New Shorkie Advice
Protection from the mother (maternal antibodies)
A newborn puppy is not naturally immune to diseases. However, it does have some antibody protection which is derived from its mother's blood via the placenta. The next level of immunity is from antibodies derived from the first milk. This is the milk produced from the time of birth and continuing for 36-48 hours. This antibody-rich milk is called colostrum. The puppy does not continue to receive antibodies through its mother's milk. It only receives antibodies until it is two days of age. All antibodies derived from the mother, either via her blood or colostrum are called maternal antibodies. It must be noted that the puppy will only receive antibodies against diseases for which the mother had been recently vaccinated against or exposed to. As an example, a mother that had NOT been vaccinated against or exposed to parvovirus, would not have any antibodies against parvovirus to pass along to her puppies. The puppies then would be susceptible to developing a parvovirus infection.
Window of susceptibility
The age at which puppies can effectively be immunized (protected) is proportional to the amount of antibodies the puppy received from its mother. High levels of maternal antibodies present in the puppies' bloodstream will block the effectiveness of a vaccine. When the maternal antibodies drop to a low enough level in the puppy, immunization by a commercial vaccine will work.
The antibodies from the mother generally circulate in the newborn's blood for a number of weeks. There is a period of time from several days to several weeks in which the maternal antibodies are too low to provide protection against the disease, but too high to allow a vaccine to work. This period is called the window of susceptibility. This is the time when despite being vaccinated, a puppy or kitten can still contract the disease.
When should puppies be vaccinated?
The length and timing of the window of susceptibility is different in every litter, and even between individuals in a litter. A study of a cross section of different puppies showed that the age at which they were able to respond to a vaccine and develop protection (become immunized) covered a wide period of time. At six weeks of age, 25% of the puppies could be immunized. At 9 weeks of age, 40% of the puppies were able to respond to the vaccine. The number increased to 60% by 16 weeks of age, and by 18 weeks, 95% of the puppies were protected by the vaccine.
Almost all researchers agree that for puppies and kittens, we need to give at least three combination vaccinations and repeat these at one year of age.
Neutering or spaying your shorkie is strongly recommended. Neutering/spaying your shorkie will help prevent disease in later life. Talk to your vet to see what age the do spaying and Neutering.
Most dogs are joyous, effusive animals and often blessed with lots of energy. For your sake, for the peace of the neighborhood and for the pups own safety, train your pup to respond to the basic commands. There are many obedience classes to which you can take your puppy for training. Talk with your Vet who may have a list of locations.
To help your pet become accustomed to daily separation, here are some guidelines:
- Place your puppy in the area he is expected to stay when you are not home. Put on a radio and give him his toys to play with.
- Leave the house in a calm, upbeat and positive manner. Don't act unhappy or upset at the fact that you must part from your pet.
- Practice departing. Pick up your keys, put on your coat & say good-bye to the puppy then return in two or more minutes. Gradually increase the length of your absences until you can stay away for an hour or more without causing your pet to whine or chew on things. Repetitions of this sequence will help the pup get used to seeing you leave and understand that you'll be back.
The Shorkie Puppy
The act of buying a dog is often an impulsive move. When you bring home a pet, you commit yourself to providing affection, play, training, grooming and exercise, in addition to food, shelter and medical care throughout his life. Be sure to think about these responsibilities before making your purchase.
Once you've brought your puppy home, you can't expect him to behave like a perfect house guest until you've invested the time and attention it takes to train him well.
Even through you're excited about your puppy, don't invite the neighborhood over to meet your new dog on his first days home. Spend some time getting to know him and letting him get to know you. Remember, he has just been moved to a new environment. Let your puppy get used to your family and his new environment in a calm, leisurely way. Take time to play, but give him a chance to sleep whenever he seems tired. TEACH THE CHILDREN TO TREAT HIM GENTLY AND TO LET HIM BE WHILE HE'S RESTING OR EATING.
Before your puppy arrives at your home, place his food and water dishes in the area in which you intend to keep him. Have his bed ready which may be an old, soft blanket placed in a quiet corner that's free from drafts. It's a good idea to set up the bed in the room or area where you intend to confine your puppy while away. The ideal would be to place him in a crate. (This is his own special place. As he grows older, he will go there on his own when he wants to rest.) Leave a radio playing to keep him company.
Your puppy will probably cry during his first few nights at home. Although the cries may be heartbreaking, you should leave him alone. After two or three nights, he'll grow accustomed to his new surrounding. Take the puppy to the vet within the first 48 hours that you have him. Even though his health is probably good, this will assure you of his health and it is only fair to the breeder that if anything is wrong, the pup can be returned immediately.
During the first few weeks, a young puppy needs twice the adult requirements of most nutrients. Remember to keep fresh, clean drinking water available at all times. Consult with your breeder on the type of food the puppy is used to eating. The food should be one that is high in protein. The puppy should be fed three times a day. Scheduling his meals make housebreaking easier