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Canine Vaccinations

Because of their outgoing nature, at some time in their lives almost all dogs come in contact with other animals, increasing their potential exposure to a variety of diseases. Fortunately, vaccinations are available to prevent many of these diseases. Immunization through vaccination is the best and least costly means of prevention and assures the best quality of life for your pet. 

8 Weeks Old      *Physical Exam, DA2PP #1, Fecal, Deworming, flea/heartworm preventative  

12 Weeks Old     *Physical Exam, DA2PPL #2, Rabies 1 year, Deworming, Continue with monthly flea preventative until snow is covering the ground.  Heartworm prevention is recommended all year round..

16 Weeks Old      *Physical Exam, DA2PPL #3, Lyme #1, Bordetella #1, Canine Influenza #1

19 Weeks Old      *Lyme #2, Bordetella #2, Canine Influenza #2

The following is an outline of the primary diseases that affect dogs and the vaccination protocol associated with each:

Rabies

Vaccination frequency:  One dose administered at 12 weeks of age or after,  vaccine boosted in 12 months,  then boosted every 3 years thereafter.  It is state law that all dogs and cats older than 12 weeks of age have a current rabies vaccination.

All warm-blooded animals can be infected with the rabies virus. That means dogs, cats, wildlife, farm animals, bats, etc. People can also become infected with rabies and that is why preventive vaccination of pets is required by law. There were 7,000 animal rabies cases in the U.S. in 2007 and on average one to three human cases are reported annually. Worldwide, about 55,000 people, mostly in Africa and Asia, die from rabies each year. Rabies virus is most commonly spread through the saliva of an infected animal via a bite wound. Rabies is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It can take between 10 days to several months to develop. Once clinical signs of the disease develop, death always occurs. Rabies vaccination is mandatory.

  • In New Hampshire, all dogs and cats over 12 weeks of age must have an up to date rabies vaccination. Pets that have never been vaccinated receive a one year vaccination that must be repeated no later than one year from the date of the initial vaccination. All subsequent vaccinations must be repeated within 3 years. Don't be late!
     
  • Because it is one of the few diseases that affect both animals and humans, New Hampshire law is very strict about the way potential rabies exposure is handled. Any unvaccinated pet or any pet not up to date on its rabies vaccination, that bites and breaks the skin of a person, either has to be quarantined under the guidance of local authorities for not less than 10 days (very expensive), or Euthanized (put to death) and submitted to the state lab for tissue testing (very sad and expensive). State law mandates all expenses incurred are the responsibility of the pet owner. We have seen this issue come up time and again over the years and encourage everyone to keep your pet's rabies vaccination up to date!

Distemper

Vaccination frequency:  Initial 2 vaccine series 2-4 weeks apart, then boosted at a one year interval, then boosted every 3 years thereafter. Administered in a combination vaccine with Parvovirus

Canine Distemper virus is spread by contact with infected dogs or their environment. Distemper is still a significant problem in many areas of the state. Symptoms are flu like and include diarrhea, fever, respiratory disease, discharge from the eyes and nose and later stages the virus attacks the nervous system. Distemper is potentially fatal, especially in puppies. Puppies receive a series of vaccinations 4 weeks apart until the age of 16 weeks, then annually until the age of 2 and then every three years for the rest of their lives.

Parvovirus

Vaccination frequency:  Initial 2 vaccine series 2-4 weeks apart, then boosted at a one year interval, then boosted every 3 years thereafter.  This is administered in a combination vaccine with distemper.

Canine Parvovirus is a serious viral disease that affects the intestines, white blood cells, and heart. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, and severe diarrhea that can lead to dehydration. Hospitalization of infected animals is usually required. Dogs can be protected from Parvovirus through vaccination, which is given at the same time as the distemper vaccination.

Respiratory Diseases

A wide variety of viruses and bacteria can be involved in canine respiratory diseases. These diseases usually aren't fatal unless pneumonia develops. Symptoms can include loss of appetite, lack of energy and persistent coughing. Coughing by infected dogs is the primary means of transmission. Vaccines are available for the three most common respiratory diseases in dogs, which are:

Parainfluenza

Parainfluenza is a highly contagious viral infectious bronchitis. It is easily transmitted from infected dogs or the environment where infected dogs have recently been. This vaccine is given with the Bordatella Vaccine and follows the same protocol.

Canine Adenovirus - type 2 (A2)

Symptoms generally respiratory, including bronchitis and pneumonia. This virus is spread in the bodily secretions of infected dogs and a wide variety of carnivorous wildlife. Infectious Canine Hepatitis is rare in dogs today due to the efficacy of the vaccine. This vaccine is also given with the distemper vaccination and follows the same protocol.

Bordatella Bronchiseptica Bacteria

Commonly referred to as "kennel cough", symptoms include a harsh, dry cough, aggravated by activity or excitement. The cough is followed by retching or gagging in an attempt to clear small amounts of mucous from the throat. Body temperatures may be elevated as secondary bacterial infection takes place. This disease is highly contagious and is readily transmitted to susceptible dogs.  This vaccine should be given to all dogs that go to groomers,  kennels, dog parks, doggy day care, etc. The vaccine is given via intranasal (nose) drops annually.

Lyme Disease

Vaccination frequency:  Initial series of 2 vaccinations, 2-3 weeks apart and annually thereafter. 

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial organism known as Borrelia Bugdorferi. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. Exposure to Lyme disease is a very serious problem in our area for both dogs and humans. Approximately 15% of dogs seen at our hospital test positive for exposure to Lyme disease. This doesn't necessarily mean that have an active Lyme disease infection, but that they have been bitten sometime in the past by a Lyme disease infected tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease in pets are similar to those experienced by humans. Although you will not see a rash on your pet's skin, they can experience a range of symptoms. Some infected pets show no outward signs of infection at all, others experience lethargy, arthritis (often displayed as joint pain and lameness), loss of appetite, fever, kidney damage, heart disorders and neurological disorders. Treatment includes antibiotic therapy. Left untreated symptoms become chronic and those infected will experience repeated flair-ups. If your pet goes outdoors it is potentially at risk for Lyme disease exposure. Our doctors recommend vaccination for most dogs and application use of a high quality flea and tick preventative to all at-risk pets. This vaccination is initially given as a 2 part series and then annually thereafter.

Leptospirosis

Vaccination frequency: Annual

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can be carried by cattle, horses, rodents such as field mice and common wildlife like raccoons and deer. This disease causes high fever, jaundice, vomiting and in severe cases, fatal liver and kidney damage. The number of cases of leptospirosis in New Hampshire has increased dramatically in recent years and we recommend annual vaccination for most dogs. This vaccine is initially given in a two part series, four weeks apart, and then annually.

Canine Influenza (H3N8) (H3N2)

Vaccination frequency: Annual

Canine influenza is a relatively recent, highly contagious strain of the influenza A virus known as H3N8 and newer H3N2, that cause respiratory illness in dogs. Severity of infection ranges from mild respiratory infection in some dogs to pneumonia and death in a small number of cases. H3N2 virus was first reported in Florida in March 2003 and has since been reported in 30 states, including New Hampshire. Canine influenza virus only affects dogs. H3N2  virus was first reported in the midwest with Chicago having the worst outbreak, with thousands of dogs reported ill with infection. It has since flared up in various locations throughout the United States. Two recent vaccines have been developed that significantly reduces the severity of influenza and the length of time that an infected dog is sick. The vaccines are administered in 2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart and annually thereafter. Vaccination is recommended for all dogs that are boarded, attend doggie day care, dog parks, any situation where contact with other dogs occurs, or contact with areas where other dogs have been.