List Of All Important Vaccines For Dogs

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Important Vaccines For Dogs

Important Vaccines For Dogs
Important Vaccines For Dogs

Periodic vaccinations, or immunizations, are an important part of your dog’s preventive health care plan.

Let’s start by explaining what vaccination does for your dog. In very simple terms, vaccination provides protection for your dog against the agent (usually a virus or bacteria) included in the vaccine. For instance, a rabies vaccine protects your dog against developing rabies.

To be more specific, vaccination (or immunization) is the act of introducing a virus or bacteria, whole or in part and in an inactivated safe form, to your dog’s immune system. This allows the immune system to develop protection (in the form of antibodies) against the virus or bacteria in question before your dog is exposed to the naturally occurring, more dangerous agent.

In recent years, there has been some concern about potential vaccine reactions which has caused some changes in the way we vaccinate our animals today.

Currently, there are a group of “core” vaccines, which are vaccines which are required by all dogs.

There is also a group of “non-core” vaccines which may or may not be necessary, depending on your dog’s individual lifestyle and risk of exposure.

Which vaccines need to be given and how often they are given will vary from one dog to another.  Your dog’s veterinarian can help you decide which vaccines and what vaccination schedule is appropriate for your dog.

Important Vaccines For Dogs

Important Vaccines For Dogs
Important Vaccines For Dogs

Core Vaccines:

  • Rabies: Because rabies is a disease which can infect people as well as dogs, most states have laws which require vaccination against rabies.
  • Canine Distemper (CDV), Canine Parvovirus (CPV), Canine Adenovirus: These three viruses are often contained within the same vaccine, protecting your dog against all three diseases with one vaccination. You may also find other viruses included with some vaccines as well, such as leptospirosis, for use in those dogs which are at risk and need the additional protection.
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Non-Core Vaccines:

  • Distemper-Measles: This vaccine is sometimes given to very young puppies to help give them immunity to distemper in the face of maternal antibodies which prevent the puppies from developing an immune response to more traditional vaccines.
  • Coronavirus: This virus may cause intestinal problems in young dogs. In certain situations, the vaccine may be recommended by your veterinarian, especially if your dog is a puppy.
  • Parainfluenza: This virus is often included in multi-valent vaccines (a vaccine which protects against more than one disease) which also provide protection against canine distemper, canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus, and leptospirosis. You may see this commonly used vaccination referred to as a DHLPP vaccine or a DA2PPL vaccine.
  • Bordetella: This vaccine is frequently called a “kennel cough” vaccine. It may be recommended or even required for dogs in which a kennel stay is required, such as a boarding facility or shelter.
  • Leptospirosis: This disease is endemic (common) in some areas and is usually spread through contact with infected body fluids. Rodents are frequently carriers. Dogs can be carriers of the disease also.
  • Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is one of the tick-borne diseases. If your dog frequently encounters ticks, this vaccine may be recommended.
  • Giardia: Giardia is one of the causes of protozoal diarrhea. The vaccine is generally used as an adjunct to treatment and does seem to shorten the duration of the disease and ease the symptoms. However, the vaccine is not licensed to prevent disease outbreak and is not routinely given unless your dog is in a situation where Giardia has been diagnosed.
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Your dog’s veterinarian will help you decide which of these vaccines are necessary for your dog, based on his/her lifestyle and individual risk levels.

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