Posted on June 22, 2016: Your child needs vaccinations, whether he/ she is a human child or an animal. A vaccine is a substance which is injected into a living being to prevent certain diseases.
Dr. Srijita Ghosh, a veterinary practitioner in Moitribhabana Veterinary Clinic in Kolkata, brings to our notice that drinking mother’s milk, naturally boosts immunity, thereby protecting the puppy against a wide array of diseases. She explains, “Puppies need complete natural (at least 30 to 45 days of) lactating period before they are brought home. If it’s a puppy obtained from a breeder who has separated the pup from the mother, before weaning has naturally occurred, then the first vaccine needs to be administered sooner than the initial vaccine is slated for a naturally weaned pup. The animal needs to be dewormed before the vaccination course begins. Vaccination may start three to four days after deworming. No vaccine should be administered if the puppy is ill and should be postponed until the vet instructs.” If you insist on bringing home a puppy from the breeders, please ensure that the puppy is old enough to be naturally weaned.
Here are five vaccines for your dog that you cannot afford to miss:
Parvo Distemper (Puppy DP) Vaccine: This vaccine protects the pup from both Distemper and Parvo Virus. The Parvo Virus harms the intestinal tract and heart of the dog. Distemper affects the dog’s gastrointestinal, respiratory, central nervous system and eye.
According to Dr.Ghosh, this is the first vaccine for your puppy. She explains, “The animal needs to be given this vaccine at from 15 to 30 days if the puppy has been weaned too early. If the puppy is still drinking his mother’s milk, then this vaccine may be administered between 30-45 days of age.”
The side-effects of the Parvo Distemper vaccine may be lethargy, mild fever, swelling at the injection site and loss of appetite. If, however, your dog develops vomiting, diarrhoea and swelling on the face; you need to contact your vet at the earliest.
DHPPi and Leptospirosis vaccines: The DHPPi vaccine protects against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo Virus and Para Influenza infections. Hepatitis affects and ruins the liver. The Para Influenza virus is a highly contagious respiratory virus. Leptospirosis may lead to kidney and liver failure.
Some side-effects of the DHPPiL vaccine are mild fever, stiff joints, and muscles, sleepiness and loss of energy. The rare side effects are paleness, disorientation, dizziness, shock, and staggering. These symptoms merit the vet’s immediate attention.
Dr. Srijita says, “The DHPPiL vaccine may be administered after one month of age if this is the first vaccine that’s being given. After a gap of 21 days, you can give the puppy another DP vaccine as a booster dose. The interval between each vaccine should be 21 days.”
Canine Coronavirus Vaccine: The virus is spread through the faeces of dogs and affects the gastrointestinal as well as the respiratory system. Srijita says, “This vaccine needs to be administered 21 days after the DHPPiL vaccine.”
Rabies Vaccine: Rabies is caused by a virus which causes the acute inflammation of the brain and nervous system. Dr. Srijita adds, “The mammal infected seems to display a fear of water. Nerves of pharynx and larynx are affected causing paralysis of esophageal muscles. He/ she can’t drink water or swallow saliva or food. So there is a lot of drooling. Spasms in the throat or larynx may be caused if attempts are made to drink water. Rabies may be of two forms. One is the furious form, in which the animal unnecessarily and ferociously bites anything and everything coming in the path, be it live (like humans or other animals) or non-living (like food or water bowl, bedpost, lamp post etc.).The other is the dumb form, in which animal will not show any aggression but will become very inactive and non-responsive. They will very quickly become emaciated. Animals affected with any of the two forms will die within 4 to 10 days.”
Dr. Srijita says, “The Rabies vaccine is an extremely important one. If the puppy hasn’t been forcefully weaned off, then the vaccine may be given at three months of age. If the animal hasn’t been allowed to complete the whole course of drinking his/ her mother’s milk, then the vaccine may have to be given as early as one and a half month. This vaccine may even be given before the Canine Coronavirus Vaccine if the vet feels an emergency. People are very frightened of this disease as a result of which they sometimes show cruelty towards the dogs which are not even affected. So vaccinating the dog will successfully demolish their anxiety.”
Certain side effects of the Rabies vaccine are dizziness, chills, nausea, fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, itching and low energy.
Canine Kennel Cough Vaccine: Kennel Cough is a bacterial disease which causes a cough that irritates the dog’s respiratory system. Dr. Srijita says, “This may be given 21 days after the Rabies vaccine.” The side-effects may be seizures, increased heart rate, pale gums, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The mild side-effects of all these vaccinations should fade away within a few days. If serious side-effects occur, consult the doctor.Dr.Srijita says that vaccines are essentially harmless. She says, “There are doctors who say that dogs shouldn’t be bathed for a few days after a vaccine is given. In reality, there’s no need for such a restriction. On rare occasions, a rash may erupt on the area of the body where the vaccine has been injected into. Or the dog may develop a slight fever. As they say, prevention is better than cure. The cost of the vaccines is much less than treating the diseases. Certain diseases like Rabies have no cure. Distemper almost always is fatal. Even those dogs which survive Distemper have to live on with the aftermath of the disease. The ailments which are caused because of the denial of vaccines may stunt the growth of the pups. So, regular deworming and proper vaccination is the key to parenting a happy, healthy and trustworthy best friend.”