Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dog Vaccines & Treatments

You can usually bring your puppy home at 8 weeks and they will need many shots before they are a year old. They will need rabies, distemper, and possible bordetella shots. You need to get them heart worm tested and protected.

Rabies vaccinations should be given at 12 or 16 weeks, boostered in 1 year, then boostered every 1 or 3 years depending on the vaccine used, and the state law. I live in Michigan and my dog needs to get a rabies vaccine every 3 years after she was a puppy. I have to buy her a dog tag license every year. You can be fined if you don't show proof of rabies and your dog doesn't have a dog tag.

The distemper shot is a very important vaccine for your dog! Distemper is a serious disease that can be fatal. Signs of the disease are fever, not eating, lethargic, eyes running, diarrhea, and can have nasal discharge. You can prevent this disease with the distemper vaccine. Start vaccinating at 8 weeks, then re-vaccinate every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks, then have them get a yearly booster.

The Bordetella vaccine is a bacteria that can cause a respiratory disease, which is the kennel cough. This cough can last for weeks to months in dogs. Dogs that live in shelters, pounds, or go to a kennel should get the Bordetella vaccine. Carley has had this vaccine, but she is never boarded or around other dogs, so I don't give this vaccine to her anymore.  Bordetella Vaccine requires only one dose in adult dogs, but immunity is only a couple of months. Puppies should receive a booster every 2 to 4 weeks (starting at 8 weeks), until they reach 16 weeks old.

Heart worm in dogs is contracted by mosquitoes. I get my dog tested every year and treat her with a heart worm chew monthly for 7 months. I usually get her tested around April before the mosquitoes get bad. Dogs at 6 months of age or younger do not need to be tested to begin a heart worm preventative.  After 6 months of age, you need to wait to give the heart worm prevention until you receive a negative test result. If your dog is ever positive for heart worm then your dog will need to be treated at a vet hospital.

A Fecal test is testing the dogs stool for intestinal parasites. Your dog will need to be treated if the doctor sees any worms in the fecal test.

Flea protection is important as well. I use advantage on my dog. It comes in tubes and you place the treatment in between their shoulder blades. My dog went to a dog park and came home with two fleas on her and I freaked out. That year I didn't give her any flea protection and so I gave her flea powder instead after seeing fleas. It worked to kill the fleas.
Your puppy can start vaccines as early as 8 weeks. Keep your dog protected so she or he can live a long healthy long life!

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