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Vaccine Crossroad

A Reminder to Proceed with Caution

The Bernie X Boone Litter are twelve weeks old today. Keep in mind that they will celebrate their sixteen-week birthday on March 12th. Now is the time to remind your Vet that the Weimaraner Club of America *WCA) recommends the antibody titer test instead of the sixteen-week puppy shot. Your Vet probably is not aware of the low-cost in house titer test option. Download the pdf information to share with the Vet.

We realize by now a lot has happened, and everyone will have found themselves insanely busy raising their Weimaraner. The Weimaraner’s (and the OwyheeStar) Vaccine Protocol may have been forgotten.

Your Veterinary office will have a different (broad-based) vaccine protocol. Even if they agree to follow the recommendations, it will fall on the pup’s owner to remember these details. We suggest putting the dates on your calendar and ignoring the Veterinary office alerts. Otherwise, it gets very confusing. If you have forgotten the protocol read on.

  • 6-Week NEOPAR® Puppy Shot (given at OwyheeStar)
  • 9-Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
  • 12- Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
  • Other vaccines such as Lepto and Kennel Cough (Bordatella) should be given as needed–and avoided when possible. We recommend not combining these shots with any other vaccine–, especially rabies. Vaccine challenges the immune system to build antibodies; therefore, we strongly encourage you to space Lepto, Bordetella, and Rabies vaccination at least two weeks apart. We realize that many veterinary practices give multiple vaccinations at a single visit; however, this approach is easier on the immune system. If a reaction does occur, then you know what caused it and then can plan to avoid it in the future. Yes, we understand this is a more costly approach–avoiding the risk is worth it!
  • 16-Week Crossroad <== Opt for the Vaccine Titer Test instead of automatically getting another puppy shot. We sincerely hope your Vet will agree. Your Vet is likely going to recommend just doing the shot because that is typical for the all-breed approach; however, a percentage of Weims are vaccine sensitive. Although it is likely that your pup probably never had a reaction before, please do not ignore this warning. Even a mild vaccine reaction can trigger immune system issues–some of these lead to on-going health problems and in certain instances death. It is not worth the risk! The vaccine titer test runs more than double the cost of the typical puppy shot, but it might save you thousands over time as well as the potential heartache, but the above pdf file is a much less costly option for the Titer Test. Almost without exception, our protocol has been producing immunity by week sixteen, which means your puppy doesn’t need another puppy shot. If you need the optional vaccines (Bordetella or Lepto) these can be done; however, please space them at least two weeks apart from the Rabies.
  • Vaccine Blog Post   For the OwyheeStar Client Only click here! (requires password)

PUPPY VACCINE CLARIFICATION (Lepto)

There is a significant push by the Veterinary community (due to the recent rise of Lepto) to include Lepto in the puppy shot. The Weimaraner Club of America (as well as others who study this breed) recommend you wait to give the Lepto, etc. until the puppy shots are completed. The puppy shot should not include Lepto or Corona. No other vaccine should be combined with the puppy shot. Waiting for the Lepto, Bordetella, and another vaccine until the pup is a little older is less risky. It takes more effort and costs a bit more to space the vaccine, but it is worth it.

What is the DAPPv?

Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (Click Here to read more about the vaccine we use. Remember the Puppy Shot should not contain the Lepto or Corona.

OwyheeStar Disclaimer

The Weimaraner Club of America (WCA) Vaccine Protocol

We are neither Licensed Veterinarians nor Licensed Veterinary Techs. Our recommendations are based on twenty-plus years breeding the Weimaraner (exclusively) as well as the breed recommendation (from the Weimaraner Club of America). Ultimately, you have to decide what is the best approach. This protocol is considered a more Holistic and safer approach. That being said, our advice cannot replace that of your Veterinary of choice. 

About Luna

~Let Me Share A Bit More with you!

I have a lot to say –to Luna’s littermates, to the OwyheeStar Weimaraner News Blog readers, and to Weimlovers in general. 😊

Precious Luna resting quietly

I don’t know why but I love pictures of sleeping dogs. You’d think all Maggie ever did was sleep by the amount of pictures I have of her  resting or tucked in a blanket. —–‐‐——-‐———————–‘Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support and kind words. I had asked Shela to share my story with you so you could be aware of the potential risk of vaccination. 

