temper vaccine at or before 12 weeks of age, and a second set aſter 14 weeks. Cautious vets then order a titer test (at a lab that uses the immunofluorescence assay method) two weeks aſter the last set of vaccines. If the dog has been successfully immunized, it’s protected for life. If titer tests indicate low vaccine levels
(unlikely), try a booster for only the specific viruses that titered low, and only those to which the animal has a real risk of exposure. Combination vaccines (four to eight viruses in one injection), a standard booster at many veterinary practices, is not recommended.
18 to 24 Months of Age Studies from Purdue University, the University of California, Davis, and others show a clear link between spaying/neu- tering and increased cancer rates in dogs, especially large breeds. Tese include increased risk of osteosarcoma in Rottwei- lers neutered or spayed before their first birthday; double the risk of bone cancer in neutered or spayed large, purebred dogs versus intact (not neutered) dogs; and three to four times the cancer rates for spayed fe- male golden retrievers versus intact females. Opting for ovary-sparing spays (hyster- ectomy) is another option that preserves sex hormones while rendering the animal sterile. Applying these five suggestions in car-
ing for a dog throughout its life offers a pet a good chance for a cancer-free and overall healthy, high-quality life.
Karen Becker, a doctor of veterinary med-
icine, is a proactive, integrative practitioner who consults internationally and writes for Mercola Healthy Pets (HealthyPets.Mercola.com
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January 2018 37
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