Owning a pet comes with a great deal of responsibility. One of the first things that you will need to do is to check out what immunizations your dog has had in the past, and whether or not they are up to date. This is important because there are a variety of airborne and contact-spread diseases that can affect our canines, many of which can make him extremely unwell. While it is possible to prevent the diseases using vaccines, the immunizations must be given fairly regularly to ensure that your dog remains fully protected at all times.
Equally, most dogs should follow certain immunizations during their first few months of life. If this does not happen for some reason, it may be necessary to start your dog’s schedule of vaccinations from scratch if he is to be adequately protected.
However, with so many different immunizations available, it can be difficult to know exactly which ones your pet requires. This is where our veterinarian at Windermere Animal Hospital comes in. Vets are trained and experienced in pet care and will be able to draw on their knowledge and skill to assess your pet and decide which vaccines will be most valuable for him. He will then create a customized vaccination schedule based on the needs of our pet.
What immunizations does my dog need?
There are many different immunizations currently available. While the following are generalized guidelines as to what vaccines your pet needs, every dog is different and for this reason, our vet will discuss with you exactly which immunizations will best benefit your pet.
The following are considered to be the ‘core’ vaccines required by dogs:
- Canine Hepatitis
The good news is that a number of the vaccines listed above can be combined into one single shot, which helps to minimize the number of appointments you need to attend and vaccines you need to keep track of.
Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus can be delivered as one vaccine known as the DAPP vaccine. Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus can be provided as a single vaccine known as DHPP or the ‘puppy’ vaccine. This is because multiple smaller doses of DHPP as received during the first few months of a puppy’s life to help gradually build up his protection to the relevant diseases while his immune system is still developing.
Optional vaccines for dogs
Not all vaccines are needed by all dogs. Some are very much dependent on the level of risk posed to your pet by the lifestyle he leads or the location where you live. For example, most veterinarians won’t recommend immunizations for Lyme disease if you live in California, since incidents are virtually unheard of. However, if you live in one of the states of the North East of the country, such as Maine, then our vet at Windermere Animal Hospital will almost certainly strongly advocate a Lyme disease vaccine. This is because ticks that spread Lyme disease are prevalent in this part of the country.
Some of the optional vaccines that our vet might recommend for your dog include:
- Coronavirus. This is a viral disease that attacks the gastro-intestinal system.
- Canine Influenza Virus. This viral disease causes cold-like symptoms.
- Bordetella. Also known as the kennel cough vaccine, this protects your dog from a complex respiratory disease that is often found in boarding kennels where pets are unprotected.
- Lyme disease. This is spread through the bite of ticks, particularly the deer tick.
If you are still unsure which vaccinations are right for your dog, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with our experienced veterinary team, please contact our Fishers, IN clinic today. We are ready and waiting to support you support your pet’s health so that you can enjoy many happy and healthy years together.