Vaccines are administered to prevent specific diseases throughout a dog’s life. Core and non-core vaccines are important to ensure pets stay protected and healthy!
Rabies is a zoonotic viral disease that is transmitted through the bite of infected dogs. It causes severe neurological dysfunction and death. It is important that dogs stay up to date on this vaccine to protect both animal and public health. The rabies vaccine is given to puppies between 12-16 weeks of age. The first vaccine is good for one year. Every booster after that is good for 1-3 years depending on state laws and vaccine labels.
Canine distemper is also a viral disease that causes gastrointestinal, neurological, and respiratory signs. It is spread through bodily fluids, and young, unvaccinated puppies are most susceptible. The distemper vaccine is given between 6-9 weeks of age and boostered every 3 weeks until a dog is 16 weeks of age. It is repeated at regular intervals because maternal antibodies are still present in young puppies and can interfere with their immune responses to vaccines. By 16 weeks of age, all the maternal antibodies should have disappeared, and your puppy should have mounted a sufficient immune response to be protected. The distemper vaccine is administered again at one year of age and then every 3 years.
Bordetella is a type of bacterium that can cause infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) in dogs that come in contact with each other, such as during grooming, daycare, or boarding. As the name describes, this disease results in upper respiratory signs. The first dose is given intranasally for a localized immune response, and boosters are given either intranasally or subcutaneously thereafter. Boosters are done every 6 months-1 year depending on your dog’s exposure level and your veterinarian’s preference.
Leptospirosis is a type of spirochete bacterium that is transmitted through contact with infected wildlife urine. It is zoonotic and most commonly causes kidney and liver disease. This vaccine can be combined with the distemper vaccine or given individually. It is boostered 3-4 weeks after the initial dose and then yearly in at-risk dogs.
Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted by tick bites and causes kidney and joint disease. This vaccine is administered at 12 weeks of age with a booster 3-4 weeks later. It is then given yearly to at-risk dogs.
Influenza causes upper respiratory signs similar to what we see in people. It is highly contagious among dogs coming in close contact with one another. The vaccine can be administered as early as 8 weeks of age and then is boostered 3-4 weeks later.
You should consult your veterinarian to determine the recommended vaccines and schedule for your unique dog! Vaccine schedules may differ depending upon the age of the patient and vaccine history.