Vaccinations play a critical role in protecting your dog from many dangerous and even fatal diseases. While state law requires all dogs are vaccinated for rabies, there are several other vaccinations that can protect your dog from other serious diseases that are easily preventable.
At Papillion Animal Hospital, we find it important to educate about the benefits of dog vaccinations. This includes what vaccines are necessary and how they should be scheduled. Over the years we have been asked every question possible about dog vaccinations and we have compiled some of the most frequently asked ones for you here. This is only meant to be a general introduction to dog vaccinations. At your dog’s next veterinary appointment, we will be happy to help you understand the vaccination recommendations for your dog.
What Are Dog Vaccines And Why Are They Important?
Vaccines help prepare a dog’s immune system to defend itself from any invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which mimic disease-causing organisms in a dog’s immune system, but don’t cause the disease. The purpose of puppy vaccines and dog vaccines is to mildly stimulate the immune system by having it recognize the antigens present. This way, if a dog becomes exposed to the real disease, it’s immune system will recognize it, and therefore be prepared to fight it off, or at the least reduce its effects.
What Are The Core Dog Vaccinations?
Core puppy vaccinations and dog vaccinations are considered vital and is based on a universal risk of exposure, the severity of the disease, and the risk of transmission to other dogs, as well as other animal species including human beings.
The American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Task Force considers the following dog vaccinations to be core:
- Canine Distemper also known as DA2PP
- Adenovirus-2 (Hepatitis)
- Canine Parvovirus
Non-core – vaccines include:
- Lyme vaccine
Although these vaccines are not considered Core, they are very important for most dogs who may be exposed to these infectious diseases.
Puppy vaccines and dog vaccinations are very important to the overall health and wellness of your pet, however not every puppy or dog needs to be vaccinated against every disease. Some canine vaccinations should only be administered depending upon factors including:
- Medical history
- Travel habits
Therefore, we will discuss the vaccination protocol that’s right for your canine companion at your next appointment.
When To Start Puppy Vaccinations
In general, a puppy should start vaccines as soon as you get the puppy (this is usually between 6 and 8 weeks) and then every three weeks until approximately four months of age when it will receive the final round.
Puppy Vaccination Schedule
We typically recommend the following vaccination schedule for puppies:
- 6 weeks: DA2PP
- 9 weeks: DA2PP, Bordetella
- 12 weeks: DA2PP, Leptospirosis, Rabies
- 15 weeks: DA2PP, Leptospirosis
- 1 year: DA2PP, Leptospirosis, Rabies, Bordetella
* DA2PP = Distemper, Adenovirus-2, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza.
Puppy vaccinations have been medically proven to combat many preventable diseases and illnesses, which is why it’s important to stay current with your puppy vaccine schedule. Adhering to a puppy vaccine schedule is synonymous with responsible puppy care. Your puppy deserves every chance to be healthy and happy for life and vaccinations play an important role. Don’t run the risk of your puppy contracting one of these terrible diseases, when they are so easily preventable.
** AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines: https://www.aaha.org/public_documents/professional/guidelines/caninevacc…
Side Effects And Risks Associated With Dog Vaccinations
The benefits of vaccinations far outweigh any risks. Adverse reactions to dog vaccines are rare. As with any medication or immunization, puppy and dog vaccinations can cause some side effects. We recommend that you have your pet vaccinated during a time where you can monitor them after the vaccination.
If your dog does experience any reaction to vaccinations, symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Facial or paw swelling and/or hives
- Pain or swelling around the injection site
- Collapse, difficulty breathing, and seizures (anaphylactic shock)
Just as with human vaccines, mild symptoms can be ignored. The majority of reactions are mild and short-lived. However, if you suspect a more severe reaction to vaccines like facial swelling, vomiting or lethargy, you should contact us immediately.
Scheduling An Appointment For Dog Vaccinations
During your first veterinarian visit, a puppy vaccination schedule will be established.
To ensure your pet remains healthy, happy and well for the duration of his or her life a vaccination schedule should be followed. Schedule an appointment for your canine companion to receive their vaccinations today.