Certain vaccine protocols may be recommended depending on your dog’s type of lifestyle; factors that will be considered is whether your dog frequents dog parks, groomers, day cares or kenneling facilities. It is essential to remember your puppy should start receiving vaccinations as young as 8 weeks old, your veterinarian can help you develop the proper protocol for your animal. The following vaccines (DA2PP and Rabies) are considered core and are always recommended to be kept up to date:
- Distemper virus: This is a widespread, contagious and fatal viral illness with no known cure in dogs. This virus can be spread through the air and with direct contact. It attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems leading to diarrhea, vomiting, pneumonia, seizures and paralysis. Treatment for the disease unfortunately is focused on only alleviating symptoms.
- Adenovirus: This virus has two types which the vaccination incorporates. Type 1 which can cause life threatening liver disease (hepatitis) along with severe damage of the kidneys, spleen, and gastrointestinal tract which can lead to bloody diarrhea. Type 2 causes severe eye and upper respiratory disease leading to severe respiratory signs.
- Parainfluenza: This is a highly contagious upper respiratory virus that is contracted through the air making it easily spread when dogs are housed together. This virus is a known contributor to the disease known as kennel cough. The signs noted include a persistent cough, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite.
- Parvovirus: This is a highly contagious, fast-acting virus with a high fatality rate. This virus causes severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea and it especially dangerous in young dogs, but all unvaccinated dogs are at risk of contracting this severe disease. This virus is extremely hardy and can survive long periods of time in every type of environment. There is no cure but early intensive treatment increases the chance of survival.
- Rabies: This is a viral disease that carries a serious public health risk as it is 100% fatal to cats, dogs and even humans. It attacks the central nervous system and causes grave neurological problems leading to death. Having your animal up to date on this vaccination is extremely important. This virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. If your non vaccinated animal was to ever bite a human, a mandatory quarantine period would be required by law. Routine vaccination is the key to controlling this dreaded disease.
The following vaccines listed below are optional and should be discussed with your veterinarian based on your dog’s routine:
- Coronavirus: This disease is more of concern to puppies rather than adult dogs as puppies are particularly susceptible to this disease. This is a contagious viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract leading to severe vomiting and diarrhea.
- Bordetella (Kennel Cough): This is an extremely contagious infection that causes upper respiratory disease in dogs. This bacterium is easily transmitted through direct contact or in the air, causing a persistent dry hacking cough. This vaccine may be recommended to you if your dog’s lifestyle increases its chances of contracting the disease. This includes dogs that are boarded frequently or regularly visit groomers or dog parks.