When you get a new puppy or dog, you want to have an understanding of how vaccinations work. This way, you'll know how to take care of your dog's shots in a way that helps to prevent them from catching one of the many illnesses that can be prevented through a proper vaccination process. Here are some of the things you want to know.
Puppies are protected through their mother
A litter will be protected through their mother while they are nursing. However, there are some things that you need to understand about this. First, the litter will only be protected if the mother's vaccinations are up to date. If not, then she won't have the antibodies to pass on to them and this means they would be at risk.
It's hard to know when a puppy is no longer covered
When the puppies are placed in their new homes, they may still be covered from the antibodies they got from their mother for a short period of time. However, there is no good way to really know exactly when the puppy loses the mother's protection. This is why you want to get the puppy their vaccinations at the vet as soon as possible and then continue with a series of boosters. The boosters are given to make sure the vaccinations "stick" because if given at the wrong time, the mother's antibodies will actually fight off the vaccinations.
Some shots are riskier for some breeds
While vaccinations are generally safe, there are some breeds that have a higher chance of having a reaction to certain shots. For example, the chihuahua breed has a higher chance of having a bad reaction to the leptospirosis vaccination. For this reason, many people choose to forego this shot for their chihuahua unless there is a good reason to risk the reaction, such as there being such a high occurrence of leptospirosis in the area that the vet really thinks it is worth the risk.
There are different thoughts with the annual boosters
Most people agree that taking your dog in for annual boosters is important, at least for the first part of their life. However, there are different ways of thinking when it comes to continuing to take an older dog in yearly. Some vets recommend continuing with annual boosters, while others suggest skipping a year. You want to talk to your vet and choose a schedule you feel comfortable with when your dog gets older.
For more information about pet vaccinations, contact a local veterinary service.