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Chihuahua Puppy - Teacup Chihuahua Vaccinations and Worms

 Vaccinations and Worms

Newborn Teacup Chihuahua Puppies receive immunization against diseases from colostrum contained in their mothers milk while nursing (assuming the bitch was properly vaccinated shortly before the breeding took place). Initially, during their first 24 hours of life, maternal antigens (passive immunity) are absorbed through the pups intestines which are very, very thin during those first few hours (this is why it is so important that Teacup Chihuahua Puppies nurse from the mother during that critical time). After the colostrum ceases (a day or so later), the maternal antigens decline steadily.

During this time, Teacup Chihuahua Puppies cannot build up their own natural immunity because the passive immunity gets in the way. As the passive immunity gradually declines, the pup's immune system takes over. At this time, the pups should be given their first immunization shots so they can build up their own antibodies against them. However, there is no way to tell when passive immunity is gone. This is why pups should be given a shot every few weeks (2 - 3 weeks apart and a series of at LEAST three shots).

Picture a plot of antibody level versus time. Maternal antibody is steadily declining. You just don't know the rate. At some level, say X, protection from parvo is sufficient. Below X, protection may be less than effective against an infection. In general, vaccine antigen cannot stimulate the puppy's own immune system until the maternal antibody level is below X. Let's say it is .7*X. Here's the rub. The antibody level spends some time dropping from X to .7X. During this time, even if you vaccinated every day, you would (in this theoretical discussion) not be able to stimulate immunity. Yet you are below that level of maternal protection at which infection can be effectively fought off.

Thus the importance of giving several vaccinations at 2-4 week intervals until around 16-18 weeks. One maximizes the chance of catching the puppy's immune system as soon as it is ready to respond, minimizing the amount of time the puppy may be susceptible to infection.

IMPORTANT: The last shot should be given AFTER 16 weeks of age (4 months) to be SURE that dam's antibodies have not gotten in the way of the pup building up its own immunity (read the label of the vaccine!).

Up until 8 weeks or so, the shots should consist of Distemper, Measles, and CPI. After that, it should be DHLPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus). This is at minimum: you may need to add other vaccinations appropriate to your area, such as Lyme, Heartworm (actually a preventive medicine), Rabies (most places), and so on.

You should keep your puppy away from all strange dogs. If you know that a particular dog is current on its shots and not carrying disease, then go ahead and let your puppy socialize. The same holds true for people. Ask them to wash their hands before they play with your puppy. It can't hurt and it could save you a great deal of grief. As your puppy gets its shots, you can slowly add more and more exposure to its life. But keep in mind this is an infant and needs gentle care!

Worms can present a serious problem to puppy health. There is no good way to prevent Teacup Chihuahua Puppies from having worms, for a variety of reasons. You should take your puppy in regularly for worm-testing