Luna has been home from the hospital 3 days and is rebounding really well. She’s definitely her sassy self again. She’s more confident in her walking (some trotting but we’re not at running yet although I can see she wants to),  moving around more and playing with her brother (although I’m supervising because we don’t want too much rough housing right now). We are back at our training and going through our day as if this never happened. 

To make my point–here she is (pictured) Saturday night after having to go out in the soaking rain and then getting a nice pat down and grooming. She was such a patient girl letting me brush her head to tail.

How This Event Unfolded


Luna started exhibiting symptoms 4 days after her 9-week puppy shot–it started with diarrhea. I didn’t think much of it until the following day when she didn’t finish her lunch. Her energetic behavior went from playing to laying and that’s when I knew I was dealing with something more. 

After 2 vet visits and misdiagnoses, I found myself in the ER because Luna could no longer walk. I want to note, during those visits,  Luna was getting IV fluids because she stopped drinking too, and her fever that ultimately spiked to 106 even with the supportive care. The ER doctors and nurses were amazing!! There was never a question–she needed to be hospitalized. This was out of my wheelhouse!  By the way… it was the ER doctors physical exam of applying light pressure on her legs that pointed us in the direction of HOD. Luna did not react well to his touching. X-rays confirmed it. 
I did and had intended to follow the vaccine protocol recommended by Owyheestar and started those conversations at Luna’s first wellness visit. Knowing what just happened, I’m even more firm in my position to be an advocate for her. Vaccine reactions can be as mild as local swelling or mild fever or in most cases, nothing much at all. 


Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) is something that is very rare but very real. You never think it couldn’t happen to you, and chances are it won’t. But please please please be educated!! Owyheestar posted some really good information on HOD. Follow the recommended vaccine protocol, know the signs and keep a keen eye out for any change in behavior even up to a week after vaccinations. The ER Vet had only seen HOD one other time and he was certain my primary care vet would not know to look for it as these are usually emergency cases. So, educate the Vet when necessary, too. 😊

Luna will be on a steroid and pain meds as needed for another 10 days. If there’s a relapse, I know the signs and we know exactly how to treat it. I’ll be on high alert until those growth plates close–probably around fifteen months, but sometimes it takes almost two years. Based on her response to treatment,  I anticipate a full recovery.


Luna and I have only been together for almost 4 short weeks. In that time, I’ve gotten to know she’s my sweet girl,  a Diva and a Warrior! I can’t wait to see how the rest of our life together unfolds. 💞


Thank you, again! Kris (Sunday, January 26, 2020)

Breeder Comment

I am positive that Luna is going to be a frequent contributor for our blog–everyone is invested in her future. Cliff, Christina, and I do not have anything much to add to what Kris has so kindly shared. Take a deep breath Weimlovers, most likely you will avoid this scenario; however, the best approach is to follow the recommendations we sent home with you.

There is one bit of information we want to add to this post–it is about canine temperatures and taking your pet’s temperature. Click on the highlighted test and it will take you to a page that talks more about how to do that and other specifics.

What Is a Dog’s Normal Body Temperature?

The normal body temperature of dogs generally falls within the range of 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (about 38 to 39.2 degrees Celsius).

Out of the Hospital

~Luna my Diva Warrior Princess Girl

Kris writes– I’m breathing again! The kisses I got when we reunited was heaven! I will write more for your Monday blog so everyone can be updated with all that has transpired.

Breeder Comment

Kris has stayed in touch since she figured out what was going on with her precious baby girl–the HOD, something we have mentioned countless times. It is not something most Vets see–how many Weimaraners are in their care in comparison? Not many. So, typically they go on about how they feel vaccinations should take place, making recommendations that far exceed what works well for this breed. We know they mean well, but each of us has to guard and make the best possible decision for our Weimaraner. It can be so tricky–Kris navigated this difficult situation well. She lucked out with the Emergency Vet being somewhat Weim-savvy and knowing about this vaccine reaction that can occur in the Weimaraner.

