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Vaccines | Canine Diseases

Newborn puppies are not naturally immune to diseases. Puppies have some antibody protection, which is derived from the mother’s blood via the placenta. The next level of immunity is from antibodies from the first milk, which is called colostrum. This antibody rich milk is produced from the time of birth and continuing for 36-48 hours. However, after two days, regular milk is produced and puppies are no longer able to receive antibodies from their mothers. All antibodies received from the mother, whether through her blood or milk, are called maternal antibodies. Please note that the puppy will only receive antibodies against diseases for which the mother had been recently vaccinated against or exposed to. For example, a mother that had not been vaccinated against or exposed to parvovirus, would not have any antibodies against this disease to pass along to her puppies. The puppies would then be more susceptible to developing a parvovirus infection.

The age at which puppies can effectively be immunized is proportional to the amount of antibody protection the puppy received from its mother. High levels of maternal antibodies in the puppy’s bloodstream will block the effectiveness of a vaccine. When the maternal antibodies drop to a low enough level in the puppy, immunization by a commercial vaccine will work. The maternal antibodies generally circulate in the puppy’s blood for about 6 to 12 weeks after birth. There is a period of time from several days to several weeks in which the maternal antibodies are too low to provide adequate protection against disease, but too high to allow a vaccine to work. This period is called the window of susceptibility. This is the time, when despite being vaccinated, a puppy can still contract a disease. The length of the window of susceptibility is different in every litter, and even between littermates.

Diseases are easily transmitted between pets. Your veterinarian will recommend a timetable for the vaccinations your puppy or dog needs to prevent these diseases. Most vaccinations are given in a series over a period of time. Consult with your veterinarian as to which vaccines are appropriate for your pet. Recommendations vary depending on the age, breed, health, potential of exposure to an animal who has the disease, type of vaccine, and how common the disease is found in the area where the pet lives or may visit.

Canine Diseases

Canine Disease
Disease Symptons Prevention
Canine Distemper is a highly contagious and often fatal virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. It can be spread via airborne transmission or through contact with an infected animal, it's feces, or it's urine. Since a puppy’s natural immunity may wear off before he is vaccinated, reduce risk of exposure by liming contact with unfamiliar dogs until the vaccination series is completed.
Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, pus-like discharge from the nose and eyes, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, twitching and convulsions. Vaccination is the only effective control. Initial vaccinations are given as a series beginning as early as 6 weeks, followed with an annual booster. Distemper vaccinations are usually given in combination with vaccines for other diseases. Adult dogs and puppies older than three months can be effectively protected from distemper by annual booster vaccinations.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis (also known as adenovirus) is a viral disease that primarily affects the liver, kidneys, and cells lining the blood vessels. It is spread by contact with infected animals, their feces, urine, or saliva. Some of the new hepatitis vaccines also offer protection against respiratory disease.
Symptoms include weakness, fever, lack of appetite, bloody vomit and diarrhea, abdominal pain, eyes seem irritated by light. Vaccination will provide excellent immunity. Initial vaccinations are given as a series beginning as early as 6-8 weeks, followed with an annual booster. The vaccine for canine hepatitis is usually combined with the vaccine for distemper.
Leptospirosis is an extremely contagious bacterial disease that primarily affects the kidneys. It is spread through contact with nasal secretions, urine, or saliva of infected animals, drinking or swimming in contaminated water, or by contact with rats. Note that early signs of the disease may not be readily apparent, so infection can go undetected. Recovered animals can continue spreading the disease, which can also affect humans.
Symptoms are fever, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, increased water intake and urination. May produce inflamed kidneys and can cause liver damage. Initial vaccinations are given as a series beginning as early as 6 weeks, followed with an annual booster. Leptospirosis vaccinations are usually combined with vaccinations for distemper and hepatitis.
Parvovirus (canine parvoviral gastroenteritis) is a common, deadly viral infection, usually in puppies, that primarily affects the gastrointestinal tract and the heart. Parvovirus is spread by contact with feces, blood, or vomit of an infected dog, or by direct contact with an infected animal.
Symptoms include fever, severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, weakness, lack of appetite, rapid dehydration, labored breathing. A series of vaccinations are given from 6 to 8 weeks, followed with an annual booster. Animals that often stay in kennels, travel to dog shows, or are exposed to other dogs should be vaccinated every 6 months. Check with your veterinarian.
Parainfluenza is a highly infectious virus that can contribute to “kennel cough.” It can cause a mild respiratory disease to severe debilitation in puppies. It spreads quickly among dogs kept in close quarters. If neglected, it may seriously damage the respiratory system and even death.
Symptoms include a harsh, dry, hacking cough, lack of appetite, depression, and runny nose and eyes. Initial vaccinations are given beginning as early as 6 weeks, followed with an annual booster.
Rabies is a viral infection of the central nervous system that attacks the brain and results in paralysis and death. It is always fatal. It is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Rabies is a public health threat and a personal risk to all pet owners, so vaccination is essential. Most states have laws requiring vaccination.
Symptoms include change in behavior, extreme restlessness, dilated pupils, unprovoked biting, extreme shyness or aggressiveness, paralysis of the throat causing the inability to eat or drink, paralysis of the lower jaw, generalized paralysis, coma and death. Initial inoculation should be given as early as 3 months of age, with a second inoculation later. (Check with your veterinarian.) After the second injection, the dog should receive a booster at one year and every one to three years thereafter, depending on the vaccine used and on local laws.
Coronavirus is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the gastrointestinal tract. It is spread by the feces, blood, or vomit of an infected dog or through direct contact with an infected animal.
Symptoms include vomiting, four smelling diarrhea, high fever, and dehydration. Check with your veterinarian about a possible vaccination, depending on your puppy or dog’s risk. Initial vaccination series begin as early as 6 weeks, followed with an annual booster.
Bordatella is a highly contagious bacterial infection involved in tracheobronchitis (kennel cough). It is spread by airborne transmission or contact with contaminated surfaces. A dog may catch this disease through contact with dogs in animal shelters, boarding facilities, grooming kennels, dog shows, field trials and pet stores.
Symptoms include a persistent dry, hacking cough, sneezing, nasal discharge and unproductive retching. Most dogs do not have fever and their appetites are usually normal. Symptoms generally appear five to seven days after exposure. Check with your veterinarian about your puppy or dog’s need for the Bordatella vaccination. Many vets give this vaccine in the puppy series, followed by an annual booster. A booster is also recommended before high-exposure areas, such as dog shows or boarding kennels.
Lyme Disease is a tick-borne disease that affects both animals and humans.
Symptoms include fever, lameness that may shift from one leg to the other and may be sudden in onset, swelling in the joints, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Check with your veterinarian about the vaccine for Lyme Disease. The vaccine may be recommended depending on the risk to the puppy or dog in your location. Using insecticides (tick dips or sprays) on the dog that repel ticks is another method of prevention.