Preventive Care: Dogs
Your dog is a special part of your family and we know first-hand how important it is to have all your family members healthy and happy! That’s why proactive and preventive care is so important. After all, it’s much easier to prevent diseases then to treat them!
In addition to your dog’s regular physical examinations, an appropriate vaccine schedule is essential based upon your pet’s specific risk factors. Not every dog will need every vaccine that is available. We listen, and based upon your pet’s lifestyle will recommend the necessary vaccines.
Vaccines stimulate the body’s immune system to form antibodies, which are a major part of the body’s defense system against infection. Vaccines only mimic the real infection so they often need to be introduced as a series of vaccines and then maintained with booster vaccines to keep the immune system’s defenses up. Village Veterinary Practice follows the canine vaccine guidelines established by the American Animal Hospital Association to best ensure your dog’s health and safety.
Vaccines for Dogs
Rabies is a viral infection that can affect all warm-blooded animals. The disease is almost always caused by the bite of an infected animal that has rabies virus in its saliva.
Unfortunately rabies is always fatal once clinical signs of the virus appear. The Rabies vaccine is given to all dogs and is available in either a 1-year or 3-year vaccine.
Distemper (DHP) vaccine
This vaccine protects against canine distemper, adenovirus type 2, and parvovirus and is given to all dogs once every three years. These viruses are easily contagious and are spread through direct contact with the virus.
This vaccine protects against Leptospirosis, a deadly bacterial disease that is shed in the urine of infected wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels and rats. Dogs become infected when they come in contact with fresh urine from infected carrier animals. Humans are also susceptible to the Leptospirosis bacteria which is why vaccination is so important. This vaccine is given annually to the majority of dogs.
Bordetella / Parainfluenza vaccine
This vaccine aids in the prevention of canine infectious tracheobronchitis “kennel cough” due to the canine parainfluenza virus and Bordetella brochiseptica. Upper respiratory diseases are easily transmitted through the air or by direct contact. It is recommended that dogs in social situations (boarding, dog parks, doggie daycare, grooming, dog shows, etc) receive this intranasal vaccine annually.
Canine Flu Bivalent vaccine
Canine influenza viruses cause respiratory infection in dogs. There are two different viruses strains present in the US (CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2). The H3N2 strain was first identified in the US with the Chicago outbreak of canine influenza in 2015 while the H3N8 strain was identified in early 2004. The Canine Flu Bivalent vaccine protects your dog against each strain of influenza. It is recommended that dogs in social situations (boarding, dog parks, doggie daycare, grooming, dog shows, etc) receive this vaccine annually.
Lyme disease is a potentially serious disease that can be transmitted to animals and humans from contact with an infected deer tick. The disease is increasing in numbers and expanding geographically each year. Lyme disease is largely preventable by using tick control, tick checks and annual vaccination for at risk dogs. To see how prevalent Lyme disease is in your county, visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council parasite prevalence maps at capcvet.org/parasite-prevalence-maps
Although very uncommon, your pet may experience some mild side effects after being vaccinated. These side effects can be seen within a few hours of vaccination administration, but if they persist longer than 1-2 days, please contact our offices. Typical side effects of a vaccine may include the following:
- Discomfort and swelling at the vaccination site
- Mild decrease in activity
- Mild decrease in appetite
- Mild coughing or sneezing after your pet receives an intranasal vaccine
More serious, but less common side effects, such as allergic reactions, may occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. Please contact us immediately if you notice any of the following in your pet after a vaccine:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Itchy skin that may seem bumpy (“hives”)
- Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
- Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
A small, firm swelling under the skin may develop at the site of a recent vaccination. It should start to disappear within a couple weeks. If it persists more than three weeks, or seems to be getting larger, please contact our offices.
Another important part of your dog’s preventative care includes parasite screening and prevention.