Vaccinations help prevent infectious and sometimes fatal diseases. Some of them are mandatory, while others are recommended. It is very important to make sure that you have the right vaccination schedule for your new puppy.
Why does my puppy need to be vaccinated?
When puppies are first born, they are completely dependent on the antibodies imparted in their mother’s milk. This will protect them from harmful microorganisms.
However, this protection wears off over time, meaning the puppy will become more susceptible to contracting infectious diseases. The right vaccinations at the right age will help prevent your puppy from developing these diseases or infections.
What is the function of puppy vaccinations?
Vaccinations help prevent infectious and sometimes fatal diseases. Some of them are mandatory, while others are recommended.
What diseases should my puppy be vaccinated against?
Mandatory vaccinations include:
Distemper: This disease can take several forms, which often makes the diagnosis difficult. In general, the disease can cause a high temperature, breathing problems (rhinitis or bronchial pneumonia), digestive problems (gastroenteritis), ocular, skin, or nerve problems, and may often be fatal.
Canine hepatitis: Symptoms range from a slight fever and mucous membrane obstruction to vomiting, jaundice, gastric enlargement, depression, reduced white blood cells, pain in the liver and severe hepatitis.
Canine parvovirus disease: Parvovirus is highly contagious and attacks the digestive system, causing loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on quickly and can be fatal within 48-72 hours.
Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of bacterial origin that is transmitted through the urine of rodents and can be transmitted to humans and certain animals. For dogs, symptoms include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle aches, infertility and kidney failure (with or without liver failure).
Recommended vaccinations include:
Rabies: A fatal disease for dogs and humans. It is usually characterized by a swaying gait, sore neck, excessive drooling and, in some cases, facial muscle spasms. Unusual aggressive behavior is often seen, such as biting without letting go.
Kennel cough: This is an illness that dogs contract when they come into contact with other dogs, for example in kennels and dog shows. This disease causes a severe cough that can be more or less serious depending on the dog’s age and general health condition.
How do I know what kind of vaccinations my puppy needs?
Talk to the vet and let them know where your pup will be spending most of their time. This could include:
- Shelter kennel
Tell your vet whether you will be traveling overseas with your pup, and any activities they may be participating in, such as dog shows or dog sporting events.
The vet will then create a vaccination program that best suits your pup’s needs.
When does my puppy need to be vaccinated?
Puppy vaccinations are most effective when given at a fixed date with a booster. Your puppy will usually start their vaccination program at around six to eight weeks of age.
A routine vaccination schedule will probably consist of the following:
- 7 to 9 weeks: distemper, infectious hepatitis, parvovirus, although this may start earlier if the puppy is in an infected environment.
- 11 to 13 weeks: booster for the previous 3 vaccinations + rabies and leptospirosis.
- 15 to 17 weeks: rabies and leptospirosis booster.
- 15 months: booster for all of the above vaccines.
Will my puppy also need a yearly booster?
Your pup should be given yearly boosters to ensure they are adequately vaccinated. Every year, they must have the following boosters:
- Infectious hepatitis
What happens when my puppy is vaccinated?
When your puppy is vaccinated, they will be given a very small dose of the virus or bacteria. This will then stimulate their immune system to develop specific antibodies against the virus.
Can vaccines cause my puppy to catch the virus?
When used in vaccinations, the virus or bacteria are most often killed or inactivated, meaning they are usually unable to cause disease.
How will my puppy behave after the injection?
Your pup may seem a bit withdrawn after the injections, especially for the first day or two. This is because their immune system responds to the vaccine.
What should I do after my puppy’s injection?
It’s important that you make sure your puppy is well rested after the injection as their immune system will be working harder than normal.
If you feel they are not returning to their normal state within 24 hours, call the vet for advice.
It is very important to make sure that you have the right vaccination schedule for your new puppy because dog vaccinations are one of the most important preventive health care steps one can take. Immediately after bringing your new puppy home, it’s important to speak to the vet and make sure they get the right vaccinations at the right time.