Monday, September 25, 2023

When Should Puppies Get Vaccinated

What Are Dog Vaccines And Why Are They Important

Pet owners get dogs vaccinated as canine flu continues to spread

Vaccines help prepare a dog’s immune system to defend itself from any invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which mimic disease-causing organisms in a dog’s immune system, but don’t actually cause disease. The purpose of puppy vaccines and dog vaccines is to mildly stimulate the immune system by having it recognize the antigens present. This way, if a dog becomes exposed to the real disease, it’s immune system will recognize it, and therefore be prepared to fight it off, or at the least reduce its effects.

What Types Of Vaccinations Do You Offer For Adult Dogs

We have all of the required immunizations for your pet, including core and non-core.

It is possible to discuss the many formulations that we provide during a consultation in order to help you make an educated decision about which one is best for your pet.

We may prescribe various immunizations as your dog develops and your lifestyle changes. For example, if you and your dog travel more frequently, they may require more vaccinations.

Rabies Vaccine For Humans

Rabies protection for humans is administered under 2 circumstances: before exposure and after exposure .1

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. Some veterinarians receive the rabies vaccine as pre-exposure prophylaxis while in veterinary school however, veterinary nurses are often vaccinated only if they work in a rabies-endemic area, in animal control, in wildlife rehabilitation/medicine, or with rabies virus in a laboratory.6 Also, if you are traveling to a country where rabies is widespread, you should consult your doctor about possibly receiving pre-exposure rabies vaccination.

Postexposure Prophylaxis. Postexposure prophylaxis for those who have never been vaccinated consists of a dose of human rabies immune globulin and a rabies vaccine administered on the day of exposure, followed by vaccine doses on days 3, 7, and 14.7 Those who have been vaccinated or are currently receiving pre-exposure vaccine for rabies should receive only vaccine.6

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How Do Vaccinations Impact The Health And Well

I’ll tell you a little story. Back when I first got out of veterinary school, parvovirus was sort of new. We had a parvo ward in the hospital that I worked in my first year out of school, and it was full of animals who were credibly ill. Think of the Ebola virus. That’s what it’s like for dogs. When they get parvo, they’re extremely sick. And at the beginning, we didn’t even know how to treat it. It took a while to get good at doing that.

The vaccines’ purpose is to ensure that your dogs don’t experience parvo, rabies, or distemper, which is another fatal disease. A lot of puppies can be exposed early on if they’re not vaccinated. These diseases are horrible for your pets to go through, and they’re entirely preventable.

The Typical ‘puppy Shot’ Series


The puppy shot series usually starts between 68 weeks of age, with new vaccines and boosters given every 34 weeks until the puppy is 1617 weeks old .

Discussions with your vet will help determine the best vaccines and schedule for your particular puppy and situation as its NOT always a one-size-fits-all.

The timing and duration of a puppy shot series, as well as which vaccines are included in the series, is dependent on several factors and isnt necessarily always 100% completely the same for every puppy. Some of the factors that influence which vaccines a pup should receive, as well as when and how often, include:

  • Puppys age

Note that the vaccines listed below are marked as either “core” or “non-core.” A discussion of what this means and why it’s important is provided further along in this article, after the list.

68 weeks of ageIn some cases, your puppy will already have received some of these vaccines before you pick them up. Check with the people or organization you’re getting your puppy from to confirm which vaccines your pup received, and when. This information is important for your vet to have to know best how to structure your pup’s initial vaccination series, as all of these puppy vaccines need to be given in a series of “initial” shots followed by “booster” shots.

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Allergic Reactions To Puppy Vaccinations

Although most puppies hardly even notice when their puppy shots are given, and show no ill effects afterward, it’s not terribly unusual for a pup to have an allergic reaction of some sort to a vaccine.

Adverse reactions to puppy shots are more often seen when the vaccine is a combination one.

This is because these put a heavier load on your puppy’s immune system.

Many times these reactions are mild, and last only a day or two.

But now and then they can be severe enough to warrant a trip to the veterinarian.

All puppy owners should be aware of the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, because if your puppy does have a bad reaction, you need to know!

Symptoms vary from mild or moderate to severe. Here’s a closer look at what you might notice after your puppy is vaccinated….

Essential Puppy Vaccine Schedule Chart: Introduction

Adopting a puppy is all fun and games until you realize that your new fur baby requires your utmost care from the day you bring them home. We know the feeling of wanting to show off your new little pup to every single person you know, taking them to the dog park to meet new friends, and whatnot. However, you should vaccinate your puppy before they step into the large world and meet new people and dogs. As theyre still babies, their immune systems arent as well developed. Therefore, theyre at a much higher risk of catching viruses, diseases, and harmful bacteria.

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Do Vaccines Provide 100% Protection

Vaccines have been highly successful in protecting the majority of dogs against disease. As a direct result of vaccination, previously common diseases such as distemper are now rare. But there are situations in which the dogs immunity may be overcome and a vaccinated dog may still develop disease. In such cases the disease is generally milder than it would have been had the dog not been vaccinated.

