There is no universal protocol for canine vaccination schedules. Many vets recommend more vaccinations than most dogs require to be protected from contagious diseases. A lot of vets use the vaccination schedule they receive with the vaccinations they buy from drug companies. Vets are now realizing to trust vaccine makers may not be the best thing to do. Vaccine makers are in the business of selling vaccines.
There are a number of things pet owners can do to make sure their dogs are protected against contagious diseases without over-vaccinating. You need to learn about the diseases the vaccines defend your dog against. Before you allow your vet to vaccinated, ask your vet about the disease it prevents. What is its incidence? How is it transmitted? Is it more prevalent in your particular area? Ask your vet is the disease treatable, and if so, how many dogs recover? If you find out the disease kills many dogs who get it and the virus is everywhere, you should probably authorize your vet to vaccinate your dog against that disease. If you find out a particular disease is very prevalent in your area, you should probably authorize your vet to vaccinate your dog against that disease in addition to other appropriate vaccines.
A list of vaccines for dogs that most experts agree puppies and dogs should be protected against - diseases that are highly contagious and potentially fatal would include:
Canine Parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) Canine distemper virus (CDV) Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) Rabies virus (RV)
If you are concerned about over-vaccination be sure to have your puppies vaccinated against distemper, parvo, and adenovirus, not before six weeks, and at least once after the age of 12 weeks, and a rabies vaccine given after 16 weeks. About two weeks after the last vaccination with distemper, parvo, and adenovirus, ask for a vaccine titer test to see if your puppy has been successfully immunized.
Other vaccine tips you need to remember:
Use vaccine titer tests to see if your dog is adequately immunized against the diseases that most experts agree puppies and dogs should be protected against. These are diseases that are highly contagious and potentially fatal.
Don't use low-cost clinics for your dog's vaccinations (unless the clinic is operated by a professional you know and trust). Instead make a relationship with a vet who will take time with you, who will ask your about your dog's health history, answer your questions about the benefits and risks of various vaccines and recommend an individualized vaccination schedule for your dog that takes into consideration his lifestyle and environment.
Take your dog to the vet at least once a year.
Do not vaccinate dogs who suffer from chronic or acute health problems, running a high temperature, or who have a history of vaccine reactions. Do not vaccinate elderly dogs just because if your dog has been vaccinated many times in the younger years, he is probably immunized against disease as much as he can be.
Let's Talk About Vaccines - Everyone Else Is!
by Connie Limon
Connie Limon, breeder of the Shih Tzu Austin, Indiana Stain Glass Shih Tzus www.stainglassshihtzus.com.