Caution – When vaccinating your puppies and dogs, do not make these mistakes:
- Never vaccinate too early
- Never vaccinate too often
- Never vaccinate too much
To the right is a sample dog vaccine schedule. Your vet may vaccinate on a slightly different schedule, but it should be similar to this one that was developed for puppies.
Age 8-9 Weeks
Parvo, distemper with the option to vaccinate for para influenza and kennel cough. (DHLPP) + Corona
Age 11 –12 Weeks
Parvo, distemper, infectious hepatitis with the option for para influenza. and kennel cough. (DHLPP) + Corona
Age 6 Months
Time for your heart worm test.
Parvo, distemper, infectious hepatitis and rabies with optional vaccines for Para influenza, kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica), leptospirosis and Lyme.
Diseases We are Vaccinating For And What They Do
This disease affects the respiratory system, the digestive system, and the central nervous system. There is no cure for it, and about 75% of dogs who get distemper die from it.
This is an infection that affects the liver. There is no cure. It can be fatal. Dogs that live may develop kidney disease, vision problems, and breathing problems.
Leptospirosis, often called “Lepto,” is an infectious disease that affects dogs and other mammals, including mice, rats, pigs, horses, opossums, raccoons, skunks, voles, cows and people. As more people live rural, there is increasing contact between domestic pets and wildlife, which has caused an increase in cases of leptospirosis. The disease is caused by several closely related species of bacteria that are spread in urine, water and soil. Infection occurs when a dog contacts the bacteria through a break in its skin or when it drinks contaminated water or ingests contaminated soil. Leptospira target the kidneys and liver; some infected dogs suffer permanent liver and/or kidney damage, and some die. However, most infected dogs never show signs of being sick, although they still carry the bacteria and are sources of infection for other animals. Leptospirosis is on the rise in companion dogs, especially in crowded urban environments that are overrun with rats and other rodents.
Canine para influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease very often mistaken for kennel cough. Factors that may exacerbate the potential for contracting this disease are high humidity, drafts and environmental conditions.
Kennel cough, also called infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious, acute upper-respiratory tract disorder involving inflammation of the throat, windpipe and airways. It got its name because it spreads rapidly through boarding kennels, puppy mills, pet shops and other places where dogs congregate in close quarters. Kennel cough can be caused by several things, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine parainfluenza virus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, herpesvirus, distemper virus and mycoplasma. Secondary bacterial infections are fairly common and can be quite serious. Dogs usually develop signs of kennel cough within a week of being exposed to an infected dog. The hallmark of this condition is sudden onset of a dry, hacking, unproductive cough that sounds like the dog has something stuck in its throat. The gagging and coughing fits worsen with exercise and often are accompanied by upchucking of a pale, frothy liquid. Otherwise, most dogs are bright and alert.
The canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a highly contagious viral illness that affects dogs. The virus manifests itself in two different forms. The more common form is the intestinal form, which is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite (anorexia). The less common form is the cardiac form, which attacks the heart muscles of very young puppies, often leading to death. The majority of cases are seen in puppies that are between six weeks and six months old. The incidence of canine parvo virus infections has been reduced radically by early vaccination in young puppies.
The canine coronavirus (CCV), though significantly less severe than either distemper or parvovirus, is nevertheless an important pathogen of dogs that is capable of producing a debilitating disease. It is thought that CCV sometimes strikes together with canine parvovirus, causing an illness that is more deadly than that triggered by either virus alone.
Side Effects and Reactions That Can Happen With Vaccinations
Dr. Lila Miller, D.V.M,
Dr. Lila Miller, D.V.M, ASPCA
Vaccinations are one of the most important weapons in the fight against infectious diseases in animals. Many diseases have been virtually eliminated through disease control programs that have incorporated vaccination as one of the control measures. However, vaccines are not without their limitations and there are vaccine failures. In fact, in some cases the reactions or side effects can be worse than the disease they are being used to prevent. The use, or overuse of vaccines is being carefully evaluated by veterinary researchers and clinicians the world over. This article will address causes for vaccine failures, side effects and adverse reactions.
Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Anaphylactic (or allergic) reactions are amongst
the most severe reactions that can be seen after vaccination. Anaphylaxis can
occur after any vaccine is administered, but have been most commonly seen with
vaccines that have large amounts of foreign proteins, are adjuvanted (Adjuvants
are chemicals that are added to enhance the immune response. Killed vaccines
commonly are adjuvanted) They may occur after the 2nd or 3rd vaccination in the
booster series, or on initial vaccination. It is virtually impossible to
predict that an animal is allergic unless a previous reaction has been noted.
Vaccines that seem to be most likely to cause reactions include the killed
rabies, canine corona, FeLV, and Leptospira vaccine. Although not very common,
the clinical signs can range from mild symptoms to life threatening
emergencies. The signs may be facial swelling, itching, weakness, diarrhea,
difficulty breathing, shock and death. Treatment consists of administration of
epinephrine, antihistamines and supportive care.
Animals that have had anaphylactic reactions should be treated beforehand with antihistamines if vaccination is mandatory. To further minimize the risk, avoid using vaccines with multiple antigens, use modified live instead of killed vaccines, make certain the vaccine is not injected into the vein, and use subcutaneous or intranasal vaccines instead of intramuscular ones if possible.
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) has been reported
in dogs vaccinated with modified live multiple antigen vaccines, particularly
parvo. There can be many causes of AIHA, but vaccination seems to trigger
antibody production against red blood cells, resulting in a variety of signs
including weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, exercise intolerance, difficult
breathing, increased heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea. It can be life threatening
and require lifelong therapy, including fluids, steroids, blood transfusions,
Local reactions – Local reactions include pain, swelling, abscesses, redness and irritation. Granulomas, or hard tissue formations may occur at the site of vaccination. These symptoms can occur within minutes to 1 week after vaccination but usually resolve on their own. Animals with local reactions should be treated symptomatically, observed carefully and reported to the veterinarian if they persist.
Systemic reactions include fever, depression,
loss of appetite, lethargy and weakness. They usually appear within 1-2 days of
vaccination and then disappear.
Nervous system problems – Nervous system problems have been seen after vaccination with modified live rabies (no longer available) and canine distemper vaccines. It appears that these vaccines actually caused disease symptoms.
Reproductive system problems
Prenatal infections, fetal malformations, infertility and abortion can result from the use of modified live vaccines in pregnant animals. This is most commonly seen with the use of the panleuopenia (distemper) vaccine in cats. Kittens are borne with a problem called cerebellar hypoplasia, which results in an inability to maintain balance.
Kittens vaccinated against calici virus may develop a fever and limping approximately 1 week after vaccination. Treatment with painkillers, fluids and antibiotics is usually effective.
Post vaccination sarcomas
The debate about the safety of vaccines took the forefront in small animal medicine when a possible link was discovered between vaccination and the development of a form of cancer known as sarcomas. Sarcomas are aggressive, locally invasive tumors that seem to form at the site of vaccination in cats. They occur most often with the use of killed, adjuvant vaccines- notably rabies and FeLV. The most common cancer is fibrosarcoma. It usually appears from 3 months to 4 years after vaccination. The prevalence of this problem has not been established, but it may be anywhere between 1:1,000 or 1:10,000 vaccinated cats. A veterinary task force has been formed to research the issue. Treatment is most successful when the tumors are discovered early and surgically removed with a very wide incision. Recurrence is common if the incision is not wide enough to remove all tumor cells. This problem was the catalyst for the American Association of Feline Practitioners to revise its recommendations regarding the frequency and anatomic sites of vaccination, as well as exposure risk assessment of individual animals.
The clinical signs of respiratory disease may be seen in animals vaccinated with intranasal vaccines against herpes and calici viruses and bordetella. Cats will sneeze and have runny eyes, but usually continue to eat and act normal otherwise.
Virus shedding can occur with the use of
modified live vaccines. The virus that is shed does not normally cause disease,
but there have been reports of this occurring.
Interference with disease testing – The results of some disease tests must be interpreted carefully if animals have been recently vaccinated.
Causes of Vaccine Failures
Maternal antibody interference
Very young animals receive antibodies from their mothers when they nurse that protect them from disease. While these antibodies are present, vaccination will not be effective. These antibodies generally disappear from the body at 12-14 weeks of age. Booster shots are timed to try and protect them when the maternal antibodies wane at that time.
Certain drug therapies
For example, high doses of steroids are immunosuppressive and may interfere with vaccinations. The use of antibiotics may also interfere with vaccination.