Puppy Vaccinations – How To Protect Your Puppy

Puppy vaccinations are the best way you can protect the health of your puppy. You should begin vaccinating your puppy at six weeks old. Research shows that puppy vaccinations administered before that time are ineffective due to the level of antibodies yet in their systems. Puppy vaccinations should be given every three to four weeks until four months of age. Vaccinating protects your puppy.

Puppy Vaccinations For A Healthy Puppy

The major viruses we can protect them against are distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, para-influenza, parvovirus, corona, bordetella, lyme disease, and rabies.  There is also a vaccine for giardia, which is a protozoa, not a virus.

Never expose your puppy to other animals until they have completed their puppy vaccinations. Protect them. Dog parks, city parks, walks around the block, grooming facilities, boarding facilities, friends houses.  Anywhere else they may come in contact with where other dogs have been, should be avoided at all costs. At the vet they should stay on your lap until it is their turn.  They are more susceptible to disease now than they will ever be again. Any place except your own backyard should be considered off limits.  Until they are five months old and have completed their series of vaccines.

 Puppy vaccinations work by injecting and exposing. Protect the puppy to tiny amounts of the virus so the body can begin to recognize it and develop immunity against it. Every injection builds the immunity level a little bit more. It is necessary to follow a schedule and complete it.  It will be 7-10 days after an injection before the body begins to respond.

Viruses survive quite well long after the animals who had them have passed by.  Keep in mind that stray dogs happen through front yards and even wild animals can carry canine diseases. Canine parvo is a mutated strain of the feline distemper virus. Wild animals such as raccoons and skunks are susceptible to both canine and feline viruses. Protect these animals that the mutation is thought to have occurred, changing enough to affect a new species.

 Suggested Time Schedule For Puppy Vaccinations

Ask your veterinarian what his recommendations ar,e but a good puppy vaccinations schedule should look something like this:

6 weeks old Parvo
9 weeks old 1st DHLPP, 1st Bordetella
11 weeks old 2nd Bordetella, 1st Lyme disease
13 weeks old 2nd DHLPP
16 weeks old 3rd DHLPP, 2nd Lyme, Rabies

DHLPP is five different vaccines given in one injection.  They are distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.

The parvo vaccine tends to get a bit over ridden by the distemper vaccine when given in combination and therefore should be given at least once by itself. Preferably at the six week visit to begin to build immunity as soon as possible.

Canine Parvovirus is a virus that causes tremendous bloody diarrhea and vomiting, extreme lethargy, and often drooling. Parvo is often fatal despite everyone’s best efforts. The only effective course of treatment is hospitalization in quarantine and intravenous fluids as the virus renders pups unable to keep anything down by mouth.Treatment can last from 4 to 7 days and cost hundreds of dollars for effective medications and fluid replacement. Cause of death is severe dehydration and multi-system failure.  This virus is still quite prevalent. It is the most common contagious virus.  It is contracted through contact with infected feces and can linger on solid surfaces and in fabrics for months.  All precautions should be taken to protect against it.

Distemper is another virus that is still fairly common and causes neurological damage that often ultimately results in seizures and death. It is airborne as well as by direct contact with secretions.  Common symptoms are nasal and eye discharge, coughing, and vomiting, and hardened nose and pads of the feet. Hospitalization and quarantine is usually the best way to treat and prevent the spread of this virus.

Bordetella is a virus that causes what is commonly known as ‘kennel cough’.  Two vaccines should be given two weeks apart at first. This is not a fatal virus, but it can cause a tremendous cough that can last for weeks or months. It can cause permanent damage to air passages.This vaccine is available by injection and as an internasal drop. It is a bit easier to give as an injection but quite a bit more effective as an internasal as they also get a local immunity in the nasal passages. This is important because it is contracted from inhaling the virus.

Lyme disease is becoming more common in most parts of the country now. It is spread by the deer tick and can effect the heart, nervous system, and cause arthritis and degeneration of the joints.

Rabies vaccines are given at no earlier than 16 weeks old. Many veterinarians prefer to give it slightly later.  This vaccine must be given by the veterinarian and a certificate of proof will be issued .Law requires that dogs be vaccinated against rabies because it is possible for humans to contract rabies from a dog.

Rabies virus attacks the brain, causing nervous system responses such as anxiety, restlessness, apprehension for several days and then progresses into aggression and fury. Paralysis starts to set in after several more days which causes deep labored breathing, a fixed jaw, drooling and ultimately, death.

Rabies is still found in wild animals including bats, skunks, raccoons, and foxes and deaths are still reported among pets and humans though the numbers are very low thanks to strict vaccine laws.

About This Article

The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice.

Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

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