Timely vaccination can protect your dog from a number of diseases, including rabies and coronavirus. In this DogAppy article, we will have a look at some of the important vaccines that you should consider for your canine friend.
We all know what vaccines are―in human context―and why we need them. The same principle applies to dogs, who also need to be protected from a range of diseases. Most dog owners either take vaccination for granted, or are too lazy to take their pets for their scheduled visits to the vet. On the other hand, some pet owners fall prey to misconceptions about vaccination. It’s important to get your dogs vaccinated as it helps to keep them healthy. In the long run, it also saves you the trouble of taking your pet to the vet again and again.
Types of Dog Vaccines
Before you visit the vet, it is important to understand that there are two types of vaccines for dogs: (i) infectious or modified live vaccines and (ii) non-infectious or killed vaccines. The infectious vaccines are stronger, impart instant protection, and last longer than the non-infectious vaccines. The non-infectious variants do not provide local immunity like the infectious vaccines do. On the contrary, they can cause allergic reactions in the animal.
Apart from infectious and non-infectious, vaccines are also classified as (i) core vaccines and (ii) non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are those that need to be given to each and every dog. Non-core vaccines, on the other hand, are those that are given to dogs on the basis of their geographical location or lifestyle.
Canine Diseases that Can be Prevented by Vaccination
Use of Core Vaccines
Rabies: The rabies vaccine is one of the most important vaccines that you should give your pet dog. Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the canine’s nervous system, and thus, can turn out to be fatal in the long run. If the infected dog bites or scratches other animals or humans, the disease can spread to them. The length of immunity for this vaccine depends on the type of vaccine that is given.
Canine Distemper: Another fatal viral disease in canines is canine distemper, which affects the respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts of the animal. In some cases, it also affects the nervous system of the dog. The length of immunity for modified live virus vaccine for distemper is more than 1 year.
Parvovirus: Canine parvovirus causes severe dehydration in the infected dog due to continuous vomiting and bloody diarrhea. It may also lead to death in some cases. In this case, the white blood cells of the dog’s immune system are destroyed and it is rendered weak. The length of immunity for parvovirus vaccine is more than 1 year.
Parainfluenza: This disease affects the respiratory system of the dog. It can be caused due to either bacterial or viral agents. It causes mild to severe inflammation of respiratory organs, like the trachea, bronchi, and the lungs. It causes the appearance of non-productive cough. This condition is generally self-limiting. However, a secondary bacterial infection in a weak dog may lead to pneumonia. Parainfluenza vaccination provides moderate immunity.
Kennel Cough: Kennel cough vaccine helps keep away the highly infectious virus, which causes kennel cough disease. As this virus affects the bronchi and trachea, it leads to a dry, loud, non-productive cough.
Hepatitis: Canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral disease caused by adenovirus. There are two types of adenoviruses: type 1 and type 2. The adenovirus type 2 vaccine can provide protection against both, type 1 and type 2 hepatitis.
Use of Non-core Vaccines
Bordetella: The main cause of upper respiratory tract disease in dogs is bordetella. This is a bacterial infection that causes severe coughing and gagging in dogs. The airborne disease can also lead to kennel cough in your pet.
Coronavirus: Coronavirus causes severe diarrhea in dogs. The coronavirus vaccines are generally given to puppies that are about 7, 10, 13, and 16 weeks of age. Adult dogs who have never been given this vaccine, are given two doses that are three weeks apart.
Giardia: The giardia vaccine helps to prevent the occurrence of protozoan parasites that cause giardiasis or giardia in dogs.
Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis in dogs is a condition that affects the kidneys and liver of dogs. Usually, the vaccine for leptospirosis is given in combination with other vaccines.
Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is a serious disease that leads to arthritis and lethargy in dogs. It spreads by tick bites and is mostly seen as a geographical risk. Lyme disease vaccine is very important in areas that are prone to tick infestation.
Dog Vaccination Schedule
You need to speak to a vet regarding the vaccination schedule that would suit your pet. Many pet owners generally bring home pups and thus, need to start with puppy shots schedule. Given below is a brief schedule that will help you plan the different vaccine shots your dog may need.
|Age||Vaccine for Dogs|
|6 – 8 weeks||DHLPPC (Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Coronavirus)|
|11 – 12 weeks||Second puppy shot for DHLPPC|
|15 – 16 weeks||Third puppy shot for DHLPPC|
|Over 4 months||Rabies (this vaccine should be repeated after 1 year)|
|7 – 9 months||First test to check out heartworm|
|Dogs over 1 year of age||Yearly dose of DHLPP, Bordatella, Rabies (every 3 years after second shot) and heartworm test.|
It is important that you stick to one vaccination schedule as it will help you ensure that your dog doesn’t miss any dose and keep various dog health problems at bay.