Canine Vaccines

What you can do to keep your pet safe


Vaccinations are the best way to protect you and your pet from illness and disease. Core vaccinations are required by law, while non-core vaccinations are not required by law, but a few are strongly recomended.

Common Diseases in Kentucky...

... and a list of core vaccinations

-Distemper: A virus characterized by eye and nasal discharge, vomiting, fever and seizures. Distemper is extremely difficult to treat and kills over 50% of it's victims within the first 2 weeks of exposure. Most cases of this virus end in euthanasia.

-Parvovirus: A virus characterized by bloody diarrhea, Parvo is highly contagious and typically seen in puppies under 6 months of age. Treatment includes supportive care and I.V. fluids.

-Adenovirus: A virus characterized by dry hacking cough, retching, and nasal discharge. Adenovirus is treatable with antibiotics and anti-cough medicines.

-Para Influenza: Para Influenza is characterized by dry cough, fever, and possible lethargy. Treatment includes antibiotics and limited exercise.

-Rabies: An incurable virus characterized by nervousness, withdrawal, aggression, paralysis and inability to swallow. Rabies is spread through the saliva of the infected. Since rabies is incurable, the only chance of surviving the disease is if a post-vaccination is given before the disease reaches the brain.

Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus, and Para influenza are all administered through a single vaccine. Rabies is given in its own vaccine.

The vaccine schedule for core vaccines is started between 6-8 weeks of age, repeated very 3 weeks until 16 weeks of age, a booster is given 1 year after the last shot given (at 16 weeks) and then given every 3 years thereafter.

Since rabies is given in it's own vaccine, the schedule is different. Your vet should give the rabies vaccine at 12 weeks of age, repeat in 1 year and give every 3 years thereafter.

Non-Core Vaccinations

-Bordetella: Commonly known as kennel cough, bordetella is spread in boarding kennels and is highly contagious. If you board your pet often, either in a boarding kennel or a "doggie hotel", it is highly recommended, and often required by boarding facilities, that you vaccinate your pet for bordetella. Typically, the vaccination is given at 12 weeks of age with a booster every 3 weeks, and then given yearly.

-Lepto: A disease easily transmitted and is zoonotic, this means you can get it from your pet! The vaccination is given at 12 weeks of age with a 2nd booster given 3 weeks later.

-Lyme: A disease spread by deer ticks, victims typically suffer kidney failure. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet's lifestyle and determine if you need this vaccine.

Non- Core vaccinations are not required by law, but some of them are highly recommended depending on your pet's lifestyle. Talk to your veterinarian about diseases your dog may be prone to getting, and make sure you're getting the most protection for you and your pet!

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