Vaccinating your puppy?

What vaccines does your puppy need?

Why vaccinate?

There are many diseases in this big world of our and just like us, our dogs are susceptible to some very nasty ones. This is why we vaccinate for some of the worse of the worse, to keep your furry friends happy and healthy. Also it saves you money in the long run ;) because vaccines protect your dog and your wallet from painful diseases and expensive treatments. The following will tell you what diseases we vaccinate, the symptoms of each, and the vaccination cycle, along with a little bit of how the immune system works.

The required vaccines

There are 5 required vaccines one is required by law. This group includes-

Parvo Virus: This virus is highly contagious and common in puppies under 6 months. Its main symptom is bloody diarrhea. It attacks the lining of the intestine which causes the bloody feces.

Canine Distemper: This is another contagious disease that is spread through fresh bodily secretions. Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, and gunky eye discharge. The survival rate on this disease isn't high due to the nervous system damage from the seizures.

Adenovirus 2 and Para influenza: Both of these diseases are Upper Respiratory infections. They both cause a dry hacking cough and are very common in places like boarding kennels, where they are easily spread. These are not life threatening and are easily treated with an anti-tussive.

Rabies- This Vaccine is required by law! It has zoonotic potential and is fatal. some symptoms include severe aggression and possible paralysis.

The non core!

The following vaccines are recommended depending on the lifestyle of your dog

Bordetella- This is an upper respiratory infection with a nasty cough that is easily treatable. This vaccine is recommended to dogs that board very often. The vaccine normally needs to be given within 6 months of the boarding date so make sure you plan ahead!

Leptospira- This is a possible zoonotic disease that consists of kidney failure and severe joint pain. This vaccines are recommended for outdoor dogs as it can be spread through drinking water that could have been contaminated by other infected animals urine. This vaccine is first given at 12 weeks and then boosters at once a year.

Borrelia or " lyme" disease- This is a disease that has symptoms such as shifting lameness and severe joint pain. it is only spread through deer ticks, so if you are in an area where these ticks are common and your dogs hunt or are outdoor dogs, this vaccine is highly recommended.

What do these vaccines do for my pet?

The sole purpose of vaccines is to build up immunity to diseases that would put your dog in a tough spot. Vaccines provide a kind of immunity know as active immunity. They trigger the immune systems memory which kills and remembers how to kill the pathogen. This immunity last different periods of time which is why we give boosters to keep up your pet’s immunity. There is a reason though we don't start vaccinating till 6-8 weeks; it’s because of the passive immunity the mother of your pup gave to them through her milk. The milk transfers antibodies to your pup protecting them at their young, vulnerable age. So as soon as that immunity drops off because passive immunity is only temporary, we begin vaccinations to bring back up their immunity.

When can I make my appointment?

We begin vaccinating at 6-8 weeks just as their immunity from their mother’s milk begins to drop off.

So here is the schedule-

1st visit- The core vaccines

We like to see your puppy two to three weeks apart, for either 3-4 rounds of boosters.

3rd or 4th visit- Your puppy should be around 12 weeks old, so we can wrap up core vaccinations and now the puppy is old enough for any non-core vaccinations you wish for your pup to have.

Then we like to see your dog yearly at least where we will give boosters to keep up their immunity. Then once your pup has grown up we tend to give boosters every three years. We still want to see them yearly though to check do check up on your dog’s health and overall physical condition.

The more you know!

Have any other questions about vaccines? Ask you’re Veterinarian and they will be delighted to help you!


"Closeup Vet Giving Injection The Dog Stock Photo." - Royalty Free Image ID 100247127. Praisaeng, 13 Mar. 14. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.