Keeping your dog healthy and happy is a top priority in caring for your pet. Excellent health begins at the beginning, and this involves dog vaccinations. Various diseases and viruses can be fatal to your pup, and it is essential to give it the boost it needs to fight those ills in the early weeks of life. Below is a guideline to the why, what, and when of dog vaccinations.
Why Have Your Dog Vaccinated?
Vaccinations prepare your young dog to potentially face common and deadly diseases in the future. Your vet will inject a small dosage of infectious organisms into your pet’s bloodstream with little to no pain. Your dog’s body will learn to fight off those diseases and develop cells to stave them off. If your dog faces that sickness in its lifetime, its immune system will be prepared to conquer it, and your dog’s symptoms will be less severe.
The Core Dog Vaccinations
Your vet will likely give your dog a 4 or 5-way vaccination called DHPP or DHLPP. The latter acronym stands for Distemper, Hepatitis/Adenovirus, Leptospira, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. Leptospira is not one of the major diseases to vaccinate against, but distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus are highly contagious and deadly. A vaccination is the only way to keep your dog safe from distemper and parvovirus, while antibiotics may be necessary to assist your dog with parainfluenza. Hepatitis, which is due to adenovirus type 1, is a virus causing abdomen pain and lethargy. Adenovirus type 2 can lead to kennel cough, which is unlikely to be deadly.
Non-Core Dog Vaccinations
Leptospirosis, Rabies, Lyme Disease, and Bordetella are the non-essential dog vaccinations, although one or more may be required depending on where you live. If your dog contracts leptospirosis, it may be because your pet has ingested contaminated water while swimming. Fever and vomiting, followed by a decreased temperature, dehydration, difficulty breathing, and bloody feces are the symptoms. Antibiotics can help in the earlier stages, but make sure to contact your vet before surgery is necessary.
While rabies transmits through an infected animal’s bite and Lyme disease through a tick bite, Bordetella’s other name is kennel cough. It is spread through airborne bacteria. Antibiotics are recommended to quell the coughing.
Puppy Vaccination Timeline
The best practice that experts agree upon is to vaccinate your puppy as soon as you get it, usually starting at 6-8 weeks of age. After three rounds of vaccinations once every 3-4 weeks, some vaccinations may be annual and others every three years.
Considerations for Vaccinating Your Dog
Before getting your pet vaccinated, consider the age, breed, size, and health of your dog. Depending on these conditions, it may not be safe for it to receive some of these treatments. It is best to ask a vet what the best procedure for your dog would be.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!