Some causes for apparent vaccine failure are:

Maternally derived antibodies. As mentioned above, when a puppy is born and after it suckles its mother, it acquires a proportion of antibodies from the mother. A well-vaccinated female will transfer antibodies to her puppies for the diseases she has been vaccinated against, as well as any others she has acquired naturally. Such antibodies protect the pup against those diseases for the first two or three months of its life, the most critical time. However, during this same period, the maternally derived antibodies can block the pup’s ability to respond to vaccination.

“Maternal antibody interference has been a particular problem with canine parvovirus vaccination.”

Incomplete immune response. There is variation between dogs’ immune systems. Some respond less well to vaccination, so immunity may be incomplete or shorter-lived than normal. Certain breeds and genetic lines have a tendency for such problems.

Contributors: Rania Gollakner, BS DVM, MPH Ernest Ward, DVM

Side Effects And Risks Associated With Dog Vaccinations

There’s an urgent push to get dogs vaccinated to prevent parvo

The benefits of vaccinations far outweigh any risks. Adverse reactions to dog vaccines are rare. However, as with any medication or immunization protocol, puppy vaccinations and dog vaccinations can cause some side effects. We do recommend that you have your puppy or dog vaccinated at time when when you can monitor them after the vaccination.

If your dog does experience any reaction to vaccinations, symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Facial or paw swelling and/or hives
  • Vomiting
  • Pain or swelling around the injection site
  • Collapse, difficulty breathing, and seizures

Just as with human vaccines, mild symptoms can be ignored. The majority of reactions are mild and short lived. If you suspect a more severe reaction to puppy vaccines or dog vaccines, such as facial swelling, vomiting or lethargy, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Is It Time To Go To The Dog Park Or Take A Puppy Class

The places your new puppy is allowed to go and the other pups and people they can meet along the way is influenced, in part, by what vaccines theyve had. So we’ve put together this overview of the “shots” that puppies should have during their first several months of life, as well as the why and when. Take a peek and discuss with your veterinarian to ensure that your new pup is as protected as they can be from the conditions that can sicken or cause them harm.

Vaccinations For Your Pet

Vaccines help prevent many illnesses that affect pets. Vaccinating your pet has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help him live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for different diseases, there are different types and combinations of vaccines. Vaccination is a procedure that has risks and benefits that must be weighed for every pet relative to his lifestyle and health. Your veterinarian can determine a vaccination regime that will provide the safest and best protection for your individual animal.

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What Are The Risks Of Puppy Vaccination

As with any medication and vaccines, whether for animals or humans, there’s always some risk of potential side effects. However, studies show that all core puppy vaccines on the essential puppy shot schedule, like the DA2PP or rabies vaccine, are completely safe.

Most today’s core vaccines for dogs were developed over 50 years ago. After decades of scientific discovery and testing, enough effort has been put into making these vaccines safe and reliable for animals.

In very rare instances, some vaccines may cause adverse effects in puppies that are typically unpredictable. Fortunately, most of those negative reactions dogs have to vaccinations are minor and easily managed.

Your vet will ask about the health of your puppy prior to vaccinations and, if necessary, may perform some tests. If your dog is sick, the vaccine may have to be put on hold due to a dog’s compromised immune system. If given during that time, the vaccine could be ineffective or cause side effects.

How Should I Prepare My Puppy For Their First Vaccination Visit

Practice Makes Perfect (and Prepared)

You and your puppy should not be scared to come to visit us at the veterinary clinic. Before your puppys first vaccination appointment with us, schedule a time to come in just for a visit, step on the scale, meet our staff and get some treats. We want to ensure you both know that the veterinary clinic can be a fun place, and not just for check-ups and vaccinations. By taking that first car ride and visit with us before the first vaccines, it ensures that the next time you come in will be way less stressful for you both.

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How Long Does It Take A Vaccine To Produce Immunity

Within a few hours of vaccination, the earliest phases of the immune response are being stimulated. It usually requires ten to fourteen days before a reasonable level of protection is established. Killed vaccines may not provide adequate protection until after the second dose. In young puppies, maternal antibodies may hinder protection until later in the vaccine series.

Therefore, it is advisable to keep even a vaccinated pup away from dogs or pups of unknown vaccination history until it has finished its vaccination course.

Missing A Vaccination Or Booster

If your puppy or kitten is more than 2 weeks late for booster vaccination, their immune system will no longer be as active, and this means that there will be less of an immune response from the subsequent vaccination. The action taken by your vet will primarily depend on how late you are with the appointment. If this is more than 3 or 4 weeks, your furbaby may be given two vaccinations just 2 or 3 weeks apart to boost their immunity against the disease. Please note that this doesnt apply to rabies vaccinations.

