When children are but a few weeks old they must
be vaccinated to prevent potentially deadly contagious diseases such as measles and whooping cough. Similarly, when
dogs are young, they need vaccinations to protect them from life-threatening diseases such as distemper, parvo virus, para-influenza
and hepatitis. A young animal is usually protected while still nursing its mother, but after weaning the animal’s
ability to stay free of disease decreases rapidly. Puppies need to visit the veterinarian for the first set of vaccinations
at about 6 weeks of age, or as soon thereafter as possible. Waiting too long increases the risk of the puppy getting
Just as babies get booster vaccinations every
few months when very young, the baby dog also need to get re-vaccinated every 3-4 weeks. A puppy usually needs three
combination distemper parvo vaccines every 3-4 weeks starting at about 6 weeks of age with the last series at 12-14
weeks of age. To have the best protection against parvo virus the puppy should visit the veterinarian at 6 months of age for
a single parvo vaccination. At this time your puppy should be spayed or neutered. Heartworm prevention, fecal
examinations, and dewormings should be initiated with the first puppy visit.
Children also get boosters when they enter school.
Puppies need boosters 12 months after they have finished their baby series and then the frequency of vaccinations may be based
on your pets’ life style, health and individual circumstances to be discussed with your health care professional.
Distemper is a viral disease that often starts
with a runny nose, sneezing, fever and discharge from the eyes. Distemper can progress to pneumonia and may affect the brain
and cause seizures, coma and death. Parvo virus causes fever, lack of appetite, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.
Often death follows; sometimes even if treated these terrible viruses will still snuff out the puppy’s life.
The above diseases that veterinarians vaccinate
for are contagious from dog to dog, but not to cats or humans.
Rabies is a vaccine that the law requires all
dogs and cats to receive at 4 month old, and is repeated a year later.