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Puppy Health Tips: Essential Shots for Puppies

Vaccinating your puppy is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. When puppies are born, their mother supplies them with certain antibodies through the placenta and breast milk in order to help them fight off diseases. These antibodies are only effective for a few weeks, however, and if the mother hasn't been vaccinated, she will not be able to produce the antibodies for her pups.

 

Although there has been some controversy over the potential risk of administering shots for puppies, most experts recommend that pet owners get their puppies vaccinated. There are a few shots for puppies that are absolutely essential in order to protect your puppy from common canine viruses. Additional shots may be recommended depending on your geographical location and your puppy's environment however, so it is important to speak with your veterinarian to ensure that your puppy is receiving all of the vaccinations needed in your area.

 

 

Recommended Shots for Puppies

 

Distemper: Distemper is an extremely contagious disease that is caused from a virus and can be fatal. It can be transmitted through the air or by body fluids. Distemper can affect the puppy's brain, skin, respiratory system and intestines. Puppies should receive the distemper vaccine at approximately 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks, and 12-14 weeks.

 

Rabies: Rabies is a fatal disease that can be contracted through animal bites. It affects the brain, nervous system and respiratory system. There is no cure for rabies, and the disease can be transmitted to humans if they are bitten by an infected animal. Puppies should be vaccinated against rabies at 12-14 weeks of age, and then again at one year. While two and three year vaccines are now available, some areas require that dogs are vaccinated against rabies yearly.

 

Adenovirus: The adenovirus is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids like urine and nasal discharge. In dogs, the adenovirus causes hepatitis. When it is first contracted, the virus begins to affect the respiratory system, causing coughing and usually a sore throat. The virus then moves on to attack the kidneys, the liver, and sometimes even the eyes. Puppies should receive the adenovirus vaccine at 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks and 12-14 weeks.

 

Parvovirus: Parvo is an extremely serious medical condition that may result in fatality due to dehydration. Symptoms of the disease include severe vomiting and diarrhea. Parvo can be transmitted by coming in contact with infected feces or an infected animal. Puppies should be vaccinated against the parvovirus at 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks and 12-14 weeks.

 

Additional Vaccines: Additional vaccinations that may be recommended depending on your location, environment and other factors include the bortadela vaccine, the parainfluenza vaccine, the Leptospirosis vaccine, the coronavirus vaccine and the lyme disease vaccine.

 

It is important to remember that puppies aren't the only ones who need vaccinations. Adult dogs who have not received their shots as puppies should begin immunizations as soon as possible. Booster shots are often required in order to protect adult dogs from harmful diseases as well.

 

Puppies and dogs who attend dog boarding kennels, pet salons and dog parks are at a higher risk of contracting common canine diseases, so keep in mind that vaccinations are not always immediately effective, and you may wish to avoid these types of places if possible until you are certain that your pet is fully protected. Some vaccines can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to begin protecting your puppy or adult dog from disease.

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