Why are vaccinations necessary?
- It is our duty as pet parents to keep our pets healthy and follow state rabies laws.
- Vaccinations prevent disease.
- Vaccinations work by injecting a small amount of the virus into your pet to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against the disease.
- Vaccines become fully effective when your pet reaches 20-24 weeks of age provided all vaccine protocols have been followed.
- In most cases, pets receive their vaccines without any side effects or adverse reactions. In the rare case of allergic reaction or prolonged general depression/apathy, contact your veterinarian immediately.
What vaccinations are necessary for your dog?
DHLPP – this 5-in-one vaccination is advised for all dogs. Initial vaccines are a series of three shots given 3-4 weeks apart and is highly recommended. It protects against the following diseases:
Distemper – a highly contagious viral disease affecting the respiratory and nervous systems. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and frequently; death.
Hepatitis/Adenovirus – a viral disease affecting the liver and kidneys. Symptoms can be mild to severe and include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and jaundice. Death can occur.
Leptospirosis – this is a bacterial disease typically spread by contact with infected urine or contaminated food/water. In severe cases, dogs may exhibit weakness, fever, vomiting, hemorrhage and jaundice.
Parainfluenza – this is one of the causes of kennel cough. The disease is airborne and can cause epidemics wherever large numbers of dogs are concentrated. Symptoms include a persistent, hacking cough lasting from 2-4 weeks. Complications like secondary infections and pneumonia could be fatal; especially in puppies.
Parvovirus – this viral infection is highly contagious and extremely problematic in today’s world. It is primarily spread through contact with the feces of an infected dog. The virus is capable of living for long periods of time outside the body and could contaminate lawn, soil, bowls, cages, shoes and other objects. Symptoms include depression, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Onset can be sudden and rapidly fatal; especially in puppies.
Rabies – this disease can affect all warm-blooded animals including humans. Transmission usually occurs from the bite of an infected animal. The main reservoir of rabies now found in wild animals like raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats. The virus attacks the brain and central nervous system and is almost always fatal. The first shot is given at 12 weeks and then repeated in one year. If kept current, all subsequent vaccinations are good for three years. Vaccination is required by CT State Law.
Bordetella – this is a bacterial infection which, along with other viruses, can cause infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough). Symptoms include a persistent, hacking cough lasting from 2-4 weeks. Kennel cough is highly contagious and is airborne. It is common at kennels and anywhere large groups of dogs are together. Vaccination is highly recommended for dogs that go to boarding facilities, grooming parlors, doggie daycare and the dog park. Most professional facilities require the vaccination in order to receive services.
Lyme Disease – first described in Lyme, CT, this disease is now found throughout the country. The Lyme bacterium is spread by ticks (commonly, the deer tick). Symptoms include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite and potentially severe joint inflammation (arthritis). Vaccination is recommended for dogs living in wooded areas or who go hiking or camping with their families. Initial vaccination is a series of 2 shots given 2-3 weeks apart. If kept current, all subsequent vaccinations are given annually. People can also contract this disease through tick bites.