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I am a Registered Pharmacist in Florida and a certified Immunizer for humans when working under a physicians protocol.  I am not certified to immunize dogs but I do have a good understanding of vaccines.  I have been very distressed to read how many people are completely clueless about how vaccines work and who are actively advocating for dangerous practices.  Here is where I stand on this.  I want you to work with your vet on vaccines.  I don't want you to not give core vaccines in an effort to protect your dog from harm.  I realize there is a lot of bad information out there these days.  But there ARE good reputable sources for correct information and I want you to utilize those in consultation with your Veterinarian.  All my puppies are vaccinated by my vet as required by the Florida Health Certificate.  I do vaccinate some of my own dogs for some things such as boosters and flu shots.  I have a vet vaccinate for rabies.  

     Lately, I have seen much information regarding people wanting to give their dogs half vaccines.  This is crazy talk.  That is NOT how vaccines work.  They are not dosed on weight for dogs or people.  They are not the same as medications and they are not dosed the same nor SHOULD they be.  Please follow the advice of your Veterinarian and not some random person with no credentials on facebook who is citing some pseudoscience website they read.  You would NOT believe some of the things I have seen lately.  So I would like to list some good sources to look for information for your own benefit.  But always discuss with your vet who is treating your dog.  
I adore the SkeptVet and I strongly encourage you to check his blog on any topic you have concerns about.  He has addressed most pseudoscience topics very well.  He reads the current scientific literature and gives a very informed view.  
and here is the direct link to the guidelines.  

Lately, I have seen a lot of pseudoscience in dog groups on the internet.  A lot of what I have seen frankly alarms me.  I am a science girl.  I like my medicine evidence-based and my science to be peer-reviewed.  There are some things I see that are fairly harmless but there are some things that are frankly scary and I am alarmed people are actually doing some of these things.

As I said before I recommend you always consult with your veterinarian.  Some groups I have seen where they actively discourage people to consult their vets on issues.  I have seen some crazy crazy things.   One lady was actually suggesting a sick puppy be nebulized with colloidal silver.......... I kid you not...... You will never hear a Woo idea come from me.  
Raw diets..... I did a review of all reputable sources and I did not find ONE who said it was a good idea... 
Hard to find a better source than Tufts
Homeopathy.... is a huge boondoggle and there is absolutely no scientific evidence it is in any way effective.  For the most part, it is fairly safe as there is nothing in it at all.  So if you want to spend big bucks on a placebo effect I won't try and stop you.   There are times when it can be dangerous however and that is when you forgo actual treatment that does work.  

     The law in Florida says no puppy will be sold under 8 weeks of age.  This is the bare minimum age.  With small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers older is safer for the puppy.  Yorkie puppies are subject to hypoglycemia because of their small body size.  This is why I keep my puppies until they are 12 weeks old.  I tried sending some home at 10 weeks but I haven't found this to be ideal.  When a puppy leaves home they are leaving their mom, their littermates and the only humans they have ever known.  This is extremely stressful for them.  Stress can trigger illness.  Since I have changed to 12 weeks things have gone much better for my puppies.  However, I would still like to discuss what can happen when you bring home a puppy.  

    Sometimes puppies who travel in a car get car sick.  That can set them up for hypoglycemia.  I always provide a bottle of Nutri drops to every buyer along with a written handout on when to use it.  This is a product for hypoglycemia that comes with full directions for use on the label.  Sometimes puppies will stop eating when they change homes.  This can be life-threatening if a tiny puppy doesn't eat.  Symptoms of hypoglycemia are:
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Increased hunger
  • Visual instability, such as blurred vision
  • Disorientation and confusion – may show an apparent inability to complete basic routine tasks
  • Weakness, low energy, loss of consciousness
  • Seizures (rare)
  • Anxiety, restlessness
  • Tremor/shivering
  • Heart palpitations
Something else that can happen is diarrhea.  Puppies are screened for parasites but sometimes things can be missed or not show up on the fecal.  Stress can trigger these things to become pathogenic and the pup may get diarrhea.  If the pup gets diarrhea a vet check is in order to recheck for coccidia or giardia etc.  Coccidia is extremely common in the environment.  It is literally everywhere and is almost impossible to totally eliminate from the environment.  In adult dogs, it doesn't usually cause an issue but in puppies or debilitated dogs, it can be serious.  Basically, something causes diarrhea and the coccidia keeps it going.  
Education and understanding what these parasites are important in caring for your puppy.  
A cough... some times dogs can have an upper respiratory problem.   Puppies are vaccinated for Kennel Cough but just like in people there are multiple causes of a respiratory problem.  Most of the time it will be self-limiting like a common cold but if in any doubt check with your veterinarian and go in for an exam.  
Basically, stress is well..... stressful..... for the puppy.  Try to minimize it when you bring home your puppy.  Don't take them out a bunch of places or around a lot of people until they have adjusted to you and their new home.  It is in their best interest.  And it's a good idea to take them into your vet to meet them and give them a once-over.  I am happy to have my vet send any records to your vet for any and all things they may have seen the puppy for. 
So let's recap...   Allow the puppy to adjust to new home, make sure the pup is eating and drinking and eliminating normally and if any problems arise seek assistance.  I want you and the pup to be successful in their new home, and I'm here to answer any questions I can but the ultimate person to consult on all things medical is your own personal vet.  

"Teacup" is a term you may see thrown around. There is no such thing as a 'teacup' anything. There is the breed standard and there are puppies who are either above the standard in weight or below the standard in weight. The standard for the Yorkshire Terrier calls for the dog to be within 4 to 7 lbs. What people are generally referring to when they "speak" of "teacups" are dogs that are significantly below the standard. It is important to note that sometimes a puppy is extremely small because of serious health issues. Certainly this is not always the case but it certainly CAN be. Tiny dogs do have more risk factors for certain conditions such as liver shunt, collapsing trachea etc. Often breeders are not screening the pups adequately for liver shunt because they can charge more for a tiny puppy because of the demand. I also will charge more when I sell a tiny dog but the REASON I do is because I have done additional testing and the pup has had many more vet trips before I offer them for sale. Because of this my expense is more. If the pup doesn't pass the vetting process I will not offer them for sale. I will either keep them myself or place them in a home free of charge where the owner will be prepared to take on a pup with issues. My goal is to NOT breed those problems and so far I've not done so but never say never because we are dealing with live animals and you can't always prevent everything that can go wrong. Any puppies I have who are tracking 3 lbs or less will automatically stay until 16 weeks and then must pass a bile acid test before they are offered for sale. Any puppy who is tracking above that and also has episodes of hypoglycemia will also stay until 16 weeks and must pass a bile acid test. I will review my protocol on an ongoing basis in consultation with my vet as I need to, and always with the goal of providing a puppy who is well vetted before sale.

A state of Florida Health Certificate will be provided for ALL puppies.  This will show all immunizations to date.  Puppies will be wormed and have a negative fecal test at the time it is issued.  Florida has a Lemon Law for dogs that very clearly spells out the rights of the buyer.  This is a pretty good health guarantee already.  I will include a link to this law.  Everybody who is looking to purchase a puppy, and for that matter looking to adopt a puppy should be aware of what should be done for those animals to ensure good health.  The vet will also conduct an examination and any issues will be noted on Health Certificate and should be made known to the buyer.  My purchase contract will cover what proof needs to be provided in the event of an issue, but basically I will just want verification my vet can review.  I make every effort to screen for any issues prior to the sale.  I stand behind my dogs and I also try to educate buyers on what they need to know even when they aren't buying a puppy from me.  Knowledge is power and I want everyone to know what to look for.  

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