You should always be educated on what vaccines your pets are being given and the timeline at which they should occur. Sometimes breeders will suggest certain vaccines that might not be needed for the area you live in and therefore should not be given to prevent adverse effects. Here is some general information about the usual and recommended canine vaccine protocols.
- Between 6-8 weeks of age, your puppy should receive one dose of vaccine called DA2PP, which includes vaccines for distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus 2, and parainfluenza. This vaccine should be given every 3-4 weeks for a total of three doses. For example, at eight weeks, 12 weeks, then 16 weeks old.
- After these initial vaccinations, it is recommended that they receive a booster at one year of age, then after, every three years.
- Puppies are recommended to get their rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age; a booster is usually required a year after, and then every 3 years after that.
- Any other additional, optional vaccines given should be considered before being given. These considerations include your demographical area and also the lifestyle of your pet.
- The bordetella (bordetella bronchiseptica) vaccine is used to prevent kennel cough and should be given if your dog is constantly at dog parks, groomers, boarding, dog shows, etc. where there is a high concentration of other dogs there. It is recommended that, if anticipated boarding or exposure to a high concentration of dogs, that the vaccine be given at least one week prior to anticipated boarding or other event.
- The lepto (leptospira) vaccine is something we don’t normally give in Northern Nevada. However, leptospirosis is seen in Northern California and in the Pacific Northwest (most common is dogs who are exposed to livestock or places that are frequented by wild mammals). The recommended dosage for this vaccine (if given) is yearly with the first vaccine given at minimum at 12 weeks of age with a booster 2-4 weeks following.
- The lyme (Borrelia burgdorferi) vaccine should only be given (if given at all) to dogs that live in areas that are known to have lyme disease problems (such as some areas on the east coast). There have been some reports on adverse effects from this vaccine, which makes it somewhat controversial.
Look out for my next blog post where I will discuss an alternative to vaccinating every 3 years after initial vaccines and boosters!