Vaccines for your Dog

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Every dog is unique and Ellington Center Animal Clinic takes your dog’s lifestyle into account when we recommend vaccines. Not every pet should receive every available vaccine. Talk with our veterinarians and decide which vaccines are right for your pet.

While vaccines are a very important part of good health, routine physical exams are the BEST strategy to keep your pet healthy.

Core Vaccines

DISTEMPER: (D) A highly contagious and often fatal viral disease. It affects the respiratory and nervous systems. The vaccine doesn’t affect your dogs temperament or demeanor.

HEPATITIS: (H) A contagious viral disease of the liver and can also cause severe kidney damage

PARVOVIRUS: (P) A highly contagious and often fatal disease that causes severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea leading to dehydration and death.

PARAINFLUENZA: (P) This virus is highly contagious and causes a dry hacking cough.

**Together, these 4 vaccines are given in a single injection known as the DHPP vaccine. This is considered a core vaccine, since all dogs are at risk. Puppies and unvaccinated adult dogs are at greatest risk. Vaccinations begin at 6-8 weeks of age and continue every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old. The last vaccine is considered effective for 1 year. After the first year, DHPP vaccine is boostered every 3 years.

RABIES: Connecticut state law requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies. Pets are exposed to rabies by a bite from an infected animal. The rabies virus attacks the brain. There is no treatment available so the disease is always fatal. An infected animal can transmit the disease to a human. Puppies receive their first vaccine at 3 calendar months of age (this is not the same as 12 weeks old). The first vaccine is considered effective for 1-year. After the first year, rabies vaccines are boostered every three years.

Non-Core Vaccines

LYME DISEASE: This bacterial disease results from a bite of an infected deer tick. Lyme disease can cause permanent and painful disabilities, including kidney failure. It can cause lameness, joint and muscle pain, fever and depression. Due to the high prevalence of Lyme disease in Connecticut, we recommend vaccinating most dogs and using a monthly tick prevention on all dogs. The Lyme vaccine requires an initial injection, and a booster injection 3-4 weeks later. After the initial series, a booster vaccine is administered annually.

LEPTOSPIROSIS: This bacterial infection is carried by many wild animals and transmitted to dogs through contact with infected urine. This disease causes liver and kidney disease and can be fatal. It is zoonotic, which means, like rabies, it can be transmitted from your pet to you. Vaccination consists of an initial vaccine and a booster 3-4 weeks later. After the initial series, a booster vaccine is administered annually.

BORDETELLA: This bacterium contributes to the disease known as kennel cough. Dogs are at risk when exposed to other dogs in kennels, grooming salons, training classes, and dog parks. Symptoms include severe coughing sometimes followed by vomiting and gagging. Some dogs may also have watery eyes and a nasal discharge. Vaccination helps reduce the severity of clinical signs, but is not 100% effective in preventing disease. The vaccine requires 10 days to be effective, so we recommend planning ahead before kenneling your dog. We use an oral (mucosal) vaccine that is given every 12-months. Some kennels require 6-month vaccinations.

INFLUENZA: This highly contagious respiratory infection can have a significant impact on dogs. There are two known strains of canine influenza that have been reported. There has never been a reported case of human infection. However, several high-profile incidents documented the devastating effects as the virus decimated nearly every dog in affected kennels. The influenza vaccine available (H3N8) is a precaution for only one of the strains. It is administered every 12-months.

Vaccines for your dog

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