By Michal Hess, DVM
Vaccination protocol for dogs:
Distemper-Adenovirus Type 2- Parainfluenza- Parvovirus vaccine:
It is recommended that all dogs have this vaccine. This vaccine protects against 3 potentially life threatening contagious diseases.
We start vaccinating puppies at 6-8 weeks of age, and then boosters are given every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks old.
The next booster is given at 1 year of age and then every 3 years.
Rabies is a lethal disease that is contagious to all mammals (including humans).
The law requires that every cat and dog be vaccinated for rabies.
The earliest for a puppy to be vaccinated against rabies is 3-4 months of age. The first booster is given 1 year later, and then every 3 years.
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacteria that can cause an upper respiratory infection and is one of the pathogens responsible for kennel cough. Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease that causes bronchitis and in serious cases can develop into pneumonia.
Our recommendation is to vaccinate dogs who are boarding or exposed to other dogs (for example at the dog park, at the groomers etc.). It is important to know that it takes 10 days from vaccination to build immunity, and this immunity may only last for 6 months. Kennel cough is a mixed infection with the bacteria mentioned above and several viruses; therefore this vaccine does not give a 100% protection.
Dogs can be vaccinated as early as 3 weeks of age, and every 6-12 months thereafter as needed.
Leptospira spp. are a family of bacteria that can cause severe renal (kidney) and hepatic (liver) disease. Some of the strains can be contagious to humans.
Vaccination against leptospirosis is not done routinely, and recommended in areas of risk. Our area used to be considered a low risk area, but recent evidence show that this is not the case. Some countries (e.g. Australia) check for leptospirosis antibody titer prior to importing dogs, and do not allow positive dogs in the country. Vaccinated dogs may test positive.
The earliest vaccine is given at 12 weeks of age, boosted 2-3 weeks later, and then annually.
For more information visit our leptospirosis web page.
Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick.
Many dogs are exposed to the causative agent (Borrelia burgdorferi), but not all exposed dogs will develop the disease.
The first line of control is tick control, but for dogs with significant exposure vaccination is recommended.
The earliest vaccine is given at the age of 9 weeks. The first booster is given 3-4 weeks later and then annually