Important Puppy Shots Every Bowling Green, KY Dog Owner Needs

When getting a new puppy in Bowling Green, KY, it’s important to vaccinate them. Not doing so will, at best, ban your dog from many places, such as the dog park. At worst, your puppy can get very sick and possibly die. What, then, are the shots that are important to get when you bring your new puppy home?

puppy shots in bowling green, ky

We’ll go over the most important puppy shots that every new dog owner needs to be aware of.

How Many Shots Does My Puppy Need in Bowling Green, KY?

The number of shots you get for your pup can depend on things such as whether you get your puppy from a shelter or a breeder (responsible breeders should have already taken care of some of the vaccines, meaning you’ll need to bring your puppy in for less vaccines; see below for more info), the health and history of the puppy’s mother (more on that later), the puppy’s age, and the puppy’s temperament. The core vaccination, or the vaccine that every puppy should get, is a combination of vaccines.

The Ever-Important DHLPP Dog Vaccine

The DHLPP vaccine stands for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. This shot comes at three week intervals during a puppy’s life, starting at about six weeks and continuing until about sixteen weeks old.

If you’re getting your puppy from a breeder or foster home/shelter, you should be responsible for the last two or three rounds of vaccine the pet will need to receive.

This is because a reputable breeder or foster parent won’t sell or adopt out puppies until eight to twelve weeks of age. After about sixteen weeks, you should expect to vaccinate your dog with this shot once a year for the rest of his/her life.

What Does Each Shot Mean for My Puppy?

What exactly is this vaccine and what are parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, distemper, and hepatitis? Why is it important to get it? As stated above, this shot is given three times before a dog is even six months old. It may seem tedious to continue to go back and forth to the vet just to get one vaccine, but the consequences can be deadly if you don’t give your puppy this vaccine!

The Canine Distemper Shot

Take canine distemper, for example. Distemper is a contagious and severe disease that can be spread through the air of an infected animal. Affecting the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems, this infection can not only spread to dogs, but also raccoons, skunks, and other animals.

Additionally, the virus can be transmitted through shared food and water bowls, as well as other equipment. There’s no cure for distemper and symptoms include discharge from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, twitching, and paralysis. It quite often can result in the death of the dog.

Hepatitis Shot for Puppies

Despite the fact that they have the same name, canine hepatitis isn’t actually related to its human counterpart. Instead, this disease not only infects the liver, but the spleen, kidneys, lungs, and eyes.

Its symptoms can be jaundice, vomiting, a buildup of mucus, a slight fever, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Like distemper, there isn’t a cure and treatment is symptomatic in nature.

The Leptospirosis Vaccine

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that attacks the entire body of a puppy. It can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory disease, and death. This is a zoonotic condition, meaning it can spread to humans. Children are more at risk than adults at catching this from an infected animal.

Parvovirus and Parainfluenza Shots for Puppies

The last two, parvovirus and parainfluenza, can be thought of as the stomach flu and the flu for dogs, respectively. Though they don’t always result in the death of your puppy, they can and are often included in the vaccine, so why wouldn’t you get it?

The Time Frame for Puppy Shots

It’s worthy to note for the core/combination vaccine that a puppy may already get protective antibodies from his/her mom through her colostrum, or yellowish substance produced before milk is made. These antibodies can protect the puppy for a long time or a small window of time.

This can protect the mom’s puppies until their immune system develops and eventually, the mom’s antibodies will fade when the puppy no longer needs Mom’s protection (i.e. when the owners, breeders, etc. take the puppy/puppies to the vet for the core vaccines).

It is essential, therefore, that time between the mother’s antibodies “shutting off” and the puppy/puppies going to the vet to get the DHLPP vaccine is as small of a time frame as possible.

If, however, Mom was never vaccinated or never came into contact with antibodies, her puppies won’t have a natural mechanism to defend themselves and you should look to get your puppy their shots as soon as you can.

Other Important Puppy Shots for Bowling Green Dog Owners

Going back to vaccines you should get for your puppy, rabies is separate from the other vaccine, but equally important to get. In fact, most states require a rabies vaccine for your dog. The reason for this is because, like leptospirosis, rabies is zoonotic. Rabies can cause acute inflammation of the brain, which, in turn, can cause headaches, anxiety, hallucinations, paralysis, and even death.

Bordatella is another common shot that puppies get at the vet. This highly spreadable bacteria is the most common form of kennel cough and symptoms include coughing and vomiting. In rare cases, this can result in seizures and death.

Other vaccinations that a veterinarian can recommend you get for your puppy include coronavirus (not related to the COVID-19 strain found currently in humans), adenovirus (infectious hepatitis), and Lyme disease.

Are There Side Effects to These Puppy Shots?

Some owners may worry about side effects in their puppy and whether they should risk getting these vaccinations. However, many veterinarians agree that vaccinating your pup outweighs the risk of not vaccinating and risking death.

There is a chance your puppy may have a mild reaction to their vaccine, such as a little swelling or discomfort at the vaccine site, a mild fever, a decreased appetite, tiredness, and/or (especially in the case of an intranasal vaccine) sneezing and slight congestion.

There may also be a very slight chance your puppy might experience vomiting, diarrhea, hives, itchy skin, facial swelling, severe coughing, difficulty breathing, collapse, or seizure. Again, this is very, very rare and vaccinating your dog far outweighs the risks of not. Any concerns and appearance of severe side effects should be brought up to your veterinarian.

Make Sure Your Puppy Gets Their Shots in Bowling Green, KY

As you can see, there are many important vaccinations a veterinarian will either require you to get or recommend you get for your new puppy to help ensure Fido/Frieda stays healthy for his/her entire life. After all, a great puppy starts with you!

Southcentral Veterinary Services is here for all your puppy shot needs in Bowling Green, KY and everything else you may need during your time as a pet owner.

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Southcentral Veterinary Services is here to ensure that you and your pet can access a variety of high-quality, progressive medical services. Our aim is to serve our patients and clients with integrity, compassion, and a focus on being your primary family vet.