Immunization, also called vaccination, is one of the most highly debated topics in pet health care. Vaccines can protect your dog from contracting a variety of illnesses, some of which can be fatal. They are often administered by your veterinarian during a routine wellness visit.
The controversy over pet vaccines seems to mirror the debate over of vaccines in human medicine. But the truth is that vaccines are an important part of your dog’s overall health.
What is a concerned dog owner to do?
To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate
Should you get your dog vaccinated; or not? Part of the problem here is the question itself. Rather than choosing between giving vaccines and skipping vaccines, it is wiser to think about the way your dog is vaccinated. Skipping vaccines altogether is not a wise choice. Vaccines truly do protect against disease. Unvaccinated pets are at a much greater risk for contracting deadly diseases and spreading them around. In a nutshell, not vaccinating your dog at all is generally bad for your dog and for the canine world.
How to Vaccinate Your Dog Properly
Vaccines prevent illness by enabling the immune system to create defenses against diseases. A vaccine has disease antigens that mildly stimulate the immune system without infecting the dog.
The immune system then creates antibodies to fight off the real disease if your dog is ever exposed to it.
Not many years ago, the standard practice was to vaccinate young puppies multiple times, then move adults to an annual vaccination schedule.
These guidelines state that core vaccines may be given to adult dogs in intervals of three years or more rather than annually. Of course, puppy vaccines should still be performed about every three weeks between the ages of approximately six and 16 weeks. Many vets have adjusted their protocols to follow AAHA’s three-year schedule for adult dogs. Certain non-core vaccines are still recommended annually for adult dogs.
Furthermore, many vets are now customizing non-core vaccine protocols to fit a dog’s lifestyle. First, the vet asks the owner about the dog’s environment in order to determine the dog’s risk of exposure. Then, a vaccination protocol is designed to protect the dog while minimizing risk.
Core Vaccines for Dogs
The following canine vaccines are recommended for all dogs in Pakistan:
- Canine Distemper, an often fatal virus that starts in the respiratory system; highly contagious to unvaccinated dogs
- Canine Parvovirus, a highly contagious, life-threatening virus that causes severe gastrointestinal effects
- Canine Type 2 Adenovirus, a virus related to hepatitis (not contagious to humans); may cause kennel cough
- Rabies, a zoonotic disease that is always fatal in dogs; this disease is zoonotic
Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs
The following vaccines may be recommended by your veterinarian based on your region and your dog’s environment (risk of exposure):
- Bordetella, a bacterium known to cause kennel cough
- Canine Influenza, a type of canine flu that emerged around 2005
- Canine Parainfluenza, a respiratory virus that is also known to cause kennel cough
- Leptospirosis, a serious infectious disease caused by a bacterium sometimes found in the urine of wildlife and rodents in warm, moist climates.
Vaccination Schedule for Puppies:
We are sharing the most commonly used vaccination schedule. Our veterinarians have found that this is the most effective scheduling for vaccination and all veterinarians are agreed to follow this schedule in Pakistan.
Dog should be dewormed before starting vaccination program. Age of the dog should be well considered for vaccination. Minimum age for vaccination is 8-10 weeks (2 Months).
First of all vaccination should be done against canine parvovirus at the age of 6 weeks, as Canine Parvo is a major threat for young pups.
The second shot of Canine Parvovirus Vaccine, Primodog, is given after 3 weeks of 1st shot.
Following 2 shots of primodog, again 3 weeks later 2 shots of hexadog/biocan/eurican will be given similarly with an interval of 3 weeks. Finally, Annual booster of hexadog/biocan/eurican is given.
Now, your puppy is completely vaccinated against major diseases. You and your pet are now safe.
Vaccination Schedule for Adult Dogs:
If your dog’s age is more than 3-4 months than simply after deworming protocol 3 shots of Hexadog/biocan/eurican Vaccine are given with an interval of 3 weeks. Then annual booster dose is given every year.