What shots do puppies need and when should they be given? Dec 2, 2018

What shots do puppies need and when should they be given?

Original Question: I want to know if the 6 in 1 vaccine should be given at 6, 9 and 12 weeks or at 9 and 12 weeks for a dog? - Princess

I am not sure about the 6 in 1 product you are referring to so I cannot speak to that. I do however recommend that you review the CVMA and AVMA’s guidelines on vaccination of puppies. Here is an excerpt from our vaccination resource which outlines some basic principles and the vaccination guidelines presented from these associations.

What follows is a brief outline of each disease you can vaccinate against, why you would, the pros and cons, and details that will help you make the best decision about your pet’s vaccination program.  

The vaccines we administer today are divided into two categories: Core and Non-core. The core vaccines protect against diseases that are serious and common. It is strongly recommended to provide the core vaccinations in order to control these diseases across the pet population. Your individual dog may not be a significant risk of exposure to one of these viruses, but preventing them from recurring within a population means controlling it on an individual level. If you possess a desire to avoid vaccination in your pet, its important to consider the societal responsibility of controlling these diseases on a wider scale. Protecting your pet can also mean protecting the dog or cat next door, down the street, elsewhere in your city, state, province or country.

The non-core vaccines are optional and should be considered only based on your pet’s individual risk of exposure to the disease.

These guidelines are put forth by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). They are adopted by most veterinarians. You’ll want to discuss these recommendations with your veterinarian regarding your pet’s individual risk of being exposed to these diseases in the area where you live and your pet’s lifestyle, travel agenda and regular exposure to other animals. Its important to think of these are recommended guidelines. All vaccine programs should be tailored to each pet with a commitment to controlling the serious ‘core’ diseases in all pets.

Core Vaccines for Dogs

Rabies

Disease Information: Rabies is a virus within saliva that transmits through bites, wounds, inhalation and also ingestion of tissue. It enters the muscle and can be deactivated by vaccine induced immunity but once it enters the nervous system, it becomes protected. From there, it travels to the spinal cord and brain before spreading out once again through exiting nerves. In dogs it causes irritability, aggression, reduced fear of people, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, disorientation, weakness, seizures, and paralysis. Death typically occurs within 10 days of symptoms developing. For this reason, dogs without proof of vaccination that are reported biting someone are often quarantined for a few weeks and monitored for these symptoms to determine if they could have potentially transmitted rabies during that bite.

This is a horrible disease for pets and humans but it has been kept under control due to great efforts by government vaccination programs. Rabies is still a major problem in underdeveloped countries and we still see outbreaks in pockets of North America. No doubt a resurgence of Rabies would be seen if vaccination was not continued. For this reason, you most likely live in an area where your local authorities REQUIRE by law that you have your pet vaccinated against this disease, even if your pet’s risk of exposure to it may be unlikely.
a viral disease principally of young dogs causing mild to severe illness. It can begin as a respiratory infection, followed by gastrointestinal illness and possible central nervous system involvement. Symptoms include fever, eye infections, loud breath sounds, vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, twitching of the head, neck or limbs, and seizures. It is commonly found in shelters and is highly contagious.

Recommendation: It is our recommendation to use the widely available 3-year vaccine. This vaccine is recommended to be given at 16 weeks of age, boostered 1 year later, and then boostered every 3 years in accordance with legal requirements. Your veterinarian may recommend a more frequent plan of boostering if they deem your pet at a higher risk than the legally required program. If legal requirements do not exist in your location, please discuss the risk of exposure to the disease your pet has and whether you require to protect them.

 

Distemper

Disease Information: Viral disease principally of young dogs causing mild to severe illness. It can begin as a respiratory infection, followed by gastrointestinal illness and possible central nervous system involvement. Symptoms include fever, eye infections, loud breath sounds, vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, twitching of the head, neck or limbs, and seizures. It is commonly found in shelters and is highly contagious.

Recommendation: Our recommendation is to vaccinate against these viruses at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, boostered 1 year later, and then boostered every 3 years. To reduce repeated, potentially unnecessary vaccinations, we recommend titre testing for Distemper at the time of the 3 year booster, and then annually, until ‘protective immunity’ is lost and revaccination is required. Please see our video and information on titre testing for more information on this.

 

Adenovirus Type-1

Disease Information: Causes acute liver infection in dogs after being spread through the faeces, urine, blood, saliva and ‘nasal discharge. It replicates in the tonsil and then infects the liver and kidneys causing symptoms of fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, bleeding disorders, and liver failure. Adenovirus type-2 causes a respiratory infection. Vaccination against type-2 provides protection against type-1 as well and is less likely to cause side effects.

Recommendation: Our recommendation is to vaccinate against these viruses at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, boostered 1 year later, and then boostered every 3 years. To reduce repeated, potentially unnecessary vaccinations, we recommend titre testing for Distemper at the time of the 3 year booster, and then annually, until ‘protective immunity’ is lost and revaccination is required. Please see our video and information on titre testing for more information on this.

