What vaccinations does my dog need?


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Your veterinarian will recommend vaccinations after considering several factors: what kind of exposure to disease your pet has, what diseases are common in the area you live, what kind of stress factors your pet faces, and the overall health of your pet. At Hampstead Animal Hospital your veterinarian may recommend many or all of the following vaccines to keep your dog protected:

Rabies: Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. It is given to puppies after they reach 12 weeks of age and then every one to three years in adult dogs. It is considered a core vaccine and in most places is required by law.

Canine distemper (DHPP): What we call the canine distemper vaccine is actually a combination of four vaccines: distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. It is given to puppies in a series of three or four vaccines and then given every one to three years to adult dogs. Along with rabies, DHPP is considered a core vaccine.

Bordatella (kennel cough): The classical combination for uncomplicated kennel cough is infection with parainfluenza or adenovirus Type 2 with Bordetella bronchiseptica. Classically, dogs become infected with this when they are kept in a crowded situation with poor air circulation and lots of warm air (i.e., a boarding kennel, vaccination clinic, obedience class, local park, animal shelter or grooming parlor). Talk to your veterinarian to see if this vaccine is recommended for your pet.

Lyme: Lyme disease in dogs is caused by the transmission of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi that can occur through a tick bite. This vaccine prevents infection in dogs vaccinated before any exposure to the bacteria. It is given to puppies in a series of two vaccines and then annual vaccinations are needed for continued protection.

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease in dogs, multiple animal species and humans that occurs in countries around the world. Dogs will typically come into contact with the leptospira bacteria in infected water, soil, or mud, while swimming, passing through, or drinking contaminated water, or from coming into contact with urine from an infected animal.

Influenza: Just like people, dogs can be affected by different strains of influenza, a highly contagious respiratory infection. Dogs suffering from the mild form of influenza develop a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days. They may also be lethargic and have reduced appetite and a fever. Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose may also be observed. Dogs with the severe form of influenza develop high fevers and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort. The influenza vaccine is given to dogs in a series of two vaccinations and then annual boosters are needed for continued protection. Talk to your veterinarian to see if this vaccine is recommended for your pet.

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