August is Immunization Awareness Month. How much do you know about the vaccinations your puppy needs? Below, your Savannah, GA veterinarian from Westside Animal Hospital tells you more about this essential preventative healthcare measure.
How Exactly Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines introduce a small, virtually harmless strain of a disease to your dog’s immune system. In response, your dog’s immune system recognizes a problem and develops natural antibodies to that particular disease. In this way, your dog’s body is ready to recognize, fight off, or at least lessen the symptoms of that disease should the real thing ever come along down the road.
What Vaccines Does My Pup Need?
Your puppy will need the core vaccinations, which are considered essential for all dogs. The core vaccinations are usually administered together in a bath when your puppy is young; the vaccination regimen starts as early as six weeks of age and culminates at about 16 weeks of age. Most often, the core batch includes vaccines that protect against distemper, parainfluenza, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies.
How About Non-Core Vaccines?
There are also non-core vaccines out there that many puppies benefit from. As the name implies, they’re not administered to all pups, but may help some depending on circumstance. If your dog has a specific exposure risk, pre-existing condition, or other factor that warrants it, non-core vaccines may be necessary. The Bordetella vaccine, for instance, is a common non-core vaccine. It protects against the Bordetella virus (which causes kennel cough) and would be helpful for a puppy who will commonly be boarded later in life.
Do you want more specifics on the core and non-core vaccinations that your dog needs to stay healthy throughout life? Call your vet’s office to speak with a professional—we’re here to help!
What’s the Booster Shot Schedule Like?
Most vaccinations require booster shots in yearly intervals or in several-year increments. Usually, dog owners have their pup’s vaccines updated as necessary at one of their dog’s bi-annual veterinary appointments. Your veterinarian can tell you more about the specific schedule necessary for your dog’s booster shot schedule, so call the office today.
How Do I Get My Puppy Started?
Are you adopting a puppy soon? Get them started off on the right paw with proper vaccination. Set up an appointment today with Westside Animal Hospital, your Savannah, GA animal hospital, to get your pup the immunizations he or she needs.