Everyone wonder why puppies need so many vaccines? Is it just a plan to get you in the vet’s office, or is vaccination really needed for your puppy’s long-term health?
We know that vaccinations for your puppy can seem mysterious to pet owners. They happen at different intervals, at specific times,& there are so many viruses that sound unfamiliar. I want to help make the recommendations veterinarians make for your new puppy a little less puzzling.
Why does my dog need a vaccine?
Vaccines are needed to build your puppies immunity. While pups do receive immunity while they are in their mother’s womb, that quickly fades away during the first few weeks of life. Which is why, vaccines have to be administered. In India, dogs are liable to three common and lethal viral diseases – Rabies, Canine Parvovirus and Canine Distemper. These diseases are the most common causes of death in dogs. Rabies is a non-curable disease that is extremely fatal and as such, a Rabies vaccination is mandatory by law. Parvovirus kills around 85% of all puppies it infects and Canine Distemper has over 50% death rate with severe neurological problems, at times, for ones who survive.
How Vaccines Work?
Just like a human vaccine, it prepares your dog’s immune system to fight against infections that could cause serious illnesses. As such, when a vaccine is introduced into the body, it presents a harmless dead virus that works to make the immune system stronger and to produce antibodies to kill the virus. While the dead virus is powerless, it teaches the body to build up a defence mechanism for when the actual active virus ever infects the dog.
Three Common Dog Vaccines that you must know about
√ Canine Distemper
Types of Dog Vaccines
- Core Vaccines – Core vaccines are vital to all dogs and at times mandatory by law as they may be transmissible to humans. Examples would be – Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Canine Hepatitis and Rabies.
- Non-Core Vaccines – Non-core vaccines are usually optional such as Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough).
Vaccines that you need to get for the first year:
At Week 4
Deforming for roundworms and hookworms. (Deforming must be done every three months).
At Week 6
Canine Parvovirus and Canine Distemper –
Canine Parvovirus is at times fatal and it attacks the immune system causing serious vomiting and diarrheal. This disease is more prone to young puppies and a vaccination at this age is highly recommended.
Canine Distemper attacks the lungs, gut and the nervous system and is at times, highly fatal. Although it is most common in young dogs, it can occur at any age. While distemper has a higher survival rate than parvovirus, dogs who survive often have mild to serious neuro-muscular disorders that last a lifetime.
At Week 8-9
Corona virus, Para influenza, Leptospirosis –
Corona virus is a highly infectious disease that affects the intestines and causes excessive diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.
Parainfluenza (also known as kennel cough), is a highly infectious upper respiratory tract disease that causes a dry hacking cough. It causes a persistent cough and even leads to bronchitis as well.
Leptospirosis is caused by the bacteria from the family – Leptospira and two types of diseases can be spread. While the first disease is passed on by the urine of infected rats, the second disease is caught from the urine of infected dogs. Although it is treated with antibiotics, it can at times be fatal or cause lifelong damage to the kidneys.
At Week 8-12
Deworming, Anti-Rabies (required by law).
Rabies is a highly fatal disease that affects the central nervous system of all mammals, humans included. Spread by contact with saliva on an open wound, it causes behavior changes, seizures and death. Anti-rabies vaccination is required by law.
Apart from the above vaccines, your pet must get regular deworming every three months. After the first year, it is a good practice to follow an annual vaccination schedule as deemed fit by your vet. While not all of these vaccines may need to be repeated after the first year, your vet will guide you on the vaccination process thereafter.
Do consult your vet for any additional vaccinations that may be required as per your puppy’s individual needs. Maintain a proper vaccination record that will ensure that you keep all the vaccinations in check and if you have any concerns over a vaccine. The first year of your puppy’s life is absolutely crucial and as your puppy grows and crucial vaccinations such as above will ensure a healthy and hearty life thereafter!