Learn Why and When Immunizations are Important for Your Pets!
Immunizations Keep Your Pet Healthy.
Most pet owners understand the value of timely vaccinations and booster shots to keep their furry companions safe from diseases such as rabies, distemper, and heartworm. However, knowing what vaccines are needed and when to have them administered can be a bit confusing.
Pet immunizations are divided into two basic groups: core and non-core vaccinations. Core vaccines are those recommended by veterinarians for every dog, while non-core vaccines administration depends on your dog’s lifestyle.
Core Vaccines for Dogs:
Rabies (1 year)- Rabies is 100% fatal to dogs, and rabid animals pose a danger and public health hazard to humans. For these reasons, the 1-year rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine. It can be administered in a single dose to animals as young as 3 months of age. Annual boosters are recommended. Side effects from the rabies vaccine are rare.
Rabies (3-year)- Like the 1-year vaccine, the 3 -year rabies vaccine is administered in a single dose and is recommended to be updated with another booster in a 3-year interval
Distemper- Distemper is a viral disease that results in fever, watery eyes, loss of energy, decreased appetite vomiting, and in severe cases, brain damage. The distemper vaccine is typically administered in 3 doses, given when the animal is between 6 and 16 weeks old. Puppies should receive a booster after 1 year, and adult dogs at 3-year intervals thereafter.
Parvovirus- “Parvo,” as it’s commonly called, is a contagious virus (among dogs) that can result in vomiting, severe bloody diarrhea, and even death. Like the distemper immunization, the parvo vaccine is administered in 3 doses, given when the animal is between 6 and 16 weeks old. Puppies should receive a booster after one year, and adult dogs at 3-year intervals thereafter.
Adenovirus Type 1 (Canine Hepatitis)- Viral hepatitis in dogs is a contagious illness spread by contact with urine or feces from infected animals. If untreated, canine hepatitis can result in severe liver damage or even death. The vaccine is typically administered in 3 doses, given when the animal is between 6 and 16 weeks old. Puppies should receive a booster after one year, and adult dogs at 3-year intervals thereafter.
Adenovirus Type 2 (kennel cough)- Spread by coughs and sneezed, kennel cough is commonly seen in animals that spend significant time being boarded with other dogs. The vaccine is typically administered in 3 doses, given when the animal is between 6 and 16 weeks old. Puppies should receive a booster after one year, and adult dogs at 3-year intervals thereafter.
Keep Reading Below for Non-Core Vaccines you need to know!
Non-Core Vaccinations for Dogs:
Canine Influenza- The vaccine is administered to puppies in two doses- the first at 6-8 weeks of age and the second 2-4 weeks later
Parainfluenza- Different from canine influenza, parainfluenza typically presents as cough and fever. The initial vaccine is administered to puppies 6-8 weeks old, then every 3-4 weeks until 12 weeks of age
Bordetella Bronchiseptica- A bacterial illness, Bordetella is usually not dangerous to adult dogs, but can be severe in puppies, Show dogs and pups boarded with other animals are at a greater risk. Vaccine schedules and forms vary; and both intranasal and injected forms of the vaccine are available. Booster frequency depends on risk for exposure
Lyme Disease- Most dog owners are familiar with Lyme disease, an illness carried by deer ticks. Symptoms include joint pain and inflammation, stiffness, lethargy, and loss of appetite. The vaccine is recommended for dogs that spend lots of time outdoors in wooded areas and is administered to puppies in two doses, the first around 9 weeks of age, with the second does 2-4 weeks later
Leptospirosis- Leptospirosis is associated with exposure to rodents and standing water. Symptoms include sudden fever, joint stiffness, lethargy, and loss of appetite. The vaccine is administered to puppies in two doses, 2-4 weeks apart with the final dose no later than 12 weeks of age.
Healthy Pets are Happy Pets!
Doing all that we can to keep our furr-ever friends healthy is our obligation. Learning about ways to prevent illness with immunizations is a great way to help your pet be healthy and happy! Talk with your vet about what immunizations are right for your pup.