Dog Vaccination Guide: Which Vaccines does my dog really needs?

Going to the Vet clinic for Dog vaccine multiple times over several months, and then for boosters or titers throughout your dog’s life, may seem inconvenient, but the diseases that vaccinations protect our pets from are severe, potentially fatal, and thankfully, usually preventable. To determine if your pet is at risk, talk with your veterinarian, or look for incidence maps like this: https://www.google.com/search?q=leptospirosis+incidence+map+2021. We learn about so many different dog vaccine for so many different ailments that it can be difficult to know which immunizations puppies require and which are vital but not required. The following is a list of diseases that immunizations can help your pet avoid getting sick. Sign Up Here to Get Dr. Ruth’s Downloadable Free DOG Vaccine Guide Down below, we have a handy infographic of Dr. Ruth’s Dog vaccine recommendations. 
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica 
This extremely infectious bacterium causes severe coughing, whooping, vomiting, convulsions, and death in rare cases. Kennel cough is caused by this bacteria. Vaccines are offered in both injectable and nasal spray form. This is a common disease, and your dog is more at risk if she visits boarding kennels, grooming shops, and popular dog parks. 
  • Canine Distemper
Distemper is a serious and widespread disease spread by a virus that targets the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and neurological systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals. Shared food and water bowls, as well as equipment, can spread the virus. It results in eye and nose discharges, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, twitching, paralysis, and, in some cases, death. Because it causes the footpad to thicken and harden, this condition was previously known as “hard pad.” Distemper has no treatment. Supportive care and measures to prevent secondary infections, control vomiting, seizures, and other symptoms are all part of the treatment. If the dog survives the symptoms, it is hoped that his immune system will be boosted. Thankfully this disease is very uncommon in the United States, but in the 50’s it killed many dogs, and would often wipe out an entire town. 
  • Canine Hepatitis
Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the infected dog’s liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and eyes. The virus that causes this liver disease is unrelated to the human version of hepatitis. Symptoms include a mild temperature and mucous membrane congestion, as well as vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. The minor form of the sickness can be overcome by many dogs, but the severe type can be fatal. Although there is no cure, doctors can manage the symptoms. This disease is also uncommon in the US anymore. 
  • Canine Parainfluenza
CPIV (Canine Parainfluenza Virus) is a highly contagious ribonucleic acid virus that causes respiratory sickness in dogs all over the world. It’s a key component of the canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD) complex (also known as kennel cough), which is carried by dogs in group housing, social situations, and veterinary institutions. CPIV, although being a non-core vaccine, has been linked to the exacerbation of other respiratory illnesses, and immunization of at-risk dogs may aid herd immunity.
  • Coronavirus
The Enteric Canine Coronavirus is transferred through contact with contaminated feces or oral secretions. Coronaviruses are relatively resistant to freezing temperatures and can remain infectious for prolonged periods of time outside. Factors for Risk: Dogs in their early stages Shelter dogs, rescue dogs, breeding kennels, and pets from pet retailers Doggie daycare or boarding at a kennel On a daily basis, going to groomers, dog parks, or socializing with other dogs Dogs who reside in a variety of pet houses Thankfully this disease is also uncommon, to the point that many say it is a vaccine in search of a disease. Originally, it was though to provide cross protection against Parvovirus, but has proven to not be useful for this purpose. 
  • Leptospirosis
Bacteria cause leptospirosis, and some dogs may show no signs at all. Leptospirosis can be found in soil and water all around the world. It is a zoonotic illness, which means it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Fever, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, lack of appetite, extreme weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle pain, infertility, and kidney failure are some of the symptoms that can arise (with or without liver failure). Antibiotics work, and the sooner they are administered, the better. There is a lot of hype around the leptospirosis vaccine, which has the most potential to create side effects. There are many serovars, or strains, and there is concern that the current vaccines are not effective against them, or that the serovars causing disease are not protected against by the vaccine. To be protective the vaccine should be given at least every 6 months. 
  • Parvovirus
Parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects all dogs, but it is particularly dangerous to unvaccinated dogs and puppies under the age of four months. The virus targets the gastrointestinal tract, causing nausea, vomiting, fever, and, in some cases, severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can strike quickly and kill a dog in 48 to 72 hours, so seeking veterinarian help as soon as possible is critical. Because there is no cure, keeping the dog hydrated and treating the secondary symptoms will help him get through the sickness until his immune system recovers. Parvovirus is the most common infectious disease we see in dogs, and has been seen more commonly in spring and fall. Puppies are most at risk. 
  • Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that affects mammals that causes headaches, anxiety, hallucinations, profuse drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is most commonly spread via a rabid animal’s bite. Treatment must begin within hours of infection; else, death is very likely. Most states need rabies vaccines on a regular basis. Consult your veterinarian for information on rabies vaccination regulations and requirements in your area. Because this disease is 99.9% fatal, and can be transmitted to humans and other animals, this vaccine is very important. From the Rabies challenge fund https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32255911/ we learned that after 6 years and 7 months, the survival of vaccinated dogs was 80%, meaning 20% of the vaccinated dogs contracted rabies and died. Only 50% survived after 7 years and 1 month, only 20% survived after 8 years 0 months. Personally, this matches what I have seen with titers in my practice, but the study also found some pets were protected, even when the tier level had dropped below 0.1 IU/ ml.  The study did prove that the duration of immunity lasts beyond 3vaccinated years, but because the challenge virus was not virulent enough at the 5 years 5 month mark, we are not exactly sure when. The unvaccinated dogs had 879% mortality, but all the  dogs were protected. For this reason, if your pet has a high risk of exposure to rabies from wildlife, you need to booster this vaccine if titer levels drop. I believe Minimal vaccination is an important part of pet health, and it is important to help prevent potential vaccine reactions. Titers, a blood test to see how much antibody your pet has against a certain disease, can be an important part of making sure your pet is protected.  I recommend using thuja after every vaccine to protect against short and long term vaccine side effects. ( https://drruthroberts-com.myshopify.com/products/thuja-2oz-for-oral-use)   Likewise, heartworm prevention prevents many dog deaths every year, but be sensible about what your pet’s exposure risk is. If you need prevention, use the simplest oral medication with the least number of ingredients. Helping the liver clean out prevents many of the side effects, and supports your pet’s liver. Learn how to prevent vaccine reactions, which vaccines are truly needed, and how to help your pet’s body deal with heartworm prevention medications safely. Dr. Ruth will coach you with your ongoing pet health concerns and guide to holistic wellness for you and your pets through Ipets Ally Ultimate, a weekly interactive coaching program, online courses and group coaching program, plus VIP discounts and more!

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Dr. Ruth Roberts has supported thousands of dogs and cats to overcome health hurdles like kidney disease, GI Illness, allergies, cancer. Her natural approach to healing creates a gentle yet effective path for your pet to take on their journey to wellbeing. 

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