Anyone who's ever had a pet knows how important it is to get them vaccinated on time to protect them against all known diseases, whether minor or major one. When it comes to dogs, vaccination is paramount early on, along with periodic booster doses afterwards. The full range of puppy vaccinations begin from as early as 6-8 weeks of age, and should be completed within 12-16 months of age, after which, the booster doses usually start, most of them once in a year.
So, to make life easier for pet parents all over, we have detailed the five most important vaccinations for your canine friend!
Rabies is a deadly "zoonotic disease" that can spread from animals to human beings, as well. Rabies is transmitted by the Lyssa virus, invading the central nervous system and causing headaches, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, increased aggressiveness, fear of water, paralysis, and death in almost 100 per cent of cases if infected! Hence, the first and then periodic rabies shots are critical to protect your furry friend, beginning from 12 weeks of age.
Distemper, also known as Carre's disease, is a highly contagious viral disease that can lead to acute gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems such as severe cough with pus-like discharge from the eyes and nose, and even fatal convulsions and paralysis. There is no effective treatment for distemper, and vaccinations from 8 weeks of age are the only way to protect your dog.
Yet another highly contagious and potentially fatal disease, the Canine Parvovirus is an extremely resistant DNA virus that young pups and older dogs are especially susceptible to. Symptoms usually include severe vomiting, high fever up to 41.5 degree Celsius, and bloody diarrhoea, and without treatment, young dogs can die from dehydration or intoxication within just 72 hours of contracting the disease. In fact, even animals that have survived the disease can succumb to the long-term consequences within a few years, including immunodeficiency and heart problems. Vaccinations for Parvovirus also begin at eight weeks of age, clubbed with three other shots.
Caused by the canine adenovirus 1 (CAV-1) that is usually transmitted through water or food containing urine, and can cause a number of symptoms like fever and inflammation of the eyes and kidneys. Without proper treatment or vaccination, beginning from eight weeks of age, the virus can quickly reach the liver, causing fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhoea, and even death, in younger dogs or those with weaker immunity.
Yet another zoonotic disease, Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria, and could very likely not have any symptoms at all, making it especially dangerous for both animals and humans. This is caused by the Leptospira bacterium, commonly found in contaminated soil or water, this highly infectious disease can result in severe organ damage in young or immuno-compromised dogs, often leading to death. As such, Leptospirosis vaccinations are also critical for your furry friend's continued good health, beginning from eight weeks of age.
While these are the five most basic but critical vaccinations for your canine companions, they may also require additional shots for other diseases, including the coronavirus, throughout their lives. For comprehensive guidance and easy scheduling and tracking of your dog's vaccinations, you can get in touch with the wide range of experienced and knowledgeable veterinarians at DCC Animal Hospital!
(Dr. Vinod Sharma, Head of Veterinary services at DCC Animal Hospital)