Dog owners should be voracious readers of books and materials on dog health care. They should be enthusiastic in asking questions at every visit to the vet. Dog health care is one important topic that should not be taken lightly by dog owners.
Dogs get sick from parasites, viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungus. These diseases and infections are sometimes fatal unless discovered and treated early. They sometimes cause chronic illness and damage organs of dogs. Veterinary researchers have developed drugs that reduce the effects of diseases and parasites. Some diseases affecting dogs are rabies and hepatitis parainfluenza. There are other viral diseases that may afflict dogs. To prevent dogs from getting sick, it is important that dog owners put a premium on their health by investing their time and money to go to the vet for vaccinations of their dogs.
Vaccinations work by stimulating the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies to fight against subsequent attack. Modified live vaccines can cause long immunity and facilitate development but may give rise to a mild illness. Killed vaccines are more stable and do not produce mild infections and have a longer shelf life, although the protection may not last very long.
When a mother dog is vaccinated, her puppies will get the same immunity when they drink her colostrum, found in her milk. Puppies generally get a series of immunity shots since it is not certain when that immunity from the mother’s milk wears off. After the initial puppy shots, vets recommend boosters at age one and subsequent boosters at six months, a year, and three years, depending on the disease and its prevalence in your area.
Vaccines can be given either separately or in combination. Some dogs, though, have varied reactions to vaccines and some dog owners and even veterinarians are questioning the principle of giving puppies so many vaccine shots. Researchers found out that dogs may be protected by more than a year by some vaccines. Some vets recommend three year intervals of administration of vaccines for older dogs that are not exposed to diseases. Still, it is agreed that vaccination is the first line of defense against deadly and debilitating diseases.