Posts Tagged ‘vaccines’

I have a new pet! Now what? Part 1 – Dog Vaccines

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Have you ever thought about adopting or attaining a new pet but weren’t sure what to do with him/her once you got them? There is some basic veterinarian care you should do once you get your new pet. I’ve broken down this post into 3 different posts: dog vaccines, cat vaccines, and vaccines for exotic pets. This first part is addressing dog vaccinations.

First and foremost, you should always try and get as much medical history you can from the previous owner or shelter where you got the pet. If possible, get a copy of their medical chart. It’s important to know what vaccines they’ve received and when they need an update. Once they are completely in your care, it’s always a good idea to schedule a general check up (whether they need vaccines or not) to make sure they’re completely healthy.

If they are in need of vaccines, be sure to stay on top of them so they’re always up to date and fully protected. Here’s a list of vaccines for dogs that are highly recommended by veterinarians.


DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus (canine hepatitis), Parainfluenza, Parvovirus) – Parvo (one of the things DAPP protects against) is a potentially deadly internal virus that is contracted most often by dogs between the ages of 0-2years and those that haven’t been vaccinated for the virus. It is highly contagious and can be passed through contact of feces (careful where you step!). It can live in the environment for years so it’s always a good idea to play it safe! Common signs are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, not eating or drinking. Call a vet immediately if you suspect parvo. Puppies should be vaccinated at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks and then boosted at a year.  Your veterinarian will help you determine vaccine needs after the 1 year booster.

RV (rabies) is a vaccine  required by law to have and is one of the most important, highly recommended vaccines. Rabies is a deadly zoonotic (can be passed from animals to humans) disease and is spread most often through bite wounds from infected animals.  They should be vaccinated for rabies at 12-16 weeks of age and boostered a year later.    Subsequent boosters are every 3 years.

           Bordetella – protects against kennel cough. If your dog is going to be boarded, go to the groomers, or if they’re around other dogs frequently, it’s always a good idea to have this vaccine. Bordetella is commenly given every six months to a year depending on  your lifestyle and contact with other dogs.

          Lepto (leptospirosis) – Pets can become infected by sniffing infected urine left by wild rodents such as raccoons, skunks, even mice.  More often, the leptospira are washed by rains into standing water. Then pets wading, swimming or drinking the contaminated water, develop the disease. Although this is the way that leptospira usually pass from animal to animal, they can also enter through a bite wound or through the pets eating infected materials. It’s more common in the late summer, early fall because that’s when wild creatures are encountered more.   It’s always a good idea to protect your pet against this virus if you like to go hiking, camping, etc. in a place where wild animals might be. Lepto is an annual vaccine. Best given right before the summer when there is more outdoor activities