Hello and nice to see you here again today. Many friends and new puppy parents have told me to give them some veterinary information for dogs, and one of their questions was if is good for our little furry babies to vaccinate them and when is the right time to do it.
Depending on where in the world we live there can be many life-threatening illnesses and we have to protect our dogs from them. This is why my answer is yes, we have to vaccinate our puppies and it is very important for their health care.
Vaccines help our puppies immune system if ever they come into contact with these diseases, and to know how to fight against them is important.
Of course, when a baby, your Labrador is protected against disease by the antibodies which the pup can find in the mother’s milk.
With the vaccination, we can protect our dog against more than 11 diseases. How do the vaccines work? They contain antigens which don’t really give to the pup the disease but just make his immune system understand that are the organisms that cause this illness.
Which are the necessary vaccines?
There are four core vaccines and seven non-core recommended for our puppies.
The core vaccines are necessary for all puppies. Those four diseases that we have to vaccinate our labs against are:
Rabies- This is a very contagious disease that humans can be infected with from their dogs and it is fatal. How many times this vaccine needed? Depending on the country you live, your Labrador needs the vaccination every 1 to 3 years.
Many vet doctors will tell you to come every year, for the economical reason, but latest researches show that the effect of some vaccines lasts more than that. So…even every three years is good enough.
Parvovirus- it is a virus that had an 80% fatality rate and it is very difficult to be treated. Also this vaccination is good to be administrated every three years. It is a viral disease of the intestines.
Hepatitis- is a canine viral infection, different from human hepatitis and it is not contagious for humans. Even if is not dangerous for humans it is still very important to protect our sweet furry pups from this very serious illness.
Canine distemper-vaccination against this disease will protect your pup if he comes in contact with the virus while outside but even if before was fatal for dogs, now this illness is found only in the wild and in the pet stores. It is a viral disease of the liver. It is a viral disease of the lungs, brain, and intestine.
Of course, if you vaccinate your dog or not, it is a personal choice but my advice is to do it, every three years. These vaccines are administrated as injections under the skin or into the muscle but tell to your pup to not be afraid. Many vets, to avoid many injections, combine the necessary vaccines in only one.
The non-core vaccinations are recommended only for certain dogs:
Lyme disease- it can be infected from tick bites but this problem is not everywhere but only in certain areas.
Parainfluenza and Bordetella –bordetella is a bacterial infection of the upper respiratory system and parainfluenza virus is an infectious form of bronchitis. Both of them are major causes of Kennel cough. Vaccination is necessary only if you will leave your pup in a place with many dogs, a boarding kennel, a dog show or any dog care.
Leptospirosis –is a bacteria that can affect both dogs and humans. It is very dangerous and it is fatal for dogs and causes organ failure for humans. It is a necessary vaccination in some areas and even in the high-risk parts of the country you need to give a booster every six months for your dog.
Giardia- are parasites that live in the digestive tracks of dogs and it passes to other animals if the dog is not vaccinated. It is possible your dog to have them but to not causes problems.
Measles- it is a vaccination that is not recommended usually but only for pups in the wild and pet stores, at the age of 4 to 10 weeks.
What will be your vaccination schedule?
- 6 to 8 weeks- Distemper, measles, parainfluenza and optional bortadella. Of course, your vet will tell you if it is necessary or not in your area.
- 10 to 12 weeks-DHPP (a combination of vaccines for hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza and parnovirus) Most of the vets recommend this combination and usually when we take the puppy is at this age, so the first one at the age of 6-8 weeks we don’t have the chance to do it. Of course in the last years they make a 5 vaccine combination or 7 depending on the dogs needs.
- 12-24 months –rabies
- Every 1-2 years- DHPP
- Every 1 to 3 years-Rabies ( especially if you travel is required)
Is your puppy at any risk? Are there any side effects?
Ok, maybe your puppy will feel tired and uncomfortable that day, but usually there are not often major side effects. You should watch your little fur ball for the next hours and contact your vet if you see one of the following symptoms:
-difficulty in breathing
-vomiting and diarrhea
As I said before, annual vaccination can be bad for the immune system and are suggested busters only every 3 years.
Of course, the opinions are shared and the most important thing, in my opinion is to find a vet in your area that you trust and that you have heard good things about him. It is important your for Vet to see your Labrador as a patient, as a sweet little soul, and not as a source of money.
To tell you about this I am very very lucky. I found a doctor, a really good vet, but most of all a very very good man. He saved my dog many times but I can’t forget the day when my dog was poisoned in one of our morning walks on the beach. At 7 o’clock in the morning, three hours before his surgery opened, he came in 10 minutes there and saved my baby. I really can’t forget this. Do you think many would do it?
So thanks again for reading and please take care about those sweet little furry buddies 🙂 Any questions you have I will wait for your comments below 🙂
For further reading about your furry babies choose below