Vaccinations for Your Dog
By Oak Park Animal Hospital
August 06, 2014
Category: Pet Care
Tags: Vaccinations   Rabies   Immunizations  

Vaccinations for Your Dog

Thanks to the recent development of vaccines, dogs can now be protected from numerous disease threats, including rabies, distemper, hepatitis and several others.  Some of these diseases can be passed from dogs to people – so canine vaccinations protect human health as well.  Recently, studies have shown that vaccines protect dogs for longer than previously believed.  It is important to consider age, breed, health status, environment, lifestyle, and travel habits of your dog as health threats vary from city to city and even in various sections of each city.  Working closely with your veterinarian in Oak Park at Oak Park Animal Hospital will help to tailor an immunization program that best protects your dog based on their risk and lifestyle factors. 

The Importance of Rabies Vaccinations

Rabies continues to remain a major concern worldwide, killing more than 55,000 people every year.  In the United States, one to two people die annually with more than 6,100 reported cases of animal rabies in the U.S. in 2010. 
It is important to vaccinate your animals and keep them away from wildlife that can spread the disease.  Rabies is 100% preventable and your local veterinarian in Oak Park plays a key role in controlling rabies.  The requirements for rabies vaccinations vary by region, but typically it is given at 3-6 months of age, one year later and then at 3-year intervals for optimal protection. 

Vaccines: The Canine Basics

A combination vaccine is given to puppies once a month from two months through four months and is repeated according to current guidelines of vaccination protocol.  By vaccinating your puppy appropriately, they can be protected from leading infections and illnesses, including distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and para influenza.  If your dog is older than four months old and has not been vaccinated, your veterinarian will use a different protocol, such as two vaccinations given two to three weeks apart, followed by annual vaccinations.  
 There are two general groups of vaccines to consider – core and noncore vaccines.  Core vaccines are typically recommended for all dogs and protect against diseases that are more serious or potentially fatal.  These are the diseases that are found in all areas of North America and are more easily transmitted than noncore diseases.  The AAHA guidelines define the following as core vaccines – distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus and rabies.  
Noncore vaccines are those that are reserved for patients at specific risk for infection because of their exposure or lifestyle.  The AAHA guidelines classify kennel cough, Lyme disease and leptospirosis vaccines as noncore diseases. 
Regular wellness examinations of at least once or twice a year are the most important preventive measures that you can provide for your dog.  Vaccinations are just one component of the wellness visit that help to keep your dog in optimum health.  Visit your Oak Park  veterinarian today to schedule your pet’s vaccinations.