It is imperative to have your puppy vaccinated on the appropriate vaccine schedule. When a puppy is born, it receives maternal antibodies from its mother. These antibodies “wear off” and are completely gone by 14-16 weeks of age. Puppies shouldn’t be vaccinated too early while these antibodies are too high. They also shouldn’t be vaccinated too late when they run the risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease. The first puppy vaccine is typically given at 8 weeks of age with subsequent booster vaccines being given at 12 and 16 weeks. It is important to follow this schedule or the entire series may have to be started again. During this time, puppies should be kept away from other animals whose vaccine history is unknown.
What vaccinations do you provide to new puppies?
We offer the DA2P (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus) vaccine at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. Puppies can receive Bordetella (Kennel Cough) at their 12-week booster if the owner wishes and then they receive Rabies at 16 weeks.
Why is it important to vaccinate your puppy?
It is imperative to vaccinate your puppy as these diseases are challenging to treat and do not always have the best outcome. Distemper is an airborne disease which affects the respiratory tract, Gastrointestinal Tract and the Conjunctival Membranes. Symptoms include fever, nasal discharge, watery eyes and nose, lethargy, anorexia, coughing, sneezing, vomiting and diarrhea. This disease is almost always fatal.
Canine Parvovirus is an extremely contagious disease most commonly taking place in the Gastrointestinal Tract. It affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients which causes the puppy to become severely dehydrated and lethargic. Symptoms include weight loss, vomiting, severe bloody diarrhea, fever, poor appetite and lethargy. Treatment must be started immediately and be extremely aggressive. In some cases, this is still not enough.
Adenovirus, also called Canine Hepatitis is a disease that affects the dog’s liver and kidneys. It is contracted via an infected animal’s feces, urine, blood, saliva or nasal discharge. Symptoms include fever, depression, loss of appetite, coughing and a tender abdomen. Animals are treated for their symptoms, but sometimes the damage is irreversible.
Rabies is a virus that affects the central nervous system in mammals and CAN be contracted by humans, most commonly by a bite from an affected mammal. The virus travels from the bite to the nerves, into the brain and finally to the salivary glands. Symptoms include fearfulness, aggression, drooling, difficulty swallowing, paralysis and seizures. Once symptoms are present the outcome, for both humans and pets is death.
Bordetella or Kennel Cough is an extremely contagious respiratory disease that is spread very easily between dogs. It causes a hacking cough which can be alarming to owners. Symptoms can be treated although like a cough or cold can last for up to 3 weeks. Complications are not common but have been noted in severe cases. Most daycares, grooming parlours, and kennels will require your dog to be vaccinated yearly.
At what age should I bring my puppy for their vaccinations?
The first vaccine is done at 8 weeks of age and will require a complete physical exam.
How should I prepare my puppy for their first vaccination visit?
It is important to make your puppies experience at the Vet a positive one. Reward them with treats and provide positive reinforcement while you are here. Puppies usually do very well after a vaccine. These are subcutaneous injections under the skin which are typically not painful.