Vaccines introduce a small amount of a certain virus to the patient’s body, which in turn teaches the immune system to fight off the disease in the future. Vaccines are often given in doses to build up immunity. When your puppy is between 6-12 weeks old, most veterinarians will recommend that they begin their puppy series. Different doses are administered every 2 to 4 weeks until they are 4 months old. As an adult, boosters are recommended every 1 to 3 years.
Which vaccines are mandatory for puppies or dogs?
Mandatory vaccines for canines are called core vaccines. They are required by law because without them, your loyal companion can catch and spread deadly diseases even to humans. Here are the core vaccines for dogs:
- Canine hepatitis
- Canine distemper
- Canine parvovirus
If your canine companion has unique risk factors due to their lifestyle, your veterinarian will recommend additional vaccines. Some non-core vaccines for canines may include Leptospirosis, Bordetella and Lyme.
Is it necessary for my adult dog to get boosters if they were fully vaccinated as a puppy?
Absolutely! Boosters do exactly that, they enhance the level of immunity of your cherished companion. If too much time passes between their initial vaccination and boosters, they may even need to restart the series and build-up their immunity again. Immunity does not last forever and that’s why it’s important to keep up with boosters.
What are some symptoms that unvaccinated canines may experience?
By vaccinating your cherished canine, you are protecting them from the following symptoms:
- Adenovirus 2: Pneumonia, respiratory illness which can lead to death
- Bordetella: Breathing problems, lung infection and runny nose
- Canine influenza: Breathing problems, coughing and runny nose
- Canine distemper virus: Fever, lung diseases, seizures and even death
- Canine parvovirus: Bloody diarrhea, bone marrow suppression, vomiting and possibly fatality
- Leptospirosis: Fever, liver and kidney damage and vomiting
- Lyme disease: Joint pain, inflammation and fatal kidney damage
- Rabies: abnormal behaviour, cerebral dysfunction, difficulty breathing and swallowing, paralysis and seizures