 

Parainfluenza

Disease Information: A highly contagious respiratory virus that causes random outbreaks of disease in dog populations. It causes fever, coughing, nasal discharge, reduced appetite, and weakness. Death is rare with treatment but given its contagious potential, it can infect many dogs very rapidly and can be difficult to control or eliminate in a given area.

Recommendation: Our recommendation is to vaccinate against these viruses at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, boostered 1 year later, and then boostered every 3 years. To reduce repeated, potentially unnecessary vaccinations, we recommend titre testing for Distemper at the time of the 3 year booster, and then annually, until ‘protective immunity’ is lost and revaccination is required. Please see our video and information on titre testing for more information on this.

 

Parvovirus

Disease Information: This is a very common virus that often attacks puppies who have not received early vaccines against it. Veterinarians continue to see this on a regular basis and is a good example of the occasional lack of diligence for controlling this disease with vaccination. Parvovirus attacks the lining of the gastrointestinal system leading to severe inflammation, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea with often severe bleeding, dehydration, shock and death. It is responsive to treatment if it is implemented early and aggressively, but will cause mortality often. The virus is highly resistant in the environment and can live for greater than 6 months in homes and facilities, it can survive even longer if it is frozen over winter months. It’s extremely difficult to eradicate from shelters, private homes, play areas, hospitals and breeding facilities.

Recommendation: Our recommendation is to vaccinate against this virus at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, boostered 1 year later, and then boostered every 3 years. To reduce repeated, potentially unnecessary vaccinations, we recommend titre testing for Parvovirus at the time of the 3 year booster, and then annually, until ‘protective immunity’ is lost and revaccination is required. Please see our video and information on titre testing for more information on this.

 

Non-core Vaccines for Dogs

These vaccines are optional and should be considered based on your dog’s lifestyle, travel pattern, and exposure to other dogs and facilities such as hospitals, grooming and boarding facilities. We encourage you to speak to your veterinarian and have them help you assess your dog’s risk of exposure to these diseases.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica

Disease Information: This is a highly contagious bacteria that causes ‘Kennel Cough’, a respiratory infection of the upper airway. It causes a nonproductive hacking cough that often makes owners think their dog has ‘something caught in its throat’. It may get bad enough to cause inflammation in the eyes, nasal or ocular discharge, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, and can turn into pneumonia if it travels down the respiratory tract to the lungs. This disease is easily shared through saliva and nasal secretions making it highly contagious. The treatment is simple and effective by administering antibiotics. Young puppies, older dogs, and immune compromised dogs may become more seriously ill, especially if pneumonia develops.

Symptoms often occur a few days after being exposed to a dog that has clinical kennel cough. For this reason, it is common to catch this during a stay at a boarding kennel or being serviced at a grooming facility. Many of these facilities now require that you have your dog vaccinated against this bacteria in order to use their services.

Recommendation: We recommend this vaccine if you need to use these services or if your dog has repeated exposure to many dogs. If you want to reduce the need for vaccination, you could find a private groomer that takes one dog at a time in their home, or board your pet with a friend during a vacation rather than a boarding facility. Only if a significant risk exists, we recommend vaccinating at 8 and 12 weeks, then annually if the risk of exposure persists. If using the intranasal product, 1 vaccination at either 8, 12 or 16 weeks is sufficient.

 

Leptospirosis

Disease Information: This is a bacterial infection that can infect both animals and humans. Leptospirosis enters the body through the mouth and even water-softened skin. It travels around the body to the eyes, kidney, liver, spleen, urinary tract and the central nervous system. Severe cases can cause kidney and liver failure. This disease accounts for 30% of human cases of acute renal failure and is therefore both a significant pet and human disease. Most cases of this infection are insignificant, and the patients are asymptomatic and don’t require treatment. However, some dogs will become gravely ill with it and may die despite aggressive therapy.

The bacteria is found in the urine of wildlife and is especially common in urban wildlife, such as skunks and raccoons, including rodents. Animals that urinate outside into standing water, sewage and even puddles in parks, backyards and sidewalks. For this reason, it presents a significant risk of exposure to pets in urban and rural environments. There are at least 8 different forms of the bacteria and the vaccines we have only cover for 4 of them.

Recommendation: We recommend this vaccine only if your dog has a high risk of exposure to it. Have a thorough conversation with your veterinarian to determine if this risk is sufficient enough in your dog to warrant vaccination. Only if a significant risk of exposure exists, we recommend vaccinating at 12 and 16 weeks, then annually only if the risk of exposure persists.

Summary
What shots do puppies need and when should they be given?
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What shots do puppies need and when should they be given?
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The vaccines we administer today are divided into two categories: Core and Non-core. The core vaccines protect against diseases that are serious and common. It is strongly recommended to provide the core vaccinations in order to control these diseases across the pet population.
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Healthcare for Pets
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