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Puppy Vaccines

Puppy Vaccines

When you get a new puppy it is imperative that he receive all his proper puppy vaccines. These protect him from getting diseases if he becomes exposed to them.

When the pet doctor injects a vaccine into your puppy, it “teaches” the pup’s immune system what a disease organism looks like. But the vaccine contains only weak or dead versions of the organism, so the puppy’s immune system learns to recognize it, but without the danger of serious infection.

Later in life, if the organism ever attacks, the puppy’s immune system is already prepared to fight it off because of the vaccine.

When a puppy receives a puppy vaccine, his body forms antibodies that can fight that particular disease. With the antibody already in the puppy’s system, it will have a better chance of fighting off the infection.

Puppies should receive their puppy vaccines beginning when they are under the age of four months. Your vet will know which vaccines to give, and in what order.

It’s also important to give booster shots. These keep the puppy vaccines current. You need to do this so that your puppy’s immunity continues to be strong. Some vets have a reminder system, and will phone you or send out a postcard to let you know when it’s time for booster shots. However, it’s good if you also keep your own records of all shots, medical treatments and puppy vaccines, so you’ll know when it’s time.

If you have questions about the puppy vaccines, be sure to ask your vet for more information. Your vet will know which vaccines your puppy should receive, no matter when or where you purchased or adopted your pet. When you adopt or purchase a puppy, remember to ask if he has received any of the puppy vaccines. Some breeders and pet shelters are very responsible and make sure that the first puppy vaccines have already been given.

It’s also important to keep in mind that giving puppy vaccines is not successful 100% of the time. Some puppies have weaker immune systems. This means that a puppy can come down sick with a disease even if he has received all the proper puppy vaccines at all the right times. If your puppy seems to be ill, even if he has received all his vaccines, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.

It is very important for the health of your puppy that, in addition to receiving all his puppy vaccines, you also need to keep a careful eye on how your puppy is feeling and acting.

This will help you keep your pet alive, healthy and happy for many years to come.

Below is a sample vaccination schedule followed by many veterinarians. For those who believe minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable, we recommend that you check out Dr. W. Jean Dodd’s Latest Recommendation Vaccination Schedule at: http://www.weim.net/emberweims/Vaccine.html. However, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian for recommendations best suited for your dog.


Sample Puppy Vaccination Schedule
Age Vaccination
5 weeks Parvovirus: for puppies at high risk of exposure to parvo, some veterinarians recommend vaccinating at 5 weeks. Check with your veterinarian.
6 & 9 weeks Combination vaccine* without leptospirosis.
Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.
12 weeks or older Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (age at vaccination may vary according to local law).
12 & 15 weeks** Combination vaccine
Leptospirosis: include leptosporosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.
Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
Adult (boosters)§ Combination vaccine
Leptospirosis: include leptospirosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.
Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (time interval between vaccinations may vary according to local law).
*A combination vaccine, often called a 5-way vaccine, usually includes adenovirus cough and hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Some combination vaccines may also include leptospirosis (7-way vaccines) and/or coronavirus. The inclusion of either canine adenovirus-1 or adenovirus-2 in a vaccine will protect against both adenovirus cough and hepatitis; adenovirus-2 is highly preferred.**Some puppies may need additional vaccinations against parvovirus after 15 weeks of age. Consult with your local veterinarian.

§ According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs at low risk of disease exposure may not need to be boostered yearly for most diseases. Consult with your local veterinarian to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your dog. Remember, recommendations vary depending on the age, breed, and health status of the dog, the potential of the dog to be exposed to the disease, the type of vaccine, whether the dog is used for breeding, and the geographical area where the dog lives or may visit.

Bordetella and parainfluenza: For complete canine cough protection, we recommend Intra-Trac II ADT. For dogs that are shown, in field trials, or are boarded, we recommend vaccination every six months with Intra-Trac II ADT.


Vaccination Schedule Source: Vaccination Recommendations for Puppies (Puppy Shots) : More information on puppy vaccines and vaccination schedule found here.

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Dog article courtesy of The Puppy Network (http://www.thepuppynetwork.com)



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