Sunday, March 19, 2023

Which Vaccines Do Puppies Need

What Vaccines Does My Dog Really Need

What Vaccines do Dogs and Cats Need

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the veterinary profession in ways none of us predicted. Not only were pet owners forced to comply with the awkwardness of curb-side medicine, but the shelter-in-place mandates detonated an explosion of pent-up demand for new puppies. Now dont get me wronghaving a clinic schedule full of adorable baby dogs certainly contributed to a bump in job satisfaction for my co-workers. We stocked the refrigerator with vaccines in response to the puppy boom, hoping to meet demand as the rest of our inventory slipped into perpetual backorder.

Veterinary medicine has stayed mostly immune to the vaccine skepticism thats bubbled up during the pandemic. However, these initial puppy vet visits now certainly involve a more thorough explanation as to whats necessary and why.

Perhaps the best way to break down vaccines is to lump them into two main categories: optional and mandatory. For the optional group, consider your dogs risk for infection and your comfort level with potential side effects. The latter category contains vaccines that you should view as non-negotiables. This set of immunizations prevents diseases that carry significant health risks to your dog or humans. Since I cant understate their importance, lets dive into the details of this group first.

Why Are Core Vaccines For Dogs So Important

Vaccines are considered core when they protect your dog against diseases that are pretty much everywhere, highly contagious to other animals, super serious and could end up spreading to humans.

Core vaccines are considered vital to all pets based on risk of exposure, severity of disease or transmissibility to humans, Dr. Wooten said.

Thats why the list of core vaccines for dogs is short but super important.

For dogs, vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines, Dr. Wooten said. Rabies vaccine laws vary by state, so check with your local authorities.

Vaccines for distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus 2 are often bundled together into one injection , and the rabies vaccination is administered by itself.

Everything You Must Know About Vaccinating Your Dog

Dog vaccinations play a critical role in protecting your dog from many dangerous and even fatal diseases. While state law requires all dogs are vaccinated for rabies, there are a number of other vaccinations that can protect your dog from serious diseases that are easily preventable.

At Prestige Animal Hospital we have spent much time educating people about the benefits of dog vaccinations. This includes what vaccines are necessary and how they should be scheduled. Over the years we have been asked every question possible about dog vaccinations and we have compiled some of the most frequently asked ones for you here. This is only meant to be a general introduction dog vaccinations. At your dog’s next veterinary appointment, we will be happy to help you understand the vaccination recommendations for your dog.

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Side Effects And Risks Associated With Dog Vaccinations

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.

Protecting Your Pet From Common Diseases

The Dog Vaccinations Your Puppy Really Needs
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Puppy vaccinations are one of the best and most loving investments you can make for your puppy. Think of puppy shots as insurance against disease that prevents illness and saves you moneyand potential heartbreak.

Not too long ago, 50 percent or more of dogs died of canine distemper or parvovirus before their first birthday. These little victims suffer through painful vomiting and diarrhea and too often must be humanely euthanized to end their suffering. These diseases today are entirely preventable.

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What Are Antibody Titers And Do They Replace Vaccinations

Antibody titers are blood tests that measure the amount of antibodies in the blood. While antibody titers do not replace vaccination programs, they may help your veterinarian determine if your pet has a reasonable expectation of protection against disease.

Many factors are taken into consideration when establishing a pet’s vaccination plan. Your veterinarian will tailor a program of vaccinations and preventive health care that will help your pet maintain a lifetime of infectious disease protection.

H3n8 Influenza Virus And H3n2 Influenza Virus

Up until several years ago, we thought dogs were spared the dreaded flu, but new influenza viruses have been found to invade the respiratory systems of dogs after all. Your vet may advise vaccines for either or both of these common versions of the canine flu and may routinely ask you if your dog has been experiencing a cough or nasal discharge since these are the most common signs.

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Why Does My Puppy Need To Have Vaccinations

When puppies are first born, they completely rely on the antibodies provided in their mothers milk. This will protect them against any harmful microorganisms.

However, this protection fades over time, meaning the puppy will become vulnerable to catching infectious diseases. The right vaccinations at the right age will help prevent your puppy from developing any of these diseases or infections.

