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Vaccinations By Dr. David Ormond, D.V.M.

of Mobile Pet Medical Care Vaccines are highly effective in preventing certain infectious diseases in dogs, but failures do occur. This failure can be due to improper handling and storage of the vaccine, incorrect administration, or the inability of the dog to respon d. Trying to stretch out the vaccine by dividing one ampule between two dogs is another reason for failure of vaccination to produce the needed level of protect ion in the dog. If a dog is already exposed to the disease in question, then vaccinating him wil l not alter the course of the disease. Because each puppy is an individual case and proper handling and administration of the vaccine is so important, vaccinati on should be given only by those familiar with the techniques. When you go to yo ur veterinarian for a booster shot, your dog will get a physical exam to determi ne if there are any conditions developing that could hinder the development of i mmunity from the vaccination administration. The veterinarian may detect some im portant change that you have personally overlooked. Young puppies are highly susceptible to certain infectious diseases and should b e vaccinated against them as soon as they are old enough to build an immune resp onse. These diseases are Distemper, Corona virus, Parvo virus, Infectious Hepatitis, P arainfluenza, canine Adeno type 2 virus, Bordetella, Leptospirosis, and Rabies. Distemper The first distemper combination shot should be given shortly after weaning the p uppies, but before placing the new puppy in a new home where he will be exposed to other dogs. Many veterinarians recommend that six-week-old puppies be vaccina ted with the combination canine distemper-measles vaccine. A high percent of pup pies do not get a satisfactory take from a distemper shot due to circulating mat ernal antibodies which block out the inactivated distemper virus in the vaccine. The measles virus, which is quite similar to the distemper virus, is not so aff ected. It is able to stimulate antibodies which protect against distemper, but i t does not cause any disease in dogs as it does in humans. This combination vacc ine has been found to build temporary immunity to distemper in most young puppie s. Beyond 15 weeks of age, the combination vaccine is not nearly as effective as distemper vaccine alone. At this point one should switch over to one of the sta ndard distemper preparations (the DHL shot). Booster shots are required. Infectious Hepatitis and Canine Adeno Type 2 virus Your veterinarian will probably recommend a vaccine containing one of the adenov irus preparations (CAV-1 or CAV-2). It protects against hepatitis and the adenov irus implicated in the kennel cough complex. Clouding of the clear window of the eye may occur one to two weeks after vaccination in a few cases. This is called Blue Eye and very rarely happens any more. Hepatitis vaccines are incorporated into he DHL shot. Booster shots are required. Leptospirosis Leptospira bacterin protects against two bacteria that cause leptospirosis. The first shot should be given at three to four months of age. Leptospira vaccine is incorporated into the DHL shot. Booster shots are required. In areas where the disease is endemic, vaccinations at eight and ten weeks of ag e often are indicated. Since immunity to leptospira vaccine may be short-lived, in high risk areas a booster dose may be advisable as often as every six months.

Parainfluenza Vaccine The parainfluenza is one of the germs implicated in the kennel cough complex. CP I vaccine will protect against this virus, while hepatitis vaccine will protect against two of the adenoviruses. For routine immunization, you need to follow th e distemper vaccination schedule. Bordetella Vaccine This vaccine is available and is aids in the control of another agent that is im plicated in the kennel cough complex. Show dogs and dogs living in kennels may b enefit from this additional protection. Discuss this with your veterinarian. Tow initial vaccinations are given, three to four weeks apart. Repeat annually. Parvovirus Vaccine Canine origin vaccines have largely replaced those of feline origin. Both inacti vated and modified live virus vaccines result in effective levels of parvovirus antibody. The live virus preparation appears to generate high levels of protecti on over longer periods of time. Initial vaccination consists of two doses given three to four weeks apart, then an annual booster. For maximum protection in hig h risk areas, vaccinate at two week intervals until the puppy is 16 weeks of age . Rabies Vaccine There are two general types of rabies vaccines. One is modified live virus prepa ration and the other is an inactivated virus. All vaccines must be given by a ve terinarian. Care must be taken to be sure the product is made specifically for d ogs. The live virus vaccines provide longer-lasting immunity. The first injectio n should be given at three to six months of age, the second at one year, and the n injections annually or every three years thereafter, depending upon the strain of vaccine. If a dog is vaccinated before three months of age, he should be rev accinated at six months. Dr. Ormond has published many other health care tips. To find out more visit his Car Dog Seats website online.