take your animal to the vet ASAP after adopting!

Two months ago, my boyfriend and I adopted a beautiful, friendly puppy from this website. We were told that he had been given his shots, despite it being 'off the record' (whatever that means). We were told this over and over, and it was written on his profile page. He had been around other dogs and taken outside numerous times, so we figured this wouldn't be done unless it was safe (as in he had his shots).

About two weeks ago, we took him to the vet to get something with his breathing checked. The vet asked us about his shot records, and we told her he had his shots, we just did not have proof. She recommended that they do a test to check to make sure he did indeed have his shots. We agreed.

Sadly, we were informed our puppy had been given zero shots. This concerned us greatly as we had been letting him interact with other dogs and taking him out every day and he could have easily contracted something.

If you adopt an animal from this website, it would probably be in his/her best interest to visit the vet within a week just to ensure that everything is definitely okay. Our little guy luckily didn't contract anything and is due for his next round this weekend, but I would hate to see a case where the animal isn't this lucky :'(

Tags: adoption, vaccinations, health check


Karen's picture

Thanks for posting this great reminder and safety tip!

Yeah, I'm not sure what 'off the record' would mean either... That doesn't sound good. I'm glad your little one is healthy.

I would say that if you (ie. anyone) don't have proof of vaccinations and the dates they were given (like a medical booklet or receipts from a vet clinic), then you should assume that vaccinations are NOT up-to-date and visit a vet immediately, same day if at all possible.

Especially in the case of adopting from a shelter or adopting stray that has been recently rescued-- go to a vet before even bringing the new dog or cat home. If you have another pet at home already, even if he or she is up-to-date on vaccinations, you should keep the new family member (or a rescue you've taken in from the street) quarantined in a separate room and not allow the two to play together until the new one has been given a clean bill of health from a vet.

red dog's picture

Titre tests seem to be standard practice nowadays whether the animal is known to have received shots or not ... one vet I dealt with a few years ago even recommended a titre test to make sure the shots he'd administered were effective.

I think a few of the shelters I've visited in Korea have held annual "vaccination days" where vets administered shots without keeping individual records. It could be that the rescuer or foster parent assumed the puppy had had a shot when the vets visited, but he may have been brought to the shelter since the most recent vaccination day or may have been too young to receive his shots.

Heartworm tests are also very important because heartworms are so common here.

Karen's picture

That's a good point and shelter 'vaccination days'. The "off the record" comment from the foster parent could indeed have referred to that kind of situation. You'd hope that someone would be keeping records of who received what, but many shelters aren't equipped for that unfortunately.