Until your puppy or kitten has been vaccinated and your vet is happy that they are fully protected against contagious diseases, you should be sure to keep them away from unvaccinated animals and keep them off of the ground anywhere other than your own home and yard.

For more advice on what to do if your puppy or kitten misses a vaccination or booster, please dont hesitate to get in contact with our knowledgeable veterinary team.

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Congratulations On The New Edition To Your Family Certain Diseases May Be Prevented By Vaccination A Protected Response Is What The Veterinarian Is Aiming For When Vaccinating Your Puppy By Boosting The Immune System To Produce Antibodies And Neutralize Infectious Organisms Before They Have A Chance To Induce Disease This Is Achieved Through A Schedule Involving Vaccines

Ideally the standard schedule is at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age .Variations to a schedule become necessary when, for instance, a puppy is vaccinated at 8 weeks of age, then does not visit the veterinarian again until 16 weeks of age. A minimum of two injections approximately 3-4 weeks apart with the last injection occurring at greater than 12 weeks of age is necessary.

6-8 weeks of age

  • 1st physical examination
  • 1st DA2PPCV Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Coronavirus.
  • Fecal analysis for parasites
  • Deworming

Annual Adult Vaccination

After the third booster your pet will not be due for another vaccination until a year later.

It is recommended to have your dog vaccinated on an annual basis as well as a fecal analysis for intestinal parasites.

Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are large roundworms that live in the right ventricle . Heartworms survive on nutrients which they take from the dogs bloodstream. Heartworms can grow to a length of 15-30 centimetres, and in severe cases a dog may be infested with hundreds of worms.

Damage can occur to the heart, lungs and liver as well as obstruction of blood flow resulting from this infestation. Eventually, fluid may build up in the lungs and restrict the dogs breathing. When damage to the internal organs is severe enough, death may be the result.

Please talk to our doctor about customizing a plan to protect your dog against this preventable disease.

Canine Distemper

Canine Parvovirus




Risks Associated With Vaccination

Should Your Dog Get a Bordetella Vaccine?

Immunizations should mildly stimulate the animals immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This stimulation can create mild symptoms, ranging from soreness at the injection site to fever and allergic reactions.

There are other, less common side effects like injection site tumors and immune disease associated with vaccination. That said, it is important to realize that vaccines have saved countless lives, and play a vital role in the battle against infectious diseases. As with any medical procedure, there is a small chance of side effects. In most cases, the risks are much smaller than the risks of disease itself. But it is important to talk to your veterinarian about your pets medical history before he is vaccinated.

Most pets show no ill effect from vaccination. Vaccine reactions may be minor and short-lived or require immediate care from a veterinarian. Clinical signs include:

  • Fever
  • Pain, swelling, redness, scabbing or hair loss around the injection site
  • Lameness
  • Seizures
  • Lameness

It is best to schedule your pets appointment so that you can monitor him for any side effects following administration of the vaccine. If you suspect your pet is having a reaction to a vaccine, call your veterinarian immediately.

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When Do Puppies Start Their Vaccinations

In general, distemper shots are given at 8, 10, and 12 weeks. And then, three weeks later, at 15 weeks. Some vets give them at 8, 12, and 16 while others choose 6, 12, and 16. The main rule to adhere to is that they should be given 3-4 weeks apart , and the last should be given at or after 15-16 weeks.

The reason to vaccinate more frequently when dogs are young is that the mother-given immunity against distemper, parvo, adenovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and other diseases tends to fall off really precipitously around 10 weeks of age.

For any immunity to be rendered with most of the vaccines, it’s an initial series which sensitizes the body, and then a second vaccine that actually turns on the immune system. And that second vaccine says, “Okay guys, this is a real threat, so we’re actually going to really protect you.” And that’s called an anamnestic response. So most vaccines are a two-shot series. The rabies vaccine is a little bit different, as it will be given once, and that vaccine is good for a year. After that, it is given every three years, although some municipalities require it to be an annual vaccine.

Bordetella And Canine Parainfluenza

Bordetella and canine parainfluenza virus are two agents associated with a highly contagious cough commonly known as “kennel cough,” or canine infectious respiratory disease complex .

Diseases from these agents typically resolve on their own but sometimes can lead to pneumonia or more severe respiratory disease. Because Bordetella is so contagious, boarding and doggy day care facilities across the US require your pet to have this vaccine.

Parainfluenza may or may not be included in a combination vaccine with Bordetella or the DAP.

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When And Why Should A Dog Be Vaccinated

It is essential to vaccinate the dog to avoid various types of deadly diseases, such as canine distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, rabies, etc. Vaccines enable the dogs immune system to prevent infection. Some diseases can be transported to humans, such as leptospirosis. Thats why it becomes necessary to vaccinate the dog.

Nowadays, many people like to keep pet dogs at home. Dogs very quickly become essential members of the household. Due to their illness, everyone in the house suffers. Can avoid such a problem by getting the dog vaccinated on time.

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