Why is it important to get a vaccination for your dog you ask? Well, how about you not getting a basic prescription of vaccinations for a new born baby in your house? Not very exciting right!?
Vaccinations have become a very common process for pet dogs now, not because its a trend spreading like wild fire, but because it can very efficiently prevent potentially serious and dangerous diseases like rabies, hepatitis and distemper. And the best part is, these vaccinations are not just helping keep your pet dog healthy, but also, they make sure that no human living with or around the dog gets any disease, because sometimes, few diseases spread to humans as well.
The general idea is to have annual vaccinations for your dogs, but with advancement in technology, vaccinations have taken an upgrade as well and now veterinarians would recommend less frequent doses of vaccinations that are effective for a longer period. Every animal care institution has a set of vaccination guidelines that have a determined log of vaccination information for all kinds of animals and with the reform in the quality, the guidelines have been through amendments as well. As far as the question goes as to who decides what goes into the guidelines, the answer is, it is a compilation of the research and contributions of various professionals in the area of canine health specifications. The vaccination requirements vary from dog to dog. Factors such as age, breed, living conditions and so on, are very important to determine the kind of vaccination that would prove most suitable for a dog. Also, probability of diseases vary from city to city, therefore, consulting your veterinarian about vaccination specifications becomes important, because a disease that is common in dogs, but its occurrence is not very frequent in a particular area, then the vaccination for it is less frequent as well.
However, as important and resourceful, a term like vaccination sounds, the fact that side effects and risks are a tagged along concepts, cannot be ignored. Some people think that vaccinations can carry health risks for their dogs, which is, in some cases true, though health risks are higher if your dog does not get any kind of vaccination at all.
Sometimes, dogs get allergic reactions to injections which look reddish and there may be swelling and it appears fairly quickly after the shot is given. These reactions are very rare, anyhow, if you notice the problem extending to a longer period, then quickly consult your vet since they will be able to guide you through it. A rare reaction will cause your dog’s immune system to respond by attacking the tissue in the body, resulting in disorders of skin, joints and blood. These situations could turn serious but are fortunately rare.
The kinds of vaccinations that your dog must have are of two types; core and non-core.
Core vaccinations are those that are mandatory for all dogs and they keep common and transferable diseases at bay. These diseases are rabies, adenovirus, parvovirus and distemper.
The non-core vaccines are those that provide protection against diseases that are dependent on a dog’s living conditions and environment. These vaccinations have to be discussed with the local vet and they include kennel cough, Lyme disease and Leptospirosis.
As puppies, if the mother is under an effective vaccination, then the puppy will have an immunity against any kind of disease that the mother has had a vaccination against, at least for three months. After that, for the first year, there is a prescribed, standard list of vaccinations required. After the first year, the core vaccinations may be required once in two or three years, depending on what the vet recommends.
If your family is the kind that travels a lot and your dog has to be kenneled frequently, it is obvious that it is coming in very frequent contact with other kinds of dogs and is being exposed to an environment very different from home. In this case, you definitely need to take your dog for regular check ups whether it is under a period of effective vaccination or not. Just because you believe in a once in three years vaccination, it does not mean that the dog’s health has to be in jeopardy. The same way that humans make regular appointments with doctors for themselves, dogs need regular check up to so that you can have an updated chart sheet of your dog’s health conditions. After all prevention is better than cure. Hence if any imbalance on the health meter arises, early detection will result in better curing possibilities.
There are certain tests that can be performed to determine suitable vaccines for few dogs which are called titer tests. They measure the amount of antibodies that are present in your dogs body for various diseases. You can always ask a vet for one of this titer tests if you suspect something wrong.
Hope this information was useful. All the best!