No Obligation To Give Annual Dog Vaccines

Risks of Over-vaccinating Pets

The AAHA and WSAVA guidelines are just that guidelines. Theres no law or formal requirement for vets to follow their suggested schedules for annual dog vaccines.

But many dog owners seem to be under the impression that core vaccines are required that theyre a legal obligation. Theyre not!

NOTE: The only vaccination required by law is rabies , after an initial vaccination and one year booster, so dont let your vet tell you otherwise.

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How Much Do Puppy Vaccinations Cost

The average cost for the core vaccinations can range from $75 to $150. The rabies vaccination is usually between $15 and $25. Animal shelters often charge less for vaccination and may even provide vaccines free of charge. In general, the costs for vaccination during a puppys first year are higher than during adulthood.

Keep in mind, the cost of your puppys vaccines also depends on a few factors, including your location. For instance, vets in rural areas and smaller towns tend to charge less than those located in more expensive urban areas.

Pro Tip: Pet wellness plans might be optional on your pet insurance policy. With these, you typically pay a premium for the plan, and the insurance company will reimburse the costs associated with routine vet visits, such as vaccines and physical exams.

The Core Dog Vaccinations

In addition to rabies, the American Animal Hospital Association recommends these core dog vaccinations: distemper, parvovirus, and canine adenovirus I/II. As much as you would like the puppy vaccination schedule to be one and done, thats just not possible. The first vaccine is given at six to eight weeks of age, with a booster every three to four weeks until 16 weeks, says Dr. Lands. On your pups first birthday, another booster is given and then every three years thereafter.

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Risks Associated With Vaccination

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.

How Can I Safely Socialize My Unvaccinated Puppy

Low Cost Dog and Cat Vaccinations

Of course, the first few weeks of your puppys life are crucial to their development, social development included.

Keeping your puppy locked up for too long without allowing them to socialize can create behavioral problems later in life.

One way that most vets agree is safe for socializing is to carry your puppy around with you. By not letting him touch the ground, youre keeping them as far away from bacteria and disease as possible.

You can also encourage friends and family to come into your home and visit, but we recommend leaving shoes at the door

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Do Dogs Really Need Vaccines Every Year

Do booster vaccines are required orces Necessary for Dogs? It is vital that your puppy receive primary vaccination if it hopes to avoid deadly diseases that used to occur daily. According to recent research, not all vaccines require yearly boosters. About 96 percent of dogs receive this yearly booster vaccination that has no major adverse effects.

Why Are Puppy Shots A Series Why Is The Timing Important

Every puppy is different. A puppy who was one in a litter of 3 puppies may have been able to suckle more colostrum from Mom, than a puppy that was one in a litter of 13.

Although if the Mom of the litter of 3 wasnt well vaccinated herself, or she didnt produce good milk or do a good job of nursing her pups, then it may not necessarily be the case.

Similarly, some puppies are born with deficiencies in their immune system, or their immune system may develop more slowly because of dietary or other factors. So we never 100% know a pups starting immune status, how well they are initially protected by maternal immunity, or how well their immune system will respond to the vaccines we’re administering.

So to provide the best level of protection to the greatest number of puppies in the greatest number of situations, the puppy shots are administered as a series of “initial shots” and “booster shots” over the course of the first several months of their life. This gives their maternal immunity time to wane while their own immune system is fully developing in response to and conjunction with their “shots.”

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Why Is It Important To Avoid Missing A Dog Vaccination

There’s an average amount of time that’s been studied as to how long the vaccine lasts. It’s incredibly critical that we stay on schedule because if you go much past that, then puppies are not completely covered, and they can pick up harmful diseases. I’s the same with adult dogs, but adult dogs can maintain a much longer immunity time. It depends on the dogs age and the situation, but we don’t want to miss their vaccines.

How Do Puppy Vaccines Work

Cats and dogs may need their own COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccines give puppies the defense they need to fight disease-causing microorganisms. Vaccines contain antigens which look like disease-causing organisms to your puppys immune system and are designed to not make your dog sick.

Even though your dog doesnt get the disease itself, their immune system still produces a response. That way, if they do come into contact with disease-causing organisms in the future, their immune system is more prepared to fight them off. In short, puppy vaccines work the same as vaccines of other species including kitten vaccines and human vaccines.

