Along with regular health check-ups, vaccines are a very important part of an overall preventative health strategy for your furry friend. Your veterinarian will formulate a protocol based upon your dog’s lifestyle, age, travel habits, and other factors.
The following list highlights an in-depth review of vaccine recommendations and protocol based on the CVMA (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association) guidelines.
- DAP – Core (recommended for all dogs)
- Puppies are vaccinated at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. The vaccine is boosted one year, once initial puppy series is complete, then revaccinated every three years thereafter.
- Parvo – a frequently fatal viral gastrointestinal disease that causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea, depression and loss of appetite.
- Canine Infectious Hepatitis (Adenovirus) – causes liver disease with signs such as fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and encephalitis; this may be fatal.
- Distemper – a frequently fatal disease, causing depression, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and discharge from the eyes and nose. It may also cause convulsions and paralysis.
- Rabies – Core (recommended for all dogs)
- A fatal disease carried, in our province, by bats. Statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada report that from 2000-2005, 96% of the 95 bats tested in British Columbia were positive for rabies. Because of the human health risk, vaccination of all cats and dogs is recommended.
- Puppies are vaccinated at 16 weeks of age. Vaccine is boosted one year after initial puppy vaccine and then revaccinated every three years.
- Bordetella – Non-core (Infectious Canine Tracheobronchitis, “kennel cough”)
- A contagious respiratory disease. Signs are related to the degree of damage to the respiratory tract. Several organisms may be responsible; primary among them are the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica, as well as respiratory viruses and other bacteria.
- Vaccination is recommended for dogs who have significant social contact e.g. kennels, daycare, dog parks, agility classes, etc. Dogs who have a high-risk of exposure should be revaccinated every six months; those with lower/moderate risk should be revaccinated annually.
- Leptospirosis – Non-core
- A bacterial disease that most frequently affects the liver and/or kidney, causing signs such as vomiting, depression, abdominal pain, and increased urination. Wildlife, rodents, and livestock spread the bacteria in their urine, contaminating surface water.
- Vaccination is recommended for dogs in contact with farms or wildlife areas, including areas frequented by raccoons. Puppies are vaccinated at 12 and 16 weeks of age and revaccinated annually.
- Lyme Disease – Non-core
- A bacterial disease spread by tick bites, affecting different organs and causing a variety of different symptoms including fever, depression, loss of appetite, arthritis, and increased thirst and urination. Annual vaccination is recommended for dogs who have a significant exposure to tick bites.