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Schedule of Puppy Vaccinations and Common Diseases

Updated on July 6, 2009

Caring for Puppies

Puppies are a big commitment to anyone who is willing to put up with their schnanigans and lovins'. They are not only cute and cuddley, but expensive on the pocket book, or wallet, whichever you choose.

Puppies, not only require food, a leash and collar, dog tags, food and water bowls, a crate, various chew toys, and even a dog bed, but they also require regular shots and vaccinations.

Although, not every state requires all vaccinations, it's still best to have each one. (Most states just require the rabies vaccination.) Your puppy will be healthier and safer, in the long run, as you will be preventing potentially deadly diseases.

Before you continue reading, I am not a veterinarian, vet technician, or have any experience medically working with dogs. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local vet.

Core Diseases

Distemper: A viral disease with a high fatality rate that primarily affects the central nervous system

Symptoms: uncoordinated walking, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, watery discharge from the nose and eyes, seizures

Vaccine Schedule: Administered in a series of two or more injections given three or four weeks apart, starting when the puppy is 4 to 6 weeks old. Puppies must receive a booster at 16 weeks in order to develop full immunity, then another at 1 year, and then every three years thereafter.

Adenovirus-2: The cause of infectious canine hepatitis

Symptoms: stomach pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, jaundice, small hemorrhages on the skin and mucous membrane

Vaccine Schedule: Administered in a series of two or more injections given three or four weeks apart, starting when the puppy is 4 to 6 weeks old. Puppies must receive a booster at 16 weeks in order to develop full immunity, then another at 1 year, and then every three years thereafter.

Parvovirus: A deadly infection of the intestinal lining.

Symptoms: Severe depression, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, collapsing

Vaccine Schedule: Administered in a series of two or more injections given three or four weeks apart, starting when the puppy is 4 to 6 weeks old. Puppies must receive a booster at 16 weeks (some say 18 to 20) in order to develop full immunity, then another at 1 year, and then every three years thereafter.

Rabies: A fatal disease that attacks the nerves.

Symptoms: behavioral changes, dilated or constricted pupils, light avoidance, drooling, viciousness, facial spasms or paralysis

Vaccine Schedule: Administered as early as 3 months old. Puppies receive booster shots one year after the initial vaccine, and then as required by local or state laws, which is usually every one or three years.

Non-Core Disease (Optional Vaccines)

Leptospirosis: Bacterial infection that causes kidney and liver inflammation and organ failure

Symptoms: abdominal pain, fever, lethargy, jaundice, walking hunched, dehydration, diarrhea

Vaccine Schedule: Administer one does at 12 weeks, then a second does at 14 to 16 weeks. A booster vaccine is recommended annually.

Bordetella (kennel cough): Bacterial infection that affects the respiratory tract, including the nasal passages, windpipe, and bronchi.

Symptoms: sneezing, coughing, gagging, nasal discharge

Vaccine Schedule: Administer one does at 6 to 8 weeks, then another at 10 to 12 weeks. A booster vaccine is recommended annually.

Para-Influenza: Virus that causes respiratory respiratory disease, including kennel cough and chronic bronco-pneumonia.

Symptoms: dry cough, gagging, difficulty breathing, nose and eye discharge

Vaccine Schedule: Administer at 6 to 9 weeks, 9 to 11 weeks, and 12 to 14 weeks. A booster vaccine is recommended annually.

Lyme Disease: Bacterial infection caused by a tick bite.

Symptoms: fever, walking stiffly, swollen or painful joints in more than one limb, heart problems, possible rash

Vaccine Schedule: Initial dose at 9 or 12 weeks, and a required second dose two to four weeks later. A booster vaccination is recommended annually, just prior to the start of flea and tick season. This is usually recommended only for dogs living in areas where tick exposure is high.

Puppy Vaccinations Wrap Up

Depending on the environment, it will benefit the puppy to receive vaccinations against upper respiratory diseases (parainfluenza and Bordatella bronchiseptica), leptospirosis, and/or Lyme disease. There is no need to vaccinate a puppy against corona-virus, which causes mild diarrhea; puppies develope their own antibodies against it naturally without becoming ill.

6 to 8 weeks

Core Vaccinations: Parvo, Distemper

Optional Vaccinations: Parainfluenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)

10 to 11 weeks

Core Vaccinations: Parvo, distemper, infectious hepatitis

Optional Vaccinations: Parainfluenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)

13 to 14 weeks

Core Vaccinations: Parvo, distemper, infectious hepatitis

Optional Vaccinations: Leptospirosis, Lyme

16 to 17 weeks

Core Vaccinations: Parvo, rabis

Optional Vaccinations: Leptospirosis, Lyme

1 year

Core Vaccinations: Parvo, distemper, infectious hepatitis, rabies

Optional Vaccinations: Parainfluenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough), Leptospirosis, Lyme

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed veterinarian. If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult a veterinarian.

Not all veterinarians follow this exact schedule of vaccinations, as there are recent discoveries that puppies do not neccessarily need to start vaccinations until 8 weeks old unless they came from a kennel or breeder with loads of dogs. Small breeders and shelters have less chance of disease and illness from the start.

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    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Thanks Whitney for the great info. My sons blue nose puppies are almost 4 weeks old. Is it OK to give them their shots at 4 weeks old?

      Thanks!

    • xoxogirl29 profile image

      xoxogirl29 9 years ago

      that's helpful for dog lovers, I wish somebody would comment on my blogs!

    • Whitney05 profile image
      Author

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks guys! :-) I hope that people find this helpful when planning for a new puppy.

    • Gregorythompson profile image

      Gregorythompson 9 years ago from Illinois

      Good stuff for everyone who owns a dog. "schnanigans and lovins'" I love it!

    • CennyWenny profile image

      CennyWenny 9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, this schedule is very helpful. It got me thinking about getting my pups vaccinated for lyme disease, because there are ticks where I live, though Rocky Mountain Fever is far more common here than Lyme disease. Another helpful hub!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Those were the sweet days! Now we are in the senility stage of doggydom... blindness and arthritis have set in and the vet has inspired thoughts on how to reduce our household savings... Have FUN! Barb

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