Although your new puppy will likely squirm and maybe even cry when getting his shots, it is just as important for your dog as it is for your children or yourself. In fact, by keeping up on your dog’s vaccinations, you could be saving his life.
Vaccinations are injections of a small dose of a disease, which will prevent your puppy from developing that very disease. Just like immunizations in children, they are required by health departments and are the right thing to do for your dog.
Two different types of vaccinations exist. They are a Killed Vaccine and a Modified Live Vaccine. A Modified Live Vaccine is a live disease being injected, after having been altered by the drug company to be unable to cause the disease it is protecting against. In a Killed Vaccine, the virus itself has been killed before any injection occurs.
Once vaccinations are given, your dog’s immune system will recognize the presence of a disease and will then create barriers or reinforcements (antibodies) to fight it off, should it appear. These barriers only last from six months to a year, which makes regular appointments extremely important for your dog.
A few of the more commonly heard of diseases that affect dogs are often at the top of a vaccination list. These include: Canine Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Rabies and Corona Virus.
Regular vaccinations can prevent your dog from contracting these diseases; however, you should still be aware of what they are. Canine Distemper is caused by a virus that attacks the body and can be damaging to the dog’s central nervous system.
50 percent of dogs who contract this disease will have a fatal outcome. It mainly affects middle-aged dogs. Puppies and older dogs are usually safe from contracting it.
Another vaccination, which is important to your dog’s health and should not be confused with the human disease, Hepatitis, is Infectious Hepatitis, which is a life threatening viral disease. It is transmitted through urine, saliva and feces. All ages of dogs are at risk for this disease. Luckily, it’s not contagious to humans.
Vaccinations for Rabies are probably the most commonly talked about vaccine. The disease itself is the most well known in animals and can quickly affect humans through saliva and bites. Aggression, excessive salivation and erratic behavior will follow the onset of rabies, although it may not be as clear as “Cujo”, the famous rabid-infected dog in the movies.
Another disease that is commonly confused and which is important to be vaccinated against is Corona Virus. This disease affects young dogs and is usually mixed up with Parvo, which is a totally different type of disease. Corona Virus is contagious and is passed through feces ingested by another dog, causing trouble with the intestinal system. This disease is usually treatable before Parvo sets in.
As you can see, many diseases can affect, sicken, or even kill your precious family member. Vaccinations are extremely important to yours and your dog’s health and it is your responsibility as a dog owner to have regular visits with the vet. For all the happiness he brings to you and your family, he deserves to be healthy.