Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Congratulations on the new edition to your family! Certain diseases may be prevented by vaccination. A protected response is what the veterinarian is aiming for when vaccinating your puppy, by boosting the immune system to produce antibodies and neutralize infectious organisms before they have a chance to induce disease. This is achieved through a schedule involving vaccines.

Ideally the standard schedule is at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age .Variations to a schedule become necessary when, for instance, a puppy is vaccinated at 8 weeks of age, then does not visit the veterinarian again until 16 weeks of age. A minimum of two injections approximately 3-4 weeks apart with the last injection occurring at greater than 12 weeks of age is necessary.

6-8 weeks of age

  • 1st physical examination (evaluate general health, heart and lung status as well as confirm sex of your puppy)
  • 1st DA2PPCV Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Coronavirus.
  • Fecal analysis for parasites
  • Deworming

10-12 weeks of age

  • 2nd full physical examination (evaluate general health, heart and lung development)
  • 2nd DA2PPCV vaccination Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Coronavirus
  •  Bordetella Vaccination
  •  Fecal analysis for parasites
  •  Deworming (if required)

14-16 weeks of age

  • 3rd Full physical examination (evaluate general health, heart and lung development)
  •  3rd DA2PPCV vaccination Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Coronavirus.
  •  Bordetella Vaccination
  •  Rabies vaccination
  •  Leptospirosis vaccination
  • Lyme vaccination
  • Fecal analysis for parasites
  • Deworming (if required)

5-6 months

  • Ovariohysterectomy (females)
  • Orchiectomy (males)
  • Possible microchip
  •  Deworming

Annual Adult Vaccination

After the third booster your pet will not be due for another vaccination until a year later.

It is recommended to have your dog vaccinated on an annual basis as well as a fecal analysis for intestinal parasites.

 Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are large roundworms that live in the right ventricle (right side of the heart). Heartworms survive on nutrients which they take from the dog’s bloodstream. Heartworms can grow to a length of 15-30 centimetres, and in severe cases a dog may be infested with hundreds of worms.

Damage can occur to the heart, lungs and liver as well as obstruction of blood flow resulting from this infestation. Eventually, fluid may build up in the lungs and restrict the dog’s breathing. When damage to the internal organs is severe enough, death may be the result.

Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites an infected dog, it will ingest the immature worms (microfilariae) produced by the adults in the heart along with the blood from the dog. The immature worms develop in the mosquito over the next few weeks until they reach an infective stage. When the mosquito bites an uninfected dog, it will inject the immature worms into the tissues with its saliva. From here, the immature worms develop further and migrate to the heart where they mature into adult heartworms and begin reproducing. This cycle will continue unless treatment is given.

The signs of heartworm disease are usually detectable only after the disease has progressed and damage has already been done to the internal organs. This damage may be irreversible. In advanced cases of Heartworm the dog may develop such signs as listlessness, a chronic cough, laboured breathing, and weight loss. The animal may be easily tired during exercise and could collapse due to heart failure.

Treatment for heartworm disease is available. However, the methods are costly and are not without danger themselves. Treatment involves a series of injections to kill the adult worms. During this time period the dog must be kept very quiet, as even minimal exercise may result in serious problems from the dead and dying worms. After the adult worms are destroyed, a treatment to kill the immature worms in the bloodstream must be given. Prevention is key with Heartworm Disease. In the spring your veterinarian will recommend a blood test for heartworm presence in your dog’s blood. If your dog is not infected, then a preventative program should be started. The preventative program involves giving the dog medication once a month during mosquito season.

This medication destroys the immature heartworms transmitted by the mosquitoes and stops the cycle of the disease. Preventive programs should not be started until your dog has been tested for the presence of heartworm disease by your veterinarian. The test and the preventive program should be undergone each spring with the medication continuing throughout the summer until November. For those of you who vacation in the United States with your dog, consult your veterinarian regarding the best way to provide continual protection against this easily preventable disease

Please talk to our doctor about customizing a plan to protect your dog against this preventable disease.

Canine Distemper

Canine Distemper is a serious viral disease affecting primarily young and unvaccinated dogs. Clinical signs may include a yellowish or greenish discharge from the eyes or nose, coughing, difficulty breathing, increased body temperature, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nervous system disorder (twitching of a limb, seizures, etc.), and hardening of the foot pads.

Canine Distemper is a highly contagious disease. All body excretions and secretions (discharges from the eyes or nose, vomitus, diarrhea, urine) may carry the infection. The virus can also be carried by air currents, and on inanimate objects such as food bowls.

