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Puppy Articles at Jefferson Animal Hospital

Puppy Vaccinations

HomePuppy and Kitten Care • Puppy Vaccinations

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Distemper: Distemper is a widespread, highly contagious virus that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, respiratory infections and seizures. It is about 90% fatal and survivors are usually impaired for life.

—Hepatitis: Infectious canine hepatitis (ICH) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting the liver and other organs. Symptoms range widely, from mild to severe, and include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, jaundice, light-colored stool, and stomach enlargement.

—Parainfluenza: Parainfluenza is a virus that causes fever, joint pain, and respiratory issues. Death is unusual but stems from respiratory complications and is most common in the very old and very young.

Parvovirus: Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus. The disease is infectious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. It can be especially severe in puppies that are not protected by maternal antibodies or vaccination. It has two distinct presentations, a cardiac and intestinal form. The common signs of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and diarrhea (often bloody). The cardiac form causes respiratory or cardiovascular failure in young puppies. Treatment often involves veterinary hospitalization. Vaccines can prevent this infection, but mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases. Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pitbulls, and Labradors seem to be especially susceptible to this disease.

Rabies:  Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system and is always fatal.  The transmission of the disease almost always occurs as a result of an infected animal biting a non-infected animal. Skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and bats are the animals most likely to transmit the virus. Vaccination is required by law.  It is given at four months of age.

Optional Vaccinations:

—Bordetella: (Kennel Cough) is a bacteria that is easily transmitted from dog to dog by respiratory secretions.   It causes a harsh cough that may last 4-6 weeks. Dogs that are frequently boarded or groomed should have this vaccination.  For the best protection, it is recommended to receive boosters every 3-6 months (depended upon the type of vaccine administered).

—Lyme Disease: is transmitted by ticks, and is very hard to diagnose.  It is now felt that many species of ticks can transmit it, not just the deer tick.

—Leptospirosis: is a bacterial disease that particularly affects the liver and kidneys. The Leptospira bacteria is present in the urine of rats, rodents, deer, opossums, skunks, etc…  Dogs can become infected by ingesting soil or garbage that is contaminated by urine, but it can also penetrate damaged or thin skin.  Owners that may stop at rest areas (where wildlife may urinate), have wildlife coming into the yard or that take pets camping, hiking, or to lakes or ponds are encouraged to get this vaccination.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

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We recommend the following schedule of vaccinations and wormings for your new puppy.  With these vaccinations, your pet will also receive a complete physical exam by the doctor.  All puppies need a series of vaccinations to keep them protected from these various viruses!

First Visit - Approx. 6 - 7 weeks of age

  • Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHPP)  vaccine
  • ;Intestinal Parasites Examination (worms) - please submit fresh stool sample (We only need 1 teaspoonful)
  • Deworming medication

Second Visit - Approx. 9 - 10 weeks of age

  • Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHPP) vaccine.
  • Intestinal Parasites Examination
  • Second dose of worm medication
  • Start heartworm and flea/tick prevention
  • Lyme Disease, Leptospirosis or Bordetella Vaccination #1 (Optional*)

Third Visit - Approx. 12  - 13 weeks of age

  • Distempter, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHPP) vaccine.
  • Second dose of heartworm and flea/tick preventative
  • Lyme Disease, Leptospirosis or Bordetella Vaccination #2 (Optional*)

Fourth Visit - Approx. 16 weeks of age

  • Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHPP) vaccine.
  • Rabies vaccination - Please ask us for help in obtaining a Jefferson County License for your pet!
  • Final intestinal parasite examination
  • Dispense 6 or 12 month supply of heartworm/flea/tick preventative (If applicable to your puppy’s growth)

Fifth Visit - (For breeds at higher risk) - Approx. 18 - 19 weeks

  • Parvo vaccine only (Strongly recommended for Rottweiler's, Pitbull’s, Dobermans, Labradors and mixes thereof.)

*We recommend the Bordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccine for any dog that will be visiting the groomer, boarding facility, the park... when they may come into contact with other dogs. For best results, Bordetella vaccinations should be administered every 6 months.

*We recommend the Lyme Disease vaccination if pet has exposure to ticks. This is a yearly vaccination in Spring.

*We recommend the Leptospirosis vaccination if pet has exposure to wildlife (Camping, hiking, large wooded areas). This is a yearly vaccination.

 **A nurse exam may be required for booster vaccinations. Please ask receptionist for more information.**