen them, so don't fall for the "yearly exam" thing if they try to say that. My vet's office tried to pull that, but having been a vet tech for years, I know better. If the dog is mature, over a couple of years and has had vaccines as a pup, I too believe you don't need to worry about the vaccines for now. And skip the Bordatella, it's not that effective. The problem with skipping these tho is if you need to board them or take them for training, etc., proof of having these vaccines will be required, hence the problem with doing them yourself. Having said that, I do all my puppy series myself, but have the last one done with the rabies at the vet's or a vaccination clinic for the documentation. However, about the dental, if the gums are red and inflammed, and especially if he has a foul smell, a dental is warranted. The bacteria from an infection can go to the heart, or be in the bloodstream and cause problems later on in life. I'd save up for that if you can, it's by no means really urgent. Also, with the Heartworm preventative, it is also required to do a HW test periodically because giving the preventative to a HW positive dog can be deadly. I'm just trying to give you a little insight, I hope it helps. Good luck and God willing things will turn around soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,509 Posts
It's tough when money's tight. Been there, done that and worried about my husband's job right now so I understand where you are coming from.

With regards to the vaccinations, if you do want to do them, they can be purchased on line. There are various places but I know Foster and Smith sells them and even hqs information about which ones are recommended on their website. It is not legal to give your own rabies vac in Georgia. I do not know what the law is in TN. here are also low cost vaccination clinics for all the vacs including rabies. Here I have seen them at Tractor Supply, Pet Supermarket and some other local pet supply stores that sell only supplies. They typically offer various levels from the most basic up to a complete package.

I agree with the others that good food is a priority. There are some options out there for good food at various cost levels if you find you need to cut expenses there. Healthy treats are expensive and honestly I just usually give mine a couple of pieces of their food and sometimes slivers of cooked meat from my own meals so if I were you I would spend that money on chicken parts and other chewies for their teeth. I hope things look up for you soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,436 Posts
If you're having financial difficulties, I would cut out the treats because if you're feeding ZP or a good quality food-that in-itself is a treat for them. I don't understand why you are still shooting those full-grown dogs up with shots and paying for a yearly fecal exam. The only time I do a fecal exam is if I suspect worms. You can worm your dogs yearly & that don't cost much & rabies shot too. Why are you having them tested for heartworms? Sounds like you're wasting a lot of money & it doesn't sound like you're seeing a very good vet that's willing to take you're money for unneccesary shots and treatment. I'm not being mean & I totally understand that you want to prevent any illness, but all the stuff you're doing sounds like overkill. I don't give my chi the rabies shot as she's with me 24-7. I never leave her alone outside, so there's virtually no chance of her contracting rabies.

As far as treats, not knowing what kind of treats you are giving, we don't really give our chi treats, not store-bought any way. I might give a carrot, some fruit or stuff that I have here in the house already. My chi thinks ZP & THK is a treat for her.
Just for your info... I'd be VERY careful about buying any meds over the internet as many of them are not what they're supposed to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,714 Posts
I wouldn't buy shots over the internet. They need to be refridgerated or they are useless or even harmful. I also wouldnt give my own shots unless you know what you are doing. If the vacines get in the bloodstream by mistake, bad things can happen. While there are instances of heartworm in TN, mostly that is for dogs kept outside 24/7 IMO. The dog needs to be bitten by an infected mosquito. In all my years, I have never had a dog bitten by a mosquito because they are inside dogs. But you, of course, need whatever you need to make you feel your dogs are protected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,509 Posts
I wouldn't buy shots over the internet. They need to be refridgerated or they are useless or even harmful. I also wouldnt give my own shots unless you know what you are doing. If the vacines get in the bloodstream by mistake, bad things can happen. While there are instances of heartworm in TN, mostly that is for dogs kept outside 24/7 IMO. The dog needs to be bitten by an infected mosquito. In all my years, I have never had a dog bitten by a mosquito because they are inside dogs. But you, of course, need whatever you need to make you feel your dogs are protected.
I wouldn't give shots myself either but I think in this case she stated her daughter is a vet tech and could give them. Foster and Smith is a reputable company and ships the vaccines on dry ice. My preference would still be one of the low cost clinics and do minimal vaccines. I've used those before and had no problems.

As for the heartworm preventative, I 've had more than one vet tell me here in Rome tell me of numerous cases of indoor cats that contracted heartworms so I'm careful about that and keep mine on preventative. Where I live may be different than Tennessee though - we are between two rivers here in Rome and have lots of the sort of places mosquitoes breed. I am not familiar with the Tennessee area.

Nothing is ever simple, is it? So much conflicting information and advice out there.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
1,949 Posts
I am on a tight budget as well. I dont have much advice because I am young and am still learning, but there are a few things I do that help cut costs:

Look around for discounts on food. I buy ZP and Stella & Chewy's frozen patties. Whenever there is a sale (online or in store) I grab a bag. Same with treats.

I don't know if you take your dogs to have their nails cut, but doing them at home would save you $.

I also contribute $ to a fund for vet visits whenever I have extra money(even if it is just $5-$10!). That way I can draw from that if my dogs need to go to the vet, instead of using money I need for my rent/groceries/Etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,509 Posts
I am on a tight budget as well. I dont have much advice because I am young and am still learning, but there are a few things I do that help cut costs:
LOL, well I am older and I am still learning too! Your age doesn't have anything to do with it. You made good suggestions.

That was a good point about keeping your eye out for sales. Several people on this board have been kind enough to post when they found a discount on food and I have been able to save money that way several times.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,940 Posts
There definitely is no need for those yearly shots. They are even only recommended (Bordetella aside, which is useless anyway) by the American Veterinary Association every 3 years now anyway. Proof, scientific evidence, exists, that show the puppy shots protect them FOR LIFE.

Giving more shots will likely create expensive problems LATER.

As far as their teeth go, keep doing what you are doing - brush as you can. I totally understand plenty of people cannot or will not do raw, but what about a chicken wing or neck twice a week? If germs are a worry feed in an empty crate and sanitize it after :) That really helps teeth a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I do have to add something about the rabies vaccine. If, by some circumstance, even if the dog feels he needs to defend himself, if the dog bites a human it can get very costly should the human press the issue. I'd rather spend the $8 every 3 years than to pay for 10 days worth of hospitalization for rabies observation which is the law. As far as heartworm goes, I explained the protocol and it does also depend on the area that you live in if you want to chance it.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top