Depending on your location some infections may be more or less common. Your veterinarian will assess the relative risks based on you and your dogs specific lifestyle requirements and advise you accordingly.
Vaccination schedules vary depending on your local area as well as the brand and type of vaccine your vet carries. As a result when you call different practices you will often get different prices.
Why do puppies get several vaccinations?
Newborn animals have not yet had a chance to develop their own immunity so they need protection against infections. They receive this immunity from their mother. Maternal immunity is only temporary. It declines steadily over the first few weeks of life and is largely gone by twelve weeks. The rate of decline is variable depending on many factors. This is why your puppy will receive 3 vaccinations from 6-16 weeks of age.
When can I take my puppy out now that it has had a vaccine?
We cannot ensure that your puppy will have developed complete immunity against the diseases it is being vaccinated for until 10-14 days after our advised third vaccine. However socialisation of your puppy at this age is particularly important. Puppies are best socialised to other dogs, people and places between the ages of 8 and 14 weeks. This is the same period when they are at greatest risk of being infected with disease, particularly parvovirus. We recommend to avoid public places such as parks and beaches prior to your puppy completing it's vaccination program. Your puppy should only socialise with dogs that are known to be fully vaccinated and in an environment that you know has been free of any dogs with parvovirus.
This dilemma of socialising a puppy versus the risk of infections such as parvovirus is one of the primary reasons why we have developed our Puppy School program. Puppy classes allow your puppy to be socialised in a safe environment at the correct age to allow for their development.
My dog never mixes with other dogs. Does it still need to be vaccinated?
Yes, your dog still needs to be vaccinated. Many of the diseases we vaccinate against are airborne (such as kennel cough) or can be brought into the home on your shoes (e.g. parvovirus). Your dog therefore does not need to come into direct contact with another dog to become infected. The fact that your dog does not mix with other dogs means it is isolated. This removes any opportunity to be naturally 'vaccinated' and reimmunise themselves. As a result their level of immunity may in fact be lower than dog's that are allowed outside.
Why does my dog need to be revaccinated?
In most properly vaccinated dogs, the immunity should last more than a year, and often several years. However, immunity does decline with time and this decline rate varies with individuals. To maintain the best immunity in a reasonable way, revaccinations have proven very successful. You can opt for "titre testing" to assess your pets immunity though it is generally more expensive than revaccination. Your veterinarian will discuss the need and frequency of booster vaccinations for your dog based on your pet’s needs and lifestyle.
How long does it take for a vaccine to produce immunity? - 10-14 days
Within a few hours of vaccination the earliest phases of the immune response are being stimulated. It usually requires ten to fourteen days before a reasonable level of protection is established. Killed vaccines may not provide adequate protection until after the second dose. Also in young puppies maternal antibody may hinder protection until later in the vaccine series. Therefore it is advisable to keep a recently vaccinated pup away from dogs or pups of unknown vaccination history until it has finished its vaccination course.
Do vaccines provide 100% protection?
Vaccines have been highly successful in protecting the majority of dogs against diseases such as distemper that were once common but now rare, but there are situations in which the immunity conferred by a vaccine may be overcome and a vaccinated dog may still develop disease. In such cases the disease is generally milder than it would have been had the dog not been vaccinated.
If you have any further questions or would like to call us to book your puppy or adult dog in for vaccination Ph: (08) 9493 2199