Prevention of this disease is extremely important, as canine distemper is often fatal. Even if a dog survives the disease, canine distemper can permanently damage the dog’s nervous system, sense of smell, sight and sound. Vaccination has been shown to prevent the disease.

 Canine Parvovirus

Parvovirus is a serious disease affecting primarily young dogs (6 weeks to 6 months of age) although any age can be affected. The breeds at highest risk include the Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, and German Shepherd.

Parvovirus is a hardy virus, able to withstand extreme temperature changes, and exposure to most disinfectants. Dogs contract Parvovirus through exposure to infected dogs or infected stools.

Parvovirus attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing affected dogs to lose their appetite, become lethargic and show evidence of vomiting, diarrhea or both. The diarrhea is often bloody and has a foul odour (that of digested blood). Some dogs develop fevers. Left untreated, Parvovirus can be fatal.

This disease is very serious and can be very expensive to treat. Vaccination against this highly contagious viral disease has proven to be very successful in preventing this disease (or lessening its severity).

 Bordetella (Canine Kennel Cough)

Clinical signs of Bordetella include a dry, hacking cough and, in some dogs, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and difficulty breathing.

Bordetella is highly contagious and is spread through sneezing, coughing and contact with infected nasal secretions. Bordetella is most commonly transmitted when dogs are put in close proximity to one another. For example, dog shows, boarding your dog at a kennel, etc. In most cases, Bordetella lasts 7 to 10 days and most dogs will recover from it.

If your dog is on the show circuit or spends time in a boarding facility, or a highly populated dog area vaccination may be recommended. Speak to your veterinarian about your dog’s risk of exposure and need for this vaccine.

Adenovirus (Canine Infectious Hepatitis)

Adenovirus is a viral disease that is most common in young, unvaccinated dogs (9-12 weeks). Clinical signs may include respiratory tract abnormalities (discharge from the nose or eyes, coughing) or evidence of liver and/or kidney disease, jaundice, loss of appetite, vomiting, change in drinking and urinating behaviour. Occasionally, an affected dog develops a “blue eye” (corneal edema).

Adenovirus is spread by contact with urine from an infected dog. Prevention by vaccination is key as it can be fatal.

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of all warm blooded animals, including humans. Rabies is transmitted by saliva, which is usually transferred by a bite from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted via air (bat caves) and tissue (corneal transplants). The disease is frequently found in wild animals such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats.

Once infected, the disease is fatal. Prior to death, clinical signs may include a change in behaviour (e.g. increased aggressiveness or increased shyness), dilation of the pupils, excess salivation, snapping at the air, a shifting gait, and facial twitching.

As the virus is zoonotic it can be transmitted to humans. Your family pet should be kept on its own property or be leashed when off its property. To help prevent raccoon rabies, it is recommended that you cap chimneys, close up any holes in attics or outbuildings, and make sure that stored garbage does not act as a food source.

Vaccination is important in safeguarding your cat from infection with this virus. Some veterinarians recommend vaccinating every year, while others recommend a three-year vaccine. Talk to our veterinarian about the degree of risk for Rabies in your area, and about which vaccination protocol will provide your pet with the protection it requires.

 Canine Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a disease that affects the dog’s kidney function and may lead to kidney failure. Liver disease is also common. Clinical signs may include loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.

There are a number of different types of leptospira that may cause the disease. Wild and domestic animals (cattle, pigs, raccoons, and dogs) may act as reservoirs for infection. The disease is transmitted by contact with the urine of infected animals. Stagnant or slow-moving water may provide a suitable habitat for the organism to thrive.

Canine Coronavirus

Canine coronavirus infects the intestinal tract and may lead to vomiting and diarrhea. It is possible that infected dogs may shed the virus in their feces, thus spreading the virus to other dogs. The overall prevalence of coronavirus is thought to be low, and most infections are mild and self-limiting. Vaccination against this virus is available. Speak to your veterinarian about your dog’s risk for developing this viral disease.

 Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacteria that is carried in deer ticks and black legged ticks. Once the infected tick uses your dog as a host, the bacteria is transferred. Some common symptoms are lameness, fever, kidney failure, or your pet may show no symptoms at all. This disease cannot be transmitted directly from your pet to you and your family.

Depending on your geographical location, your veterinarian may recommend vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease. If a tick is found on your dog it is recommended to seek veterinary care immediately for tick removal. The risk of tick exposure can be reduced by keeping your dog on a leash, on trails, and out of woodlands and fields and using a flea and tick preventive medication.

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