Recommended Dog Vaccinations
Dog vaccinations are an important part of keeping your dog
healthy and preventing disease that can potentially be spread to
other pets and humans in the household. There are several
vaccinations that are recommended, some that are optional
depending upon the type of life your dog leads and where he
Frequency of Immunization
Puppies should begin getting their vaccines between 4 to 6
weeks. This is when puppies are weaned and the mother’s
antibodies begin to wear off. After the initial vaccination, the
puppy should receive booster shots every 3 to 4 weeks until the
puppy reaches 16 weeks of age. The boosters ensure the puppy’s
immune system is built up and develops his own antibodies. After
16 weeks, the puppy can have his first rabies vaccination.
Adult dogs receive booster shots annually. After recent
research, many veterinarians are considering boosters every
other year, especially with senior dogs. Findings show the
immunity provided by the vaccines lasts longer than a single
year and with senior dogs, there are other issues that present
themselves, such as kidney disease or cancer, that are more
prevalent in the aging canine population than distemper or parvo.
Rabies vaccinations are important to
maintain as the disease is always fatal in dogs. The rabies
vaccine is the only vaccine that now has a 1 year and a 3 year
formulation, providing the option of having boosters annually or
every 3 years. Licensing requirements may also mandate your dog
be current on his rabies vaccinations in order to be licensed in
DHLPPC is a vaccination that combines several vaccines into 1
shot. The diseases covered by this vaccine are:
- Distemper is a highly contagious virus that most frequently
affects puppies and is often fatal.
- Hepatitis or Adenovirus-2 is
a virus passed in the urine and feces of an infected dog and
causes both kidney and liver damage.
- Leptospirosis is a disease
that affects the kidneys and liver and is fatal to the canine
population. It is highly contagious to both dogs and humans.
- Parainfluenza is an upper respiratory infection passed through
the nasal secretions of an infected dog.
- Parvovirus is an
intestinal disease that causes severe dehydration and often
death. While it primarily attacks puppies, adult dogs can also
contract the disease.
- Coronavirus is similar to Parvovirus,
causing severe dehydration through vomiting and diarrhea.
Bordetella is highly recommended and often required for those
dogs who visit areas such as kennels, dog parks, doggy day care
and other shared facilities. Bordatella is a highly contagious
upper respiratory disease.
Giardia is a disease that lives in the intestines of infected
dogs who have consumed contaminated water. This disease
primarily affects those dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors
such as hunting dogs or dogs that are around ponds or creeks.
Lyme disease is a tick borne disease. If you live in an area
with a high incidence of Lyme disease or you have a dog that may
come in contact with ticks, talk to your veterinarian about
getting him immunized against the disease.
Prevention is often the only way of keeping your dog healthy
when it comes to disease. Vaccination is a critical part of dog
ownership and the best way to ensure that he stays as healthy as
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