Recommendations for Puppies and Dogs
Canine vaccinations are the most important preventive measure you can take to reduce the risk of disease in your dog or puppy. Many diseases can be fatal so it is imperative that a vaccination program is carefully considered. The vaccinations and test recommendations for canine diseases are explained in some detail below. Not every dog requires every vaccine that is available. We will help you tailor a vaccination plan that best suits your dog. These decisions are determined by the risk factors associated with your dog’s health, lifestyle and environment.
Rabies: Attacks the nervous system inluding the brain. It is fatal and has no cure. This viral disease is trasmitted through biting and is zoonotic meaning it is transmissible from animals to people. This vaccine is part of the core program and is mandatory in Ontario. Remember Ontario is the rabies capital of North America with the primary vector being bats. This vaccine once a dog reaches adulthood can be given every 2-3 years depending on lifestyle and type of vaccine given.
Da2pp: Combination vaccine includes Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Adenovirus.
Distemper: A highly contagious virus which affects the respiratory and nervous systems, causing fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and eventually death.
Parvovirus: Is highly contagious and causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, often leading to death. It affects dogs of all ages however puppies are at the highest risk. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite leading to shock and even death. This is transmitted dog to dog via the secretions. This is why we suggest puppies do not frequent parks until their vaccine series finishes.
Parainfluenza and Adenovirus: Causes highly contagious respiratory diseases leading to a dry hacking cough. It is very serious in young puppies and can lead to a more severe pneumonia.
The DHPP combo vaccine is also considered a core vaccine for all dogs. This vaccine is given annually until adulthood and then the frequency can be decreased depending on lifestyle and environment of the dog.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough): Strongly recommended, especially if a puppy or adult dog will have exposure to many dogs such as training classes, shows, boarding and/or the groomers. Kennel cough is very contagious and transmitted by other infected animals. Symptoms include coughing and respiratory problems. The vaccine is required here in order to board your pet.
Leptospirosis: This is a bacterial disease transmitted through contact with urine from an infected animal (some carriers can be possums, raccoons, and squirrels). Risk factors can include an environment with woods, ponds, standing water, rivers or creeks. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea or no symptoms at all. This is also a zoonotic disease.
Intestinal Parasite Exam: Most parasites can be diagnosed by a microscopic fecal examination using various chemicals to help concentrate the population of parasite eggs. A fecal examination can show if your pet has intestinal parasites that can make your pet very sick and decrease the immune response. Common intestinal parasites include Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms and giardia. Most of these parasites can be transmitted to humans. This test is performed annually with the exam and vaccination appointment.
Heartworm Test: Heartworms are a parasite spread by mosquito bites. They can be easily prevented with monthly heartworm prevention. However, heartworm preventions are not safe to use on a dog that is already infected. Every dog that is over the age of 6 months should be tested yearly for heartworms. Dogs that only go outside to use the bathroom can still become infected so it is very important to test all of your dogs. Heartworm prevention must be used with caution in pets that have not been seen by a veterinarian in the past year and does not have a negative test on record.
*WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND A HEARTWORM TEST FOR ALL DOGS*