Canine Vaccinations

And the Immune system

The Immune system of a dog and human are not all that different. They both protect our bodies from harmful pathogens. They also react to pathogens the same way. . Just like us, dogs can get fevers, runny noses, and coughs. Even though dogs are susceptible to things we are not, their immune systems work in the exact same way.The immune system creates anti-bodies to fight again disease causing pathogens. And also just like us, dogs need vaccinations too; to help their immune system fight off harmful and even deadly diseases.


The following vaccines are categorized under core or non-core. Core vaccines are basic vaccines and are nationally recognized. Most often, they are required for a dog to have at the beginning of their lives. Non-core Vaccines are based on a the lifestyles of dogs, it depends on what they do in life, such as herding, swimming, etc. It is the responsibility of the owner to get their dogs vaccinated to prevent harmful diseases.

Core Vaccines


This disease causes nose and eye discharge, fever, poor appetite, coughing, vomiting, seizures, and callusing of the nose and feet. It is spread through extremely fresh body secretions. Only treatment is through supportive care (I.V fluids), high change of curability if caught early, other option is euthanasia. This disease is highly lethal and most dogs die within two weeks. If dog manages to recover, it can be left with permanent neurological defects. ***


This disease causes bloody diarrhea, fever, extreme vomiting, seizures, and low white cell count. It is spread through feces and the disease can be spread after the illness because the disease can still be shed through the dog's feces . The bacteria can also live on objects for up to five months. The treatment would to be to put the dog on supportive care ( I.V fluids I.V antibiotics), give anti-vomiting drugs, and put in isolation to prevent further spread of the disease. ***

Adenovirus 2

This disease causes a dry hacking cough sometimes producing a white foam, nasal discharge, and inflammation of the trachea and bronchi in the lungs. It is spread through coughing and discharge from the dog. The treatment would be to give the dog an antitussive (cough medicine) and a antibiotic to treat any signs of a secondary infection.***


This disease is highly contagious and produces a dry unproductive cough. It is categorized as an Upper Respiratory Infection and is spread through coughing and discharge from the dog. The treatment would be to give the dog an antitussive and a antibiotic to treat any signs of a secondary infection.***
*** These vaccines are usually grouped together in one and are first given at 6-8 weeks of age. It is then repeated every 3 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Booster is given at 1 and 2 years of age. Then the booster is given every 3 years thereafter.


This disease is fatal and can spread to humans. It causes nervous, withdrawn, and aggressive behavior, and the inability to swallow. This disease is incurable once in the final stages, when it reaches the central nervous system. Once in the central nervous system, the disease can be spread through the saliva of the infected animal. The only treatment would be to quarantine the dog and give it the vaccine, hoping that the dog can build up an immunity before the disease reaches the central nervous system. The other option is euthanasia.

**This vaccine is first given at 12 weeks of age, repeated at 1 year of age, then given every 3 years.

Non-Core Vaccines

Bordetella "Kennel Cough"

This disease is often seen in dogs that are put in boarding kennels or attend dog shows on a regular basis. It causes a dry hacking cough, and watery discharge from the nose. The treatment would be to give the dog an antitussive and a antibiotic to treat for any signs of secondary infections.

**This vaccine can be given through a shot or through the nose using a nasal spray. It is first given at 12 weeks of age, booster is given 3 weeks later, then booster is given yearly. If the dog is at risk of contracting the disease ( Ex. going to a boarding kennel) the vaccine can be given every 6 months.

Leptospira "Lepto"

This disease is life threatening if not treated and has to potential to be passed on to humans. The disease is passed through an infected animal's urine, and is contracted through the mucus membranes, cuts/abrasions, or from drinking infected water, soil, or urine. It causes fever, depression, loss of appetite, joint pain, excessive drinking, jaundice, low platelet count-bleeding-, and kidney failure. It is difficult to test for using a urine sample, and the other way (kidney biopsy) is very invasive. The only treatment is supportive care and to give dog penicillin to eliminate lepto in the blood and Tetracycline to clear up any infections in the kidneys. However, these two medicines cannot be used at the same time. The vaccine does not guarantee 100% protection but it may lessen the severity of the disease. Even in the weakened state the disease is still life threatening.

**Vaccine is first given at 12 weeks, booster is given 3 weeks later, then it is given yearly

Borrelia Burgdorferi "Lyme"

This disease is spread to a dog through a deer tick that have been in contact with the dog for at least 48 hours. joint pain, fever, poor appetite, shifting lameness, swollen lymph nodes, and kidney failure. A blood test is done, then a antibody count is done to determine the next method of treatment. The treatment would be to put the dog on Doxycycline- long term- and NSAIDs for the joint pain.

**Vaccine is first given at 12 weeks, booster is given 3 weeks later, then it is given yearly

Come visit us at Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic!

3591 Leestown Road

Lexington, Kentucky 40511

United States

Phone: (859) 225-0303

Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed

Done by : Sara Cain