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5 most important vaccinations for dogs

Getting your dog vaccinated early on is vital, along with periodic booster doses afterwards.

Getting your dog vaccinated early on is vital, along with periodic booster doses afterwards.

Published Jun 28, 2022

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Anyone who has ever had a pet knows how important it is to get them vaccinated on time to protect them against diseases. For dogs, early vaccination is vital, along with periodic booster doses afterwards. Puppy vaccinations begin from as early as 6-8 weeks of age, and should be completed within 12-16 months of age, after which, the booster doses usually start, most of them once in a year.

To make life easier for pet parents, here are the five most important vaccinations for your canine friend.

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Rabies

Rabies is a deadly zoonotic disease that can spread from animals to humans. Rabies is transmitted by the Lyssa virus, invading the central nervous system and causing headaches, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, increased aggressiveness, fear of water, paralysis and death in almost 100% of cases. Hence, rabies shots are critical to protect your furry friend, starting from 12 weeks.

Distemper

Distemper, also known as Carre’s disease, is a highly contagious viral disease that can lead to acute gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems such as severe cough with pus-like discharge from the eyes and nose, and even fatal convulsions and paralysis. There is no effective treatment for distemper and vaccinations from 8 weeks of age are the only way to protect your dog.

Getting your dog vaccinated early on is vital, along with periodic booster doses afterwards.

Parvovirus

Yet another highly contagious and potentially fatal disease, the canine parvovirus is an extremely resistant DNA virus that young pups and older dogs are especially susceptible to. Symptoms usually include severe vomiting, high fever up to 41.5°C, and bloody diarrhoea, and without treatment, young dogs can die from dehydration or shock within just 72 hours of contracting the disease. In fact, even animals that have survived the disease can succumb to the long-term consequences within a few years, including immunodeficiency and heart problems. Vaccinations for parvovirus also begin at 8 weeks, clubbed with three other shots.

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Hepatitis

Caused by the canine adenovirus 1 (CAV-1) that is usually transmitted through water or food containing urine, hepatitis can cause symptoms such as fever and inflammation of the eyes and kidneys. Without proper treatment or vaccination, beginning from 8 weeks of age, the virus can quickly reach the liver, causing fatigue, vomiting and diarrhoea, and even death in younger dogs or those with weaker immunity.

Leptospirosis

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Yet another zoonotic disease, leptospirosis may cause no symptoms at all, making it especially dangerous for animals and humans. Caused by the Leptospira bacterium, commonly found in contaminated soil or water, this highly infectious disease can result in severe organ damage in young or immuno-compromised dogs, often leading to death. As such, leptospirosis vaccinations are critical for your furry friend's health, beginning from 8 weeks.

These are the five basic but critical vaccinations for your canine companions. However, they may require additional shots for other diseases, including the coronavirus, throughout their lives.

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