Vaccinations for puppies and dogs

posted: by: Franklin Falls Animal Clinic Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

The majority of vaccines currently in use for dogs are modified-live or inactivated (killed) bacteria or virus vaccines.  However, research is continuing to develop new types of vaccines and more effective disease prevention strategies.

Vaccinations for your puppy
Puppies have very special needs as their immune systems have not matured enough to fully protect them against disease.  They are curious and playful around other animals, placing them at increased risk for disease.  They have remnants of antibodies from their mothers that prevent vaccinations from becoming fully protective until 16 weeks of age.  There are also differences among breeds that place some puppies at increased risk.  For all of these reasons, we start puppies on a vaccination schedule at 6 to 8 weeks of age for the core vaccinations and then booster these vaccines every 3 to 4 weeks until they are 16 weeks of age.  The Rabies vaccination is given at 12 weeks of age and then boostered at one year of age.  Other non-core vaccinations are given as needed based on a puppy's individual risk.  Call us for an appointment to have your puppy examined and together we will develop a plan to start him or her out on the path to life-long health and happiness! 

Vaccinations for your adult dog
At one year of age, dogs need to have boosters of all core vaccinations.  Non-core vaccinations are given based on an individual dog's risk.  After this, the vaccines will be staggered to best fit the proven duration of immunity of the vaccine, the health status and risk category of the dog, and the potential for side effects.  At your dog's bi-annual exams, we will re-evaluate your pet's needs and health.  Some years we will be able to focus more on medical issues such as appropriate weight, behavior in the home, dental health and fecal examinations without needing every vaccination.  As your dog ages, his or her needs will change along with the focus of our visits.  After seven years of age, we will begin to perform annual senior health panels, switch to senior foods, become aggressive in our fight against dental disease (which insidiously destroys the health of all body systems), and monitor carefully for the development of common age-related diseases.  Call us for an appointment to have your dog examined and together we will develop a long-term plan to make his or her life as happy and healthy as it can be!