In order to protect your Maltese puppy from deadly diseases, it’s important to determine which stages of life are most appropriate to have him vaccinated. When you have a newborn child, the doctor doesn’t give every shot the child needs for their entire life as soon as they leave the womb – that would be just dangerous. In the same regard, some vaccinations for animals wouldn’t be as effective if given too early.
While newborn puppies are able to gain maternal antibodies by drinking their mother’s milk, aka colostrum milk, the full benefit of those nutrients will only be able to cross the neonatal intestinal lining within the first 36 hours. After about 14-16 weeks, your puppy will only have a decreasing amount of those antibodies to help protect him.
According to Dr. Jean Dodds however, in order to deter any antigens from being counterbalanced, it’s important that you not have your Maltese puppy vaccinated until all traces of the maternal antibodies have been eliminated. If your puppy is immunized within the time that the nutrients are still building up (before the 3 month mark), you may find that more harm is being done than good.
Working out a schedule of vaccinations with your trusted veterinarian is the best course of action to take. As she will likely be very familiar with the breed, she will be able to answer any questions you may have and illustrate a clear plan for current and future immunizations. She will also be able to alert you of any risks or side effects of those vaccinations, so that you will be aware if anything out of the norm should pop up.