When you decide to bring a dog into your life, there are many thoughts that are likely rolling around in your head. One of those lines of thought is likely the veterinary care you are going to seek out for your new dog to keep him or her healthy and happy as the newest member of your home. Among the many veterinary care issues to be aware of as a dog owner is the issue of vaccines. There are many different vaccinations and immunizations available for dogs. Very few of those vaccines are actually required by law, meaning you will need to decide which are right for your dog. Get to know more about the available vaccines so you can be sure you are providing your new dog with the best care possible.
Kennel Cough Vaccines
A common condition among dogs, particularly dogs that spend any time in a boarding facility (such as being kenneled when your family goes on a trip or you take them to doggy day care), is known as "kennel cough." This is a respiratory condition that causes dogs to cough and wheeze, have a runny nose, sneeze, run a fever, and potentially have a poor appetite or act lethargic. Some dogs can experience severe complications when they get kennel cough, particularly if they are seniors or already have respiratory or cardiovascular health problems.
While kennel cough is most prevalent in dogs that go to boarding, it is highly contagious and can be picked up at a dog park or even going for a walk through your neighborhood. The condition is passed on through bacteria found in nasal secretions which can be airborne or left on surfaces.
There are two vaccines that can help prevent your dog from contracting this type of infection. The first is the parainfluenza vaccine and the second is the Bordetella bronchiseptica (commonly simply called Bordetella) vaccine. Oftentimes, these two vaccines are administered together as a nasal spray. This is the most effective way to ensure that your dog does not contract kennel cough.
Lyme Disease Vaccine
Many people do not realize that they can vaccinate their dog against Lyme disease and they may not even know that Lyme disease can affect dogs in addition to people. However, there is a canine vaccine for Lyme disease that can help protect them from developing such an infection if they are bitten by an infected tick.
When a dog contracts Lyme disease, they may develop symptoms such as a loss of appetite, extreme swelling in the joints, lethargy, and lameness or the inability to move their limbs properly or walk. The disease can progressively become more severe and can cause kidney damage or failure.
If you live in a state that has many ticks in the spring and summer and/or are located in the Midwest or the Northeastern United States (where infected ticks are most often found), it is a very good idea to have your dog get the Lyme disease vaccine. The vaccination includes an initial vaccine and a booster between two and four weeks after the fact. Then, your dog will just need an annual booster much like their other vaccines.
Knowing more about these vaccination options, you can be sure you are taking the best possible care of your new dog going forward.