Archived Message
Is it Safe?

by Diana

Hello, We just brought home our new baby (Macy) last week. She had her virst vet visit the following day and she said I would need to bring Macy back on the 23rd of this month. She has already has 1 distemper and 2 parvo's but my vet said she will need the combo next. Heres my questions: Is it safe to take Macy to places with me where there will be alot of children petting her. (Not Holding her). Im concerned because she is not yet fully vaccinated. What is safe and what is not safe. Any Advise? Diana


Dianna, you didn't mention your pup's age. I would be more concerned at the stress level created by "overhandling" or "overstimulation" at a very young age than I would be that she might contract something contagious - although that risk does indeed exist. Socializing your new pup in public is both proper and commendable. But, the risks so early in its life - and so early in its residency there with you - are probably too great right now to take it "out into the world". At least get a couple of weeks beyond the last permanent shot (usually at about 14-16 weeks of age depending on when the breeder started the series.
-Larry Stanberry Divine Maltese

I think it's o.k. When I first brought Pixie home, my dad had a bad cold and bronchitis. I asked my vet if she could catch human colds. The vet told me no. The reason I'm told by my vet and other sources just because the puppy's basic vaccinations and wormings are up to date, that vaccinations are not 100% effective. Until your puppy is four months old and has completed his puppy vaccinations including any optional booster shots (your veterinarian will outline his program), he may be susceptible to some viruses. For this reason they recommend keep your puppy at home until the puppys's vaccinations and rabies vaccination are completed. By avoiding parks and other public areas where your puppy may come in contact with other animals or the fecal matter of animals who may be ill, you can help protect him from illness. I don't think this relates to people because I've read where you should try to take your puppy everywhere you go if possible so that he will get use to all kinds of different noises and environments. I took Pixie to my daugher's kindergarten class and let whomever pet her while I held her. I just made sure the children were not being rough with her and they very gently tickled her under her chest. She was very pleased with all the attention and was very calm. Take notice next time when someone approaches your dog with the back of their hand versus with palm facing. I tried this with my niece's Pom (whom I have never been able to hold or anything because she was not properly trained--a barker and nipper). I've doing a lot of reading by animal behaviourists and using their techniques. I thought if I can make friends with 'Lady', then I have accomplished something. I told my niece to get out her favorite treat, broke it up into little pieces and told her to come. I stood very still while she sniffed me out, palm facing her. After a very brief while, I was able to slide my hand palms up, under her little chest and give her a tickle. She loved it and my niece was amazed--I was excited. This is an older dog, but I soon learned with praise and reinforcement (giving her a reason to come to me), an old dog can 'learn old tricks'. I was able to make her come AND sit, all in a matter of about 20 minutes. I actually was able to pick her up and carry her around, all the while telling her, "What a good dog that Lady is!" and "smart Lady--smart Lady". I would encourage the human contact, let the dog sniff um out, have your guest hold their hand palm facing dog just under the chest ready for a tickle. Mine loves it. I don't allow anyone to approach her with the back of their hand. It is much more friendly to approach the dog with palm facing them, either empty or treat--waiting for what they love most--affection.

Be careful about vaccinating your maltese, ask your vet about the possiblity of allergic reactions to the "Lepto" vaccine. We almost lost our new puppy because of the third round of vaccines--she didn't have any ill affects the first two rounds with lepto, but the third one put her into a comatose state!!! Aparently it's very common in small dogs-be careful!

Copyright 1996, 1997© Maltese Only All rights reserved