Vaccinations – Why They Are Important For You and Your Dog
Before vaccines were developed, a number of pets and pet owners had died from diseases caused by viral infections. Highly fatal diseases
such as rabies and Parvovirus pose a great risk to both pet and pet owner’s health. However, after many years of scientific study and the advancement of medical technology animal vaccines were developed to help prevent the spread of these diseases to both pets and humans.
The introduction of these vaccines to society made a dramatic decrease in the number of fatalities that was caused by these devastating diseases.
Dog vaccinations are the introduction of a modified virus of a specific disease into the dog’s body to produce immunity to this disease. Dogs should be vaccinated as soon as possible, especially puppies.
Compared to adult dogs, a normal, healthy puppy has an immature immune system that has not yet been exposed to foreign substances or viruses. The only defense a puppy has against viruses and bacteria are his inherited maternal immunity that only lasts up to the first 5 to 6 weeks of his life. When a puppy reaches 20 weeks of age, his inherited maternal antibodies will be gone and he must now rely on his own immune system to fight off viruses. Thus, a vaccination is essential to prepare and arm a puppy’s immune system for the moment he will be exposed to certain viruses. On the other hand, adult dogs need vaccination to boost their immune system for overcoming a possible viral invasion.
Taking care of your dog does not only mean providing food and good shelter to him. You must also ensure that your dog gets the proper vaccination that he needs to fight the viruses that he may contract while he is growing up. Below are some of the most common and highly fatal dog diseases. Vaccines for these diseases are already available and you can have your veterinary administer vaccine shots for your pet.
Parvovirus is considered to be the most serious and contagious disease for puppies. It causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and can be fatal even if treated. Blood testing is recommended to ensure adequate protection of your puppy after a series of vaccinations are administered.
Dog rabies virus is spread through wounds, via the saliva of a rabid dog. A rabid dog manifests the following symptoms: aggression, seizure, overly vicious or timid behavior, lack of coordination and difficulty swallowing. The disease is considered to be fatal once any of these symptoms shows. While there is an effective post-exposure treatment for humans, there is none for animals.
Distemper is a highly fatal and contagious viral disease that affects your dog’s respiratory and nervous system of dogs.
Parainfluenza is a highly contagious viral respiratory disease that can spread quickly from dog to dog.
Hepatitis is an infectious viral disease that damages the liver and eyes of dogs and may further cause reproductive problems.
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria and can result to severe liver and kidney damage on dogs. This disease if not properly treated can also spread and affect humans.
Bordetella is one of the bacterial causes of “kennel cough.”