Vaccinating Your Dog: Things You Must Know
Did you just get yourself a pet puppy and know nothing about the vaccination process? Then, this article is just for you.
When you bring that soft, sweet- smelling little ball of puppy dog fuzz into your home, you know right down that she depends on you for, well, everything. It’s up to you to give her all the care she needs every day. It can be a little intimidating. She needs the stylish puppy dog food, plenty of attention, gentle training, safe toys, puppy dog socialization, a comfortable home, and proper veterinary care. And that includes puppy dog vaccination shots throughout her first year.
See Also: How to Take Care of Rabbits
According to GfK survey which was conducted among 27,000+ internet users of age (15+) in 22 countries, 33% of the pet owners own a dog. So, it’s no surprise that people tend to get a dog as their first pet. First pet also implies that you know very little about how to take care of the pet and how to get it vaccinated. This is a common agenda for most of the people who own a dog for the first time.
Let’s start from the basics.
Pet vaccinations play an essential role in keeping your pet healthy. Just like any other living being, dogs are also prone to various diseases which can prove fatal and sometimes can also spread to your family. Pet vaccinations help prevent these diseases, and can help you avoid costly treatments for preventable animal illnesses. These vaccinations protect your pet from many of the diseases that affect wildlife, particularly rabies and distemper. Some possible diseases that dogs might go through if not vaccinated are discussed below:
A severe and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals, distemper spreads through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. This disease used to be known as “hard pad” because it causes the footpad to thicken and harden.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise, death is highly likely. Most states require regular rabies vaccinations. Check with your vet about rabies vaccination laws and requirements in your area.
The canine coronavirus is not the same virus that causes COVID-19 in people. COVID-19 is not thought to be a health threat to dogs, and there is no evidence it makes dogs sick. Canine coronavirus usually affects dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections. Signs include most GI symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Doctors can keep a dog hydrated, warm, and comfortable, and help alleviate nausea, but no drug kills coronaviruses.
Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and the eyes of the affected dog. This disease of the liver is caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.
Unlike most diseases on this list, Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria, and some dogs may show no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis can be found worldwide in soil and water. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people. When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle pain, infertility, kidney failure (with or without liver failure). Antibiotics are effective, and the sooner they are given, the better.
Canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV) is highly contagious respiratory virus and is one of the most common pathogens of infectious trachea bronchitis, also known as canine cough. Although the respiratory signs may resemble those of canine influenza, they are unrelated viruses and require different vaccines for protection.
This highly infectious bacterium causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases, seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough. There are injectable and nasal spray vaccines available. Recently, the condition has become known as tracheobronchitis, canine infectious tracheobronchitis or Bordetella. It is highly contagious in dogs.
Vaccines come in different packages. For example, there are vaccines categorized as 7 in 1, 9 in 1, 6 in 1 and so on also known as Canine Spectra. What this actually means is that one dose of vaccine fights against the stated amount of diseases. Brief explanation below will make it clearer.
Canine Spectra 9 dog vaccine aids in the prevention of disease caused by Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Canine adenovirus type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (CPV), Leptospira Canicola, Leptospira Grippotyphosa, Leptospira icterohaemorrahagiae and Lepto Pomona.
Canine Spectra 7 dog vaccine protects your dog from Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Corona Viral Enteritis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis.
Canine Spectra 6 dog vaccine protects your dog from Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus and Corona virus.
There are two groups of vaccinations: core vaccinations and vaccinations based on lifestyle. Core vaccinations are those essential to the health of your pet. Vaccinations based on lifestyle protect your pet from diseases common in certain environments, such as kennels.
Vaccinations based on lifestyle are only applicable for certain environments so they are not essential. Core Vaccinations can also be excessive for some people since vaccines costs a sum. So, vaccination against distemper, rabies and corona are the most essential ones.
Where can I Vaccinate My Dog ?
We can find abundant vaccines from different companies in the market. Sometimes animal hospitals can also sell you vaccines in case you want to vaccinate your dog yourself. But it is safer if you get your dog to a vet and let a professional veterinarian vaccinate your dog.
Depending on the company of the vaccine, vaccination cost may vary. Generally, it may cost you up to Rs.4000-Rs.5000 in the context of Nepal.
We read about so many different vaccinations, for so many different illnesses, that it can sometimes be confusing to know which vaccinations puppies need and which ones are important but optional. You can follow the following vaccination schedule in order to vaccinate your dog.
|Name of Vaccine||Age of Puppy||Optional Vaccinations|
|DHPPIL, Corona||10-12 weeks||Influenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease as per lifestyle|
|DHPPIL, Rabies||14-16 weeks||Influenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease as per lifestyle|
|DHPPIL, Corona, Rabies||Annually||None|
After your first dose of vaccination, you will be provided with a vaccination record card by the vet in which the date and the type of vaccine will be stated. Keep the card safe and write down your vaccination updates on it thoroughly. This will help the veterinarian in further vaccination procedure and also will provide a medical reference to the veterinarian in case the dog faces some serious medical issues in near future.
People don’t necessarily adopt puppies. Some people also adopt adult dogs so the vaccination procedure for these adult dogs are different from the puppy ones. There is a conflicted opinion about annually vaccinating an adult dog because veterinarians have stated that multiple vaccines to an adult dog can rise the chances of health risks to the dog.
However, vaccination is totally up to the owner. That doesn’t mean that you should exploit the vaccinations. One key exception is Rabies vaccination. It should be given to the dog annually compulsorily. For further annual vaccinations that you might think are optional and not necessary to the dog, please discuss with your veterinarian and determine the right vaccine protocols for your dog as per the requirements.
It is important to ensure that a de-worming schedule is adhered to, in order to prevent your pet being infected by harmful parasites. When these pests are allowed to grow, there will be a host of health complications.
The following is a suggested schedule for eradicating worms (check with your veterinarian for clarifications and ways to identify a worm infestation)- every fortnight for pups aged three months or younger, once a month for those between three and six months of age, once in two months for puppies between six and twelve months of age and after that point, every three months.
Vaccinations may seem like unnecessary hassle but it proves itself very important on a longer term since you have decided to invest your time, love and somehow money on your pet. Vaccinating will assure you of the reasons why you got your pet in the first place that is for the lifelong love and companionship.
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