Weds 30th June: The longest day

Having been up to Tai Po two days in a row I didn’t make the trip today, although I did have to take a group of puppies over to Hong Kong for their second vaccinations.  At least that was the intention, but when I pulled the first puppy out of the travel crate and put it on the consult table ready for its injection, the vet refused to do it.  She said the first vaccination was only done two weeks previously, and there should be a minimum of three weeks, preferably four, between each one.  This is difficult, as different vets and different clinics have varying views on this, and having used SPCA for the past couple of years (while they were across the road from us at Pokfulam), they follow the two week protocol.  From my point of view, it’s important that puppies get as much protection against infectious diseases as quickly as possible as they come from unknown backgrounds where parvovirus and distemper are common.  After doing some research on the internet, I think the following gives the most balanced view on the subject:

“Drs. Foster and Smith prefer to vaccinate puppies with a combination vaccine at six weeks of age initially, with boosters given every three weeks until the puppy is about sixteen weeks of age. We feel that this schedule will help protect the widest range of dogs. We realize that with our protocol, we will be vaccinating some dogs that are not capable of responding, and we will be revaccinating some dogs that have already responded and developed a protection. But without doing an individual test on each puppy, it is impossible to determine when the puppy’s immune system will be best able to respond. We also realize that in the face of an infection, due to the window of susceptibility, some litters will contract a disease (e.g., parvo) despite being vaccinated. By using quality vaccines and an aggressive vaccination protocol, we can make this window of susceptibility as small as possible. Our vaccination protocol may not be right for every puppy. Puppies that are not exposed to other dogs and have a very small chance of coming in contact with parvovirus, may not need to be vaccinated as frequently. At the same time, some ‘high risk’ puppies may need a more intense and aggressive vaccination program. It is best to work with your veterinarian on a vaccination protocol that is best for your individual puppy or kennel, taking into consideration your individual situation.”

One of the five new arrivals

The first batch of dogs, all puppies,  from Kowloon AFCD were ready for collection today.  As I wasn’t there to pick them up it was left to Kathy to do the honours, and she reported back to me that they were all lovely.   Of course I had already seen them at AFCD but I still needed a reminder of what they looked like, and thanks to our ever-present photography team the photos are already up on Facebook.

I spent a lot of the day dealing with another situation, one that inevitably ended in rancour.  Without going into the details, the deciding factor  as far as I’m concerned is always going to be what is best from the dog’s point of view. Both of the dogs involved in this case had come from AFCD, one subsequently adopted and the other fostered (in the same home).  With every single dog that I have taken out of government kennels, the image that is forever in my mind and memory is of that dog either when I first saw it, or at the time I actually took it out.  I remember the look in the dogs’ eyes, the fear or the trust, and making the connection that is the first step.  So when something happens to the dogs I feel it personally, whether it’s good or bad.  It makes me sad and angry when I think a dog has been let down, or when promises have been broken.  The dogs are the voiceless ones that have no power to make a choice, and I will always try to do what I think is best for them even if it means being on the receiving end of abusive calls or emails.  It’s part of this work that I’ve come to expect, and I know that everyone else doing the same job has the same experiences.  As the saying goes, you can’t win ’em all.

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