OwyheeStar Alert

~This is a Weimaraner Issue

We want to alert you to a potential danger that you and even your Vet might not understand. We have been raising the Weimaraner for a goodly number of years–and this condition has proved to be rare, but not entirely absent. Please read on–learn about this disease, and what Kris has to share. Most of you should have read the materials and the vaccine warnings that we give out, but we want to take this opportunity to bring this topic to your attention. Only about 5-8% of Weims have a severe reaction such as this happen, but no one can predict which pup or pups might be affected.

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

~From the Weimaraner Club of American

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD) is a canine autoinflammatory disease affecting young rapidly growing large breed dogs between eight weeks to eight months of age. Affected dogs exhibit swelling and pain in their legs with reluctance to stand or walk. In addition to orthopedic pain, there are variable systemic signs of which some or all may be present during an HOD episode. Systemic signs include fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite.

A diagnosis of HOD is founded on radiographic evidence of bone involvement concurrent with hyperthermia and pain, and by ruling out infectious causes of the clinical signs. The cause of the disease is unknown and current treatments are focused on controlling the fever, alleviating the pain and treating the specific systemic signs present. Prognosis for severe cases is poor due to relapsing episodes and the low quality of life for the affected puppies that sometimes result in euthanasia. Currently, dog breeders have no means of selecting against HOD.

We (at OwyheeStar) have had a few pups diagnosed with this–mostly a very minor case; however, for the second time ever, we have encountered a severe and potentially life-threatening situation. One thing we can tell you is the last time a similar incident happened; it was different parents–and a smooth coat. This time, it is a recent born Longhair. I want to share what Kris has written to help you better understand why we are so adamant about being careful with vaccines and medications. There have been several situations where heartworm preventative made the Weimaraner very ill–a mysterious situation for the Vet; however, once they Weimaraner owner stopped using the product, the pup rebounded. So, please be careful and do follow the vaccine protocol we suggest.

Remember This?!?

About Luna (Bettee X Manfred)

~As told by Kris

We went for her 9-week shot as suggested in the OwyheeStar Health Record last Thursday and spoke to the vet about the recommendations. As you (Cliff and Shela) indicated, they weren’t in line with them but I stood firm. This is my baby and only want the best for her. 
Monday (four days later) she stated having diarrhea and by Tuesday at lunch she started losing her appetite and stopped playing with Frankie. I immediately called the vet for her to be checked out. They put her on anti diarrhea meds with antibiotics but she wasn’t responding and was still having a low grade fever. I went back. Then they thought she had a UTI and put her on amoxicillin. She still wasn’t responding, her fever spiked and she started falling when she walked. 
I again immediately called my vet and we went to the ER. By the grace of God I had a Dr. who did a thorough checkup and through process of elimination was able to diagnose her properly with hypertrophic osteodystrophy by having xrays done. Apparently, he’s seen this in the past and did tell me Weimaraners can be predisposed to this. 
Right now she’s in good hands in the hospital while they manage getting her fever down. She’s started to eat again. 
I’m letting you know because I know Luna has 9 litter mates and if anyone else may be experiencing this, they may want to have this very conversation with their vet as the symptoms can be misleading. When speaking to the Dr. and reading up on this,  vaccination can trigger this if genetically predisposed to it. It seems Luna is and the Dr. also said there’s no way to even test for this. 
I just wanted you to know I’m not asking or looking for anything other than to alert the other litter mates owners of the potential of this. I feel it’s my responsibility and that if another litter mate is exhibiting the symptoms they can get proper treatment quickly. I was told this is about the time between 2-4 months this can happen and again at 20 months. Once the growth plates close, she’ll be a healthy adult dog. 
Please call me if you’d like to chat about this. It’s been a rough week but Luna is going to be ok now that we know what we’re dealing with. I’ve attached a link for your reference and certainly you can do your research ot call your vet to discuss this as well. 
https://m.petmd.com/dog/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_dg_osteodystrophy
Take care, Kris (January 23 @ 6:07 AM)

