Puppies require more shots than an adult dog would. Why? Nursing pups ingest antibodies from their mothers. The maternal antibodies provide early protection against disease, but they also neutralize the immunizing agents in vaccines. The maternal antibodies will naturally decline during the first 3 to 4 months of a puppy’s life. For this reason, it is important to get your dog vaccinated. Here at Sioux Nation Pet Clinic, we recommend the following shots at the following dates. The series of shots may be modified to meet your pet’s needs.
6 Weeks Distemper w/ Lepto (DHLPP)
9 Weeks Distemper w/ Lepto (DHLPP) and/or Bordetella
12 Weeks Distemper w/ Lepto (DHLPP) and/or Rabies* and/or Bordetella
15 Weeks Distemper w/ Lepto (DHLPP)
*Dogs are not old enough for their rabies shot until they are 12 weeks of age and must have it by the age of 6 months.
Rabies: This is the most important shot. This is a viral disease that can affect all warm-blooded mammals; this includes cats, dogs, wildlife and humans. The virus infects the nervous system. It produces uncoordination and behavioral abnormalities like withdrawal and aggression. Sadly, once the signs appear, the disease is fatal. Rabies is usually transferred by bite wounds, often from wildlife but still from some household pets. This shot is required by law to have in all states. Most states offer the rabies vaccine at 1 and 3 year intervals (ask for more information).
Distemper w/ Lepto: Our distemper shot covers multiple diseases. But let’s start with the distemper virus itself. Canine distemper is a widespread virus that causes high mortality in dogs. This shot is not required to have, but is recommended. Puppies and younger dogs are at a greater risk to catch this disease. The infection infects various tissues in the dog’s body. Examples of what you would see is watery eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing, fever, diarrhea, respiratory disease, appetite loss and neurological signs like muscular spasms and paralysis. It is easily transmitted and can be fatal.
Our distemper shot also protects against the Leptospirosis disease. This is bacterial infection that comes from contact with the urine of infected wildlife, or contaminated water or food. Lepto, for short, infects the kidneys and liver which can cause fever, anorexia, depression and pain. There are several types of the lepto bacteria; all of which can affect your dog. This, like the rabies, can be transmitted to humans. It’s transmitted by contact through breaks in the skin or mucous membranes.
Parvo: This is a more severe disease. Diarrhea and vomiting are signs of having the disease and can range from mild to severe. Depression and loss of appetite are also signs. Unvaccinated puppies and younger dogs are most commonly affected with this because they usually have not been previously exposed or even vaccinated. Parvo is easily spread because of the large volume of virus in feces. The feces then contaminates the environment and is then spread from one animal to another. Severe cases can be fatal due to the dog becoming dehydrated and from loss of appetite.
Bordetella: This is an upper respiratory disease that can be very troublesome in dogs. This is a disease that is easily transmitted through the air or through direct contact, especially when a dog is in a kennel or living with another dog. Upper respiratory illness’ can really limit the dog’s activity level and could even process to pneumonia, which could be life threatening. This shot is required to have if you plan to board your dog at any boarding facility.