Vaccinations generally begin at 7 – 8 weeks of age and are given once monthly until the puppy is over four months of age. If a puppy has had one vaccination, then its next visit is due one month from that date. The timing is as important as the ingredients in each vaccination, so it is important to follow the schedule listed below, to insure maximum protection for your pet.
Puppy Shots Schedule
|Required||7 -8 weeks||Distemper-Parvo (Da2PPC)|
|Required||11-12 Weeks||2nd Distemper-Parvo (Da2PPC), 1st Lyme, 1st Leptospirosis|
|Required||15-16 Weeks||3rd Distemper-Parvo (Da2PPC), 2nd Lyme, 2nd Leptospirosis & Rabies (Then yearly)|
|Optional||>12 Weeks||Bordetella/Kennel Cough (Given yearly)|
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The Distemper-Parvo vaccination is actually five different vaccinations in one shot. These five diseases have the most potential for serious health consequences for your dog, and because of that they are considered to be required vaccines.
- Distemper is a virus that causes Respiratory infections and seizures and death.
- Parvovirus and Coronavirus cause severe vomiting and diarrhea and can be fatal.
- Infectious Canine Hepatitis causes liver failure.
- Parainfluenza is one of the causes of Kennel Cough.
Leptospirosis (4 strains in vaccine) causes kidney and liver failure and can be caught by people. This vaccination is often included in the distemper shot, but we now give it separately so we can vaccinate the dogs that come here for 4 different strains of the disease.
Rabies vaccinations are required by law in Massachusetts. Rabies is a fatal disease, which can also affect people. The first Rabies vaccination any dog receives is good for 1 year. If the second shot is timed precisely right (9-12 months after the first one – to the day) then they are given every three years.
Lyme disease is spread in New England only from the bite of the Deer Tick. In the past two years, deer ticks have become very common in the Lowell-Nashua Area. Even though Lyme disease is not considered to be a fatal disease, the long-term effects of infection can be crippling.
Kennel Cough is a disease that dogs can catch when they are in close proximity to other dogs. Most kennels do require that all dogs boarding in their facility be vaccinated for Kennel Cough. Some groomers and dog trainers also recommend it as well.
From: Dr. John Athans Spodick DVM