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Vaccinating your dog should be one of your top priorities because there is an array of diseases and infections that could put both yours and your dog’s life in danger.
Although your dog’s vet will be the one to recommend which vaccine your dog should get, most pets need to take a number of core vaccines that prevent some of the most common viral diseases such as rabies that can be transmitted to people, parvovirus, and hepatitis, etc.
Many times, you will be required to vaccinate your dog when it’s still a puppy because its immune system is still poor and developing, to protect it from the smallest infections that can lead to bigger health issues and sometimes even death.
#1 – Rabies vaccination
Rabies is a deadly, viral disease found in many mammals including coyotes, raccoons, cats, and dogs and can be spread from an animal that carries it to pets and people.
If your dog is infected with rabies, the virus can be transmitted to you through a bite and attack your entire nervous system and kill you.
Some of the symptoms of rabies in people include irritability, headache, fever, hallucinations, seizures, and paralysis.
Symptoms of rabies in dogs include a dropped jaw, excessive salivation, foamy salivation, change in bark tone, sudden aggression, and pica— associated with dogs ingesting objects that are not food.
Your dog should start getting the rabies vaccine when it reaches 3 months of age. Although there has been controversy over whether annual rabies vaccination is harmful to dogs or not, it is safe for dogs to receive the rabies vaccine every three years and a booster shot one year later.
#2 – Parvovirus vaccination
This vaccination will protect your dog or puppy from the contagious canine parvovirus that they may contract through direct or indirect contact with the poo of other dogs and cause inflammation of heart muscles.
The mortality rate of the Parvovirus virus in dogs and puppies is as high as 91%. The virus is especially deadly for puppies since they have a very vulnerable immune system.
Symptoms of Parvovirus include vomiting, severe, bloody diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and lethargy.
Your dog should start taking the parvovirus vaccine when it reaches 16 weeks of age, every three years, in addition to a booster shot one year later.
Remember that Parvovirus vaccination plays an indispensable role in protecting your puppy.
#3 – Adenovirus (Canine Hepatitis) vaccination
There are two types of canine adenovirus. The first type causes hepatitis—swelling in the dog’s liver, cell damage, fever, tonsillitis, and hemorrhage, and death in 48 hours or less in severe cases.
Meanwhile, the second type is a relative of the hepatitis virus that is not as deadly for dogs. Some of the symptoms of this type include airway inflammation, coughing, and foamy discharge.
You should give your dog both the adenovirus type 1 and type 2 vaccinations when it reaches 10 or 12 weeks of age and again a few months. One year after, your dog will need another adenovirus shot combined with a booster dose.
#4 – Bordatella (Kennel cough) Vaccination
This vaccine is usually given to dogs that are exposed to other dogs because the Bordatella Bronchiseptica is a highly contagious bacterium that is transmitted through the air and ingestion which can happen if your dog eats out of the same bowl as other dogs.
Symptoms of Bordatella, also known as Kennel cough, include high-pitched cough, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, and fever. If your dogs suffer from these symptoms, you should not overlook them.
Untreated Bordatella destroys the immune cells and leads to pneumonia and death in some cases.
The Bordatella vaccine is usually given to dogs once every year along with a booster six months after.
#5 – Lyme Disease vaccination
While the Lyme disease vaccine is not available for humans, it is for dogs.
Lyme disease is transmitted through a tick bite and can cause symptoms like stiffness, swelling of joints, fever, reduced appetite, and low energy. This disease can cause inflammation in dogs’ heart, kidney, and nervous, and result in death.
Tick bites are oftentimes not easy to spot so it’s best to check your dog over for any bites or swelling. Lyme disease in dogs can be treated with Doxycycline antibiotics when prescribed.
But to protect your dog from this disease, you should give it Lyme vaccine when it’s still an eight-year-old puppy. Lyme vaccine is given again a few weeks after the first shot. After 12 months, the vet will require that your dog gets a booster shot.
There you have the five most essential vaccines that your dog should get to protect it and yourself from fatal viral diseases.
Also, it’s important to point out that you should never over-vaccinate your dog as you will be putting its life at risk because vaccination is a two-edged sword that can cause the diseases it is supposed to prevent.