Rabies is a viral disease that can affect all warm-blooded mammals, including dogs, cats, wildlife, and humans. The virus infects cells of the central nervous system, producing incoordination and behavioral abnormalities such as unusual aggression or withdrawal. Once these signs of rabies appear, the disease is normally fatal. It is usually transmitted by bite wounds, often from infected wildlife. Most states in the U.S, including Minnesota, require rabies vaccination of dogs at one – three-year intervals. The rabies vaccine can first be given at 12-16 weeks of age. No booster is needed for the rabies vaccine, it is good for 1 year.
Canine distemper is a widespread virus that causes high mortality in dogs. It infects various tissues of the body, producing diarrhea, fever, nasal and ocular discharge, respiratory disease, appetite loss, and neurological signs. Exposure is considered inevitable during a dog’s lifetime, so this vaccine is always recommended. Puppies and young dogs without immunity are at the greatest risk. This disease is easily transmitted and often fatal.
Canine Parvovirus is a common, highly contagious, and potentially fatal intestinal virus that causes severe, often bloody, diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs through direct contact with feces and contaminated surfaces. It is capable of surviving in the environment for extended periods of time making it difficult to eliminate. Young puppies and unvaccinated dogs have the highest risk of contracting this disease. Appropriate vaccination is essential to help prevent disease caused by this deadly virus.
The first vaccine can be given between 6-8 weeks of age. Multiple boosters may be needed before this vaccine is good for one year.
Bordetella Bronchiseptica Vaccine (Kennel Cough)
Bordetella is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory disease of dogs. It is spread when another dog sneezes and It is breathed in by another dog. It is common anywhere there are large numbers of dogs or puppies present thus it is commonly called “Kennel Cough”. Some symptoms include mild fever, loss of appetite, and mild lethargy. Prognosis is very good with proper treatment. This vaccine can be given to puppies as young as 3-6 weeks of age. No booster required if given 6 weeks and older. This vaccine is good for one year.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be found in most animals, including livestock, dogs, and wildlife. The bacteria are passed through the urine into water sources, where they can reside for long periods of time. Animals become infected by drinking, swimming in, or walking through contaminated water. Leptospirosis is contagious and can pass from dog to dog. Humans can also contract leptospirosis by coming in contact with contaminated urine and water. The first vaccine can be given at 9 weeks of age. One booster is needed 3-4 weeks after initial vaccine and then it will be good for one year.
Lyme disease affects dogs differently, and some may not display any clinical signs at all. In other dogs, many cases start with limping, swelling of lymph nodes, and fever. This disease can also attack a dog’s joints and be very painful. Antibiotics can help treat the disease but don’t eliminate the organism; it is a recurring condition that can strike time and time again once the dog contracts it. Dogs can’t spread Lyme disease directly to their owners, but they can bring infected ticks into the home or yard where they are spread to people. The first vaccine can be given at nine weeks of age. One booster 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine is needed then it will be good for one year.