Puppies typically begin receiving their vaccinations around six weeks of age, with booster shots at intervals of two to four weeks, until they are approximately four months of age. The timing of puppy vaccinations is extremely important. This is because puppies receive protective antibodies through their mothers milk after theyre born, providing temporary immunity. As this immunity wanes, the vaccination immunity can pick up where moms antibodies left off.

Once this immunity begins to decline, puppies should be already off to a great start with their vaccination schedule in order to develop their own long-lasting immunity against infectious diseases.

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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 Adult Dogs: Boosters And Titers

There is a difference of opinion about having your adult dog vaccinated every year. Some vets believe too many vaccinations in adult dogs pose health risks. But others disagree, saying that yearly vaccinations will prevent dangerous diseases such as distemper. Talk with your vet to determine what kind of vaccination protocol works for you and your dog.

Many dog owners opt for titer tests before they administer annual vaccinations. Titer tests measure a dogs immunity levels, and this can determine which, if any, vaccinations are necessary. One key exception to this is rabies: a titer test is not an option when it comes to the rabies vaccine. This vaccination is required by law across the United States. Your vet can tell you the schedule for your particular state.

And its all worth it. For your effort and care your puppy will lavish you with lifelong love in return. This critical first year of her life is a fun and exciting time for both of you. As she grows physically, the wonderful bond between you will grow, too.

Dont miss crucial information when it comes to raising your puppy. Get personalized training, nutritional, veterinary, and everyday advice sent straight to your inbox. , a weekly email newsletter with customized content based on your puppys breed and age.

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Can My Dog Get A Titer Test Instead Of A Booster

Some veterinarians might offer titer testing for certain diseases to check your dogs level of immunity. Titer testing is not an alternative to booster vaccines, as it only gives you an idea of how well your dog is protected from vaccinations they have already received. In addition, this blood test is not available for every disease and it cant guarantee that your dog is 100% protected. It is also important to note that titer testing can range between $100-$300 per disease titer, so it is far cheaper to get booster vaccines.

Vets usually recommend titer tests when pet parents arent sure whether to give a certain vaccine due to previous allergic reactions to vaccines or because the dogs immune system has been compromised. In these cases, the titer test can help decide whether it is better to vaccinate your pet or skip the booster shot.

Puppy Shots Dont Last For Life

Need some help with my Puppy Schedule : puppy101

When a puppy is finished with their initial puppy shot series, theyre not completely done with vaccines. Booster vaccinations will be needed throughout your dogs life. The frequency and types of vaccine boosters your dog will need throughout their life is influenced by their lifestyle, where you live and travel to with them, how common certain diseases are in your area and at different times of year, and a host of other factors.

For some dogs and for some conditions, titers may help to determine vaccination intervals and may be preferable. This is a discussion to have with your vet.

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If I Choose To Breed My Female Dog How Old Should She Be

If you plan to breed your dog, she should have at least one or two heat periods first. She will then be more physically mature allowing her to be a better mother. Breeding after five years of age is not recommended unless she has been bred prior to that. Having her first litter after five years of age increases the risk of complications during the pregnancy or delivery. For more information, see the series of handouts on “Breeding for Dog Owners”.

As always, if you have any concerns or questions about your new puppy, contact your veterinarian.

Contributors: Ernest Ward, DVM Updated by Amy Panning, DVM

Annual Dog Vaccines: Are They Necessary

Day after day, we hear stories about the dangers of annual dog vaccines and the harm they do to our dogs. Over-vaccination can cause your dog problems ranging from immediate allergic reactions to life-long chronic disease and even death.

Despite the fact that your dog doesnt need boosters to protect him, far too many vets are still vaccinating their patients annually

And theyre doing it without bothering to inform dog owners that boosters are usually unnecessary and theyre also risky. Dog owners trust their vets and often dont question their recommendations.

But you should question your vets recommendations because no vaccine comes without risks. Every time you give a vaccine, theres a chance your dog can be hurt by it. And doing annual dog vaccines increases those chances.

Sadly many veterinarians arent even aware of these risks themselves. Its not surprising they dont tell you about them. But its still a shameful practice.

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