As a responsible pet owner you realize keeping your dog healthy is extremely important. In order to keep your dog healthy you need to vaccinate your dog against common diseases. These dog vaccines are provided by your local Broken Arrow animal hospital.
Most all dog owners understand that their dog needs to be vaccinated against rabies, and are also aware that there are state and county laws regarding the frequency of the rabies vaccinations. The Rabies vaccination is often given to your puppy at around six months of age and should never be given before three months of age. Your dog will need a booster shot every one to three years depending on the laws were you live.
Rabies is a neurotropic virus that affects the central nervous system. Specifically it attacks the gray matter of your dogs brain. Rabies is highly infectious and can be passed on to humans and can be fatal.
There are six diseases that are commonly vaccinated for in one vaccination. This mixed vaccination is known as DHLPPC.
Let’s take a quick look at each of these diseases.
Distemper is an upper respiratory condition caused by a virus and can be fatal. It is a highly contagious virus. The Distemper vaccine is that the D in DHLPPC.
Hepatitis can be fatal in dogs and is caused by a virus called adenovirus 2. Hepatitis causes liver and kidney damage, it is spread through feces and urine. The H represents the hepatitis vaccine.
Leptospirosis vaccine is the L in DHLPPC. Leptospirosis is a disease that can also cause kidney and liver damage. The condition is often fatal, and can be passed to humans.
Parainfluenza is an upper respiratory disease and is represented by the first P in DHLPPC. This disease can be fatal to puppies and is transmitted through air and direct contact.
Parvovirus is represented by the second P in DHLPPC. This intestinal disease is often found in puppies that have not been vaccinated.
Corona Virus is an intestinal disease that can lead to dehydration of your dog. This virus often occurs along with parvovirus. The C in DHLPPC represents the corona virus vaccine.
The DHLPPC is given in a series of vaccinations:
The first injection is given between 6 and 8 weeks and only contains DHPP, vaccinating against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza.
The second injection is given between 9 and 11 weeks and again only contains DHPP.
The third injection is given between 12 and 14 weeks. This vaccination is the first of two that contain all six vaccines. It is the first of two injections to vaccinate against Corona and Leptospirosis.
The fourth and last vaccination is given between 14 and 18 weeks. This vaccination also contain all six vaccines.
As previously mentioned, the rabies vaccine can be given as early as 12 weeks and may be given at the same time as the third vaccination of DHLPPC.
Some of these vaccinations may require a booster on a yearly basis, check with your veterinarian to be sure.
Issues About Dog Vaccines to Consider
If you adopt a new puppy or dog from a breeder or pet shop, or any other organization, such as Humane Society, you should inquire about the pet vaccines that have been given to your dog. The standard answer is often “the dog has all his shots”. You should ask for the proper documentation from the veterinarian that administered the vaccines. If the seller is unable to produce specific documentation that identifies your dog as having the vaccinations, you have no way of knowing or proving that your dog has received the proper vaccinations. There is no test that is available that will show if your new pet has previously been administered the proper vaccines. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations on how to proceed with your new dogs’ required vaccinations.
If you are adopting an older animal that has no vaccination records or even medical records, you should have them checked by your veterinarian for heart worms and possible booster shots.
You can often find animal shelters, pet rescue operations, or pet stores that are offering reduced cost vaccinations on a particular day, sometimes they are even free. If these shots are given by a licensed veterinarian you will be able to receive documentation for the vaccination. This may help you with any money concerns you may have. If your dog however is already seeing a veterinarian on a regular basis for an ongoing ailment this may not be the most advantageous route for you to take. Your veterinarian is already familiar with your dog, the treatments he is on, and any treatment program that may be in effect, giving him a better understanding of how to schedule your pet vaccines.
It is of course possible to administer dog vaccines at home. But this should be done with a great deal of caution. Although it is true, by administering your dog’s vaccinations at home you may save some money, it is still not a good idea and is not recommended. You can buy dog vaccines from medical supplies houses through mail-order, on the Internet, and from veterinary medical supply companies. However if you are not medically trained and are unfamiliar with the proper method of administering the vaccine, you may inadvertently give the wrong dose, or even the wrong vaccine to your dog. You may administer the shot into a muscle or blood vessel incorrectly. This could cause an infection or other serious problem.
If the medication is stored inappropriately it could render the vaccine ineffective. Of course you will not be able to give the proper immunization documentation to anyone you wish to sell the dog to. This information is needed if the dog travels or needs to visit a veterinarian. It is also possible that you may be in violation of laws in regards to the practice of veterinary medicine. You could also be held liable to the purchasers of any puppies that become sick, die, infect other pets, or cause large veterinary bills to arise from the improper immunization of your dog.