Thanks Shela! I really just want to make sure everyone is educated so if this does present itself, THEY can direct the vet to the right diagnosis. The ER doc said he feels vaccination is absolutely related but he could take 100 puppies and could never recreate the issue consistently. Hence the reason for your conservative approach to vaccination. Even the research I did supported what you advocate for this breed. 
I got a call from the hospital at 10 am this morning and Luna’s fever is down to 102 and she’s eating and getting sassy again. I was so happy to hear that. She’ll come home tomorrow if she continues improving and will be on oral steroids for approx 10 days. My primary care will be notified so they can help manage going forward. 
Even with Maggie I was very conservative with my approach for vaccinations, heartworm and flea and tick prevention. I contribute that to her long healthy life.  I plan to do the same with Luna.
I’m very appreciative of your response and support. 
Kris (January 23 @ 11:11 AM)

I called the hospital to get an update update on Luna at 7 local time.  She’s holding at a 101 temp since 8 am this morning. She is eating and drinking on her own and now on oral meds. She’s walking again too! Apparently they took her outside on a potty break with a leash and she wanted nothing of it and wanted to do it on her own. I got a little chuckle out of that and said my girl is back!!That’s what she does at home. She knows exactly where we go outside and never lets me leave her sight. When she’s done, she comes inside and gets a treat for a job well done! 😊 I’ll be picking her up tomorrow! I miss her so much!! 💞

Kris (January 23 @ 6:32 PM)

Breeder Comment

To say we are happy to learn Luna has rebounded after such a terrible vaccine-triggered health crisis would be an understatement. We appreciate Kris being proactive–and heeding our warning. We all can count our blessings that she happened to get so fortunate to have a Weim-savvy Vet that knew to look for HOD.

The initial symptoms could indicate many common problems –pups can get sick. They can easily pick up bacteria, viruses, or parasites. These can bring on all the same symptoms–except for the total collapse scenario–well unless the pup becomes dehydrated. We should always be proactive about watching for parasites–and other things. It is equally important to guard against vaccine reactions. We realize this will overwhelm and worry many of you. Just stay alert and be informed–you have to be proactive in these situations. Otherwise, a wrong diagnosis can lead you down the wrong path–and mean difficult recovery.

Kennel Cough

~This Time of Year

Click Here to Read our Kennel Cough Story

Just a quick note to let you know that Pushkin seems to have recovered from the kennel cough. Zula is doing better but still a work in progress. The amazing thing is that my 12 year old “mutt” had no symptoms and she and Push shared a kennel. ~Marie

From Lara–Kennel Cough

~Reaction to Kennel Cough shot when combined with other vaccine

Sage is doing better each day. I started a vaporizer Sunday night and the vet said I could give her half a Mucinex. He called back Monday, so I started that Monday night. She quit coughing up snot and foam sometime on Monday.

Boy did that snot smell bad.  I know I have a sensitive nose, but ewww! She never quit eating or drinking and was mad when we left her behind to walk the other dogs on Sunday.

Breeder Comment

One case in Salem and the other happened in Spokane. I think that speaks volumes–be careful in public places. The vaccine is not recommended for the Weimaraner, but it may be necessary. Please vaccinate separately–do not combine with other vaccinations such as rabies, or a booster. It costs more, but it is so worth the extra trip.

Henri’s

~Titer Test @ 16 Weeks

Lounging at the Idaho Veterinary Hospital


Dear Weimlovers!

You might remember that Dr. John Calhoun’s Idaho Veterinary Hospital (IVH) agreed to start offering the VacciCheck Titer Testing. OwyheeStar’s Henri was the first to be tested using this system–and the fabulous Rebecca A Balls (Certified Veterinary Technician) handled all the laboratory details. We cannot thank IVH and their competent staff for their professionalism and making this possible.

The results are returned a little different than with the traditional titer test–but by all reports it is reliable. Henri’s results showed her having protective antibodies sufficient enough to provide immunity to

CDV — Canine Distemper Virus

ICH — Infectious Canine Hepatitis–Adenovirus

CPV — Canine Parvo Virus

This less expensive titer test is relatively new so most Veterinary practices may not yet offer this option. Please click here to read about the titer test, and ask your Vet if they can make this available to you–it is affordable, accurate, and helps you avoid vaccine reactions that are common in our breed.