Perhaps you've heard about dog vaccinations and that they're important, but why are they beneficial? Which vaccines does your dog need? Our Rancho Cucamonga vets have some answers, along with a recommended vaccine schedule.
Pet vaccinations and the need to vaccinate our dogs against serious conditions and diseases is a polarizing topic among owners. Our vets in Rancho Cucamonga believe vaccinations are safe for dogs and that ensuring your canine companion gets their core vaccinations can help to protect your four-legged friend against several very serious conditions that can be expensive to treat, and potentially even deadly.
However, not all dogs will need every vaccine available. While there are some vaccines that are strongly recommended for dogs or required by law (called core vaccines), others are optional, lifestyle vaccines your pooch may not need.
Why should I vaccinate my dog or puppy?
Ensuring your dog gets the shots they need to protect them from serious health issues is an essential component of your dog's annual preventive healthcare. By having your dog vaccinated early in life and regularly throughout their lifetime, you give your pet the best chance of living a long, healthy life.
Puppy vaccinations protect your dog from contracting numerous, often fatal diseases such as hepatitis, rabies and parvovirus and transmitting them to other dogs. Preventing these diseases is also less costly to your wallet - and your beloved pet's long-term health - than paying for treatment.
Your veterinarian can examine your puppy and tell you which shots they should get, and when, based on their health status, lifestyle and other factors.
Which vaccines does my dog need?
As mentioned above, there are core vaccines and lifestyle vaccines that are recommended in certain circumstances. Let's look at both more closely.
Core Vaccines for Dogs
Designed to help protect your dog by preventing diseases that are commonly found and diagnosed in your area, core vaccines prevent conditions that can easily spread between animals (and in some cases, from animals to people) and have a high rate of fatality. Here are the core vaccines we recommend for most dogs living in the United States:
- Canine Parvovirus
Canine parvovirus is an extremely contagious viral disease that can be life-threatening. Parvovirus can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s feces. Dogs that are not vaccinated are at risk of contracting the virus. Vaccinating your puppy or dog against parvovirus could save their life.
Canine distemper is a virus that affects a dog’s respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eyes. Distemper is spread through contact with the fresh urine of an infected animal. This virus can travel to the brain, causing seizures, shaking and trembling. Protect your dog against distemper by having them vaccinated.
- Canine Hepatitis
Dogs suffering from canine hepatitis experience swelling and cell damage in the liver, which may result in hemorrhage and death. This virus is spread through contact with the feces and urine of infected dogs. Simply by having your dog vaccinated you can protect your dog against canine hepatitis.
Rabies is typically transmitted through a bite from the infected animal and is one of the few diseases that can be transmitted to people from their pets. The rabies virus causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and will gradually infect the entire nervous system of the animal or person causing death.
In many states, including North Carolina, rabies shots are mandatory for dogs, cats and ferrets, without exception.
Lifestyle Vaccines for Dogs
Does your dog spend a lot of time with other dogs in doggy daycare or dog parks? Here are lifestyle vaccines you may want to consider for your pooch.
- Bordatella (Kennel Cough)
Bordatella bronchoseptica is the bacteria which can lead to the respiratory disease known as “kennel cough.” This respiratory illness earned the name kennel cough because it is easily transmitted when dogs share indoor space, such as kennels. That said, dogs that attend dog parks or doggie daycares may also be at risk of contracting this disease. As with the human flu vaccine, the bordatella vaccination will not prevent your dog from getting sick, but it will help to decrease the severity and length of symptoms. Speak to your vet about the Bordatella vaccine if your dogs spends time with other dogs.
Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is spread in water contaminated with urine from infected wildlife. While most cases of leptospirosis are mild and easily treated with antibiotics, some dogs get very sick and may even suffer kidney failure. Leptospirosis can also be transmitted from animals to people in some cases. If your dog is fond of drinking from puddles, ponds or rivers in your neighborhood, speak to your vet about vaccinating your canine companion against leptospirosis.
- Canine Influenza (Dog Flu)
Symptoms of the dog flu often begin as kennel cough then become increasingly more severe, and in some cases require hospitalization. There are two strains of dog flu that are widely spread throughout the country. Speak to your vet to find out if this vaccination is right for your pooch. If your dog spends time with other dogs in daycares, kennels or dog parks you may wish to vaccinate them against dog flu. Short-faced dogs with an increased risk of respiratory illness should also be vaccinated against this condition.
How much do puppy vaccinations cost?
Vaccine prices vary depending on your location and your puppy's lifestyle and needs in addition to their age. Ask your veterinarian for an accurate cost estimate of dog shots near Rancho Cucamonga.
Vaccinations & Parasite Prevention for Dogs at Rancho Regional Veterinary Hospital
Our vets in Rancho Cucamonga recommend pairing your dog's regular vaccinations with parasite prevention for comprehensive protection from conditions, diseases and illnesses that can threaten your pup's long-term health, and even cause fatality.
Parasites such as heartworm, ticks, fleas and others pose a serious health risk to both humans and animals. Left untreated, parasites can also endanger your dog's life and be transmitted to people or other pets in your home. We can recommend parasite prevention and treatments to protect your pooch.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.