What vaccines does my dog need?
There are vaccines that are required by law, and there are vaccines that are considered either core ( meaning highly recommended by veterinarians) or optional:
1) Rabies vaccination is required by law because Rabies is a fatal disease that is transmissible to humans. The vaccine is 100% effective at preventing rabies. The initial vaccine is only ever valid for 1 year.
2) Distemper, Parvo combination vaccines core vaccines that prevent potentially life threatening canine diseases. Your veterinarian will make sure that these vaccines are given at the appropriate times to ensure immunity. Puppies require a series of boosters, while adults will continue to receive boosters every 1-3 years.
3) Bordetella vaccines are core vaccines in many regions. Bordetella is 1 of several organisms that contributes to respiratory disease in dogs. It is transmitted through the air (coughing, sneezing) and on surfaces (tables, floors, bowls, etc) It is recommended for dogs who go to groomer, kennels, dog parks or any place where dogs are or have been. It is also recommended for household pets whose family will be bringing home a new puppy or dog from a pet store, breeder or humane society.
4) Influenza vaccines are optional, but the same recommendations that apply to Bordetella apply to influenza. Most boarding facilities are now requiring them .
5) Lyme vaccination is optional but highly recommended in certain US regions, especially in the Northeast. The vaccine is 92% effective at preventing Lyme disease, but will not prevent exposure to the Borrelia Burgdoferri organism that is transmitted by the Ixodes tick. This means that your vaccinated dog's Lyme screening test may still show up positive, but only 8% of the time will the dog develop signs of Lyme Disease.
6)Leptospirosis vaccination is also optional, but recommended in our area. The lepto organism is spread through contact with infected urine from any mammal- rodents, wildlife, cats, dogs and people. Ingestion of Lepto occurs when animals lick their paws after walking through contaminated wet grass or pavement or when they drink from puddles or stagnant waters. People ingesting unwashed food products or drinking from cans or containers without first cleaning them will contract Lepto if rodents have contaminated them.
Each type of vaccine has its own initial booster series and its own frequency of re vaccination. It is best to speak with your veterinarian to determine which vaccines are most important for your individual canine pets. There are some diseases that will warrant a change in pets vaccination schedule. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam and discuss the importance of certain vaccines.
See information about canine influenza http://tristatevet.com/blog/b_48861_canine_influenza.html