Essential Puppy Shots for Your New Best Friend
You just got a new puppy! Congratulations! Along with his getting your puppy a bed, new bowl, and puppy food, be sure to set an appointment at Vetsavers Pet Hospital. Your new puppy will need a health check-up and essential vaccinations to ensure he/she lives a happy healthy life. Puppies that receive the recommended vaccinations live a healthier and happier life. Many parents pet parents have questions about what vaccines their new puppies need. We’ll answer those questions today.
Vaccine Protocols Explained
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has set forth vaccination guidelines for dogs. There are three types of vaccines available for dogs: core vaccines and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are defined as vaccines that protect against rabies, canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus (CPV), and canine adenovirus 1 & 2. Core vaccines, with the exception of rabies, should be considered mandatory and should start when the pup is 6 to 8 weeks old and be given every three to four weeks until the pup is 16 weeks old. Rabies vaccinations need to be given at 16 weeks old. After that, the AAHA vaccination protocol requires that the core vaccines to be given a year later. Subsequent vaccines should be given every three years, provided there is little risk. Non-core vaccines are those vaccines that provide protection to your pup if he or she is at risk of contracting those diseases due to your location or the amount of exposure to certain diseases. These are often optional, but if our veterinarians think your pup is at risk, you should have your dog vaccinated against these diseases.
What Vaccinations Does Your Pup Need?
Many dogs need two or three DA2PP vaccinations when they are puppies and yearly vaccines thereafter to ensure they are protected. Vetsavers Pet Hospital offers DA2PP to our clients. The DA2PP protects your dog from the deadly distemper virus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and adenovirus 1 and 2. Depending on your pup’s exposure, our veterinarians at Vetsavers Pet Hospital may also recommend vaccines against leptospirosis, bordetella, and influenza. These are non-core vaccines.
You are required to have your dog vaccinated against rabies at least once every three years, but depending on the county or city ordinances, your dog may have to have a rabies vaccination yearly. We offer low cost puppy shots to ensure your best friend remains healthy. It is cheap insurance against some very dangerous diseases.
Anyone who has seen Old Yeller knows about rabies. Rabies is almost always 100 percent fatal and is a virus that is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. All mammals can contract rabies, which means your dog could contract it from being bitten by a rabid skunk, raccoon, coyote, cat, or even another dog. Once your dog contracts rabies, it can take weeks, or even months, before the signs show up. Some dogs have what is called furious rabies, which is the “mad dog” form we often see in movies. These dogs are highly excitable, drool excessively, become aggressive, bite without warning or provocation, and show fear of water. Other types of rabies includes paralytic rabies where the dog has trouble swallowing and drools excessively. Eventually, the dog’s body becomes paralyzed and death follows. There is no known cure, but the vaccinations are highly effective in preventing rabies.
Canine distemper is a dangerous disease that is nearly always fatal. It can affect dogs and puppies, although puppies tend to have little resistance to it. Dogs can get it from other dogs, foxes, coyotes, wolves, skunks, raccoons, and ferrets. Dogs often contract it from nasal mucus from infected animals. Canine distemper infects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems and starts as an eye discharge. It then causes fever, diarrhea, coughing, runny nose, vomiting, lack of appetite, and lethargy. As it continues to progress, it may enter the nervous system and cause paralysis (partial or complete), twitching, and seizures. Some forms of canine distemper is called “hard pad” because it causes the foot-pads to harden. There is no known cure for distemper, but vaccinations are very effective.
Another deadly disease, canine parvovirus often attacks puppies. It is transmitted through infected feces, infectious dogs, or contaminated areas and toys, and can linger in the soil for up to one year. Because it is highly contagious, it’s important to have your puppy vaccinated against parvo or canine parvovirus. Parvo attacks the gastrointestinal system causing diarrhea which is often bloody, fever, vomiting, dehydration, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Puppies that have parvovirus can die within 72 hours once the symptoms appear. There is no cure for parvovirus which is why vaccinations are so important.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease caused by various viruses and bacteria including canine adenovirus 1 and 2, parainfluenza, and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Many kennel cough cases are simply an annoyance, but some versions of kennel cough are most notably caused by canine adenovirus 1 or canine hepatitis and can cause more serious problems such as kidney and liver failure. Kennel cough is characterized by a dry, hacking cough. Most boarding kennels and doggie day cares also require vaccinations against Bordetella bronchiseptica, a type of bacteria which causes kennel cough.