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When Should My Puppy Get Its Shots?

Similar to having a baby, bringing a puppy home can be a nerve wracking time. Wanting to take care of our new little friend is a process and with so much to take in it can be a little overwhelming. I have put together a list of immunizations and when a puppy should be receiving them in order to help take away some of the confusion and stress for you all. Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and this is a general guideline. Always speak with your vet before making medical decisions for your pet.

1. Rabies

To begin with, most states require the rabies vaccination. Rabies is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected animal and must be treated within hours of infection. If left untreated it will lead to death. This viral disease invades the central nervous system causing drooling, headaches, anxiety, fear of water, hallucinations, paralysis, and eventually death.

2. Distemper

Distemper is a virus that attacks the nervous system, the respiratory system, and the gastrointestinal system of animals. The virus can be transmitted by air, shared food, and shared water sources. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, eye and nose discharge, twitching, paralysis, hardened paw pads, and death. There is no cure for distemper, only prevention and treatment.

3. Bordetella Bronchiseptica

Bacterial in nature, and highly infectious Bordetella is the common cause of kennel cough. Symptoms include whooping coughs, vomiting, and in rare cases seizures or death.

4. Canine Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a viral infection that affects the liver, spleen, lungs, kidney, and eyes of an affected dog. The disease is unrelated to the human strain of hepatitis and cannot be cured. Symptoms include congestion, bloat, jaundice, and liver area pain.

5. Canine Parainfluenza

Another virus that can lead to kennel cough.

6. Corona Virus

The corona virus is one that primarily affects a dogs GI system with a loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. It has been known to on occasion cause respiratory infections as well. Symptoms will go away on their own with love and care, but no drug can treat the virus.

7. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can be spread from animals to humans. It is a bacteria that can be found in both soil and water. Symptoms include vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, lethargy, weakness, infertility, stiffness and muscle ache, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and in some causes kidney or liver failure.

8. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tick born disease caused by bacteria. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, high temperatures, lack of appetite, limping initially. If the disease is given time to remain untreated it can lead to complications in the joints, kidney, and heart. It should be noted that unlike humans who show a ring like rash dogs show no physical irritation at the location of the bite.

9. Parvovirus

More commonly known as Parvo, this virus is highly contagious and can kill a dog within two to three days if left unchecked. Symptoms include severe dehydration, lack of appetite, vomiting, high fever, and bloody diarrhea due to the virus attacking the GI system. There is no cure for the parvovirus.

Now that you know what your dog is being immunized lets discuss when your puppy should be receiving its shots.

Immunization Schedule:

6-8 Weeks – Distemper, measles, parainfluenza, and bordetella.

10-12 Weeks – DHPP, coronavirus, leptospirosis, and lyme disease.

12-24 Weeks – Rabies

14-16 Weeks – DHPP

12-16 Months – Rabies and DHPP

Every 1-2 Years – DHPP

Every 1-3 Years – Rabies (Required by law)

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