Some pet parents are jumping on the “vaccine is bad” bandwagon, feeling that a majority of these shots are useless and may lead to long term health complications. While there could be the slim chance of an adverse reaction to the vaccines given to our pets, there is also the possibility of adverse reaction to a dog eating food off the kitchen floor. So, what do vaccines actually prevent? Let’s take a closer look:
Do dogs need the bordetella vaccine?
Absolutely! The Bordetella vaccine is used to hold off respiratory diseases such as kennel cough. Kennel cough is mostly contracted through close contact with other dogs. Doggy daycares often require proof that dogs in their care have updated vaccinations, including the bordetella shot. If the daycare doesn’t, it may be best to find another daycare! It is absolutely necessary for every dog to get the bordetella vaccine sprayed into their nostrils? Absolutely, especially if they attend a doggy daycare or are in constant contact with other dogs such as at a dog park or the doggy gym they will need the added protection.
What is canine distemper?
Canine distemper is a highly contagious, airborne virus that will attack a dogs lymph nodes, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems before heading to the nervous system. There is no known cure among the medical community. Puppies often get this vaccination around 16 weeks of age. Often a booster every three to five years keeps the dreaded illness from attacking. Is the distemper vaccine (CDV) required? Absolutely! Keep the dog safe with this shot!
How about Parvo?
The dreaded parvo virus can strike unsuspecting puppies between six weeks and six months. There are two forms, the more common gastrointestinal form, and the lesser known cardiac strain. A healthy dog could be infected by simply sniffing an infected dogs stool. The virus may be spread simply by a human shoe that’s stepped in infected feces. It is resistant to most cleaning products except bleach. It is possible to cure an infected pup with medication and special diet, but the cured puppy may carry health related reminders the rest of his life. Parvo and CDV are two of the most important vaccinations to stay on top of!
Is rabies even relevant?
This is the one and only vaccination that is legally required in all 50 states. It protects dogs from contracting the disease through other rabies infected animals such as bats, coyotes and raccoons. Rabies virus affects the gray matter of the brain, the central nervous system and is often fatal. It is easily transferable from animal to human. The rabies vaccine has the highest rate of side effects which may include vomiting, facial swelling, circulatory distress and in rare cases, death. If a dog is medically proven to have health issues related to the rabies vaccine, there is an exemption a veterinarian can file with the state.
When in doubt, talk to a veterinarian. They will be able to guide you with what the dog needs, how much and how often. Do some research and go into the appointment armed with questions and an open mind concerning your dog and their health.