Canine Vaccinations

The doctors and staff at Northampton Veterinary Clinic will be making vaccine recommendations designed for your companion based on his or her risks of exposure to disease. Vaccines are an excellent way to help prevent life threatening illnesses. At the same time, like any medication, there are rare complications and risks associated with vaccination. Our goal is to work with you to determine the best way to keep your companion healthy while avoiding unnecessary vaccination risks.

Vaccine types

Canine Distemper-Parvo vaccine (DAP)
After initial boostering, this vaccine lasts for 3 years. This vaccine covers 3 viruses as follows:

1) Canine Distemper
This is an often fatal, serious disease causing high fevers, lack of appetite, suppression of the immune system and neurologic signs.

2) Canine Adenovirus
Adenovirus causes hepatitis or liver disease; can also lead to kidney failure and death.

3) Canine Parvovirus
This virus causes severe fever, vomiting and diarrhea and suppression of the immune system, which can result in death, especially in puppies or sick dogs.

Leptospirosis vaccine
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection usually acquired through exposure to contaminated water around farms and wildlife. It can also be spread to humans. There are different types Leptospirosis and we use the broadest spectrum of vaccine.

Rabies
Rabies virus is chiefly transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal. It is always fatal. State law requires that dogs be vaccinated for this disease to protect the public.

Borrelia Borgdorferi (Lyme Disease) vaccine
This vaccine helps protect against Lyme disease, which is transmitted by the deer tick. Lyme disease can cause fever, joint pain, seizures and kidney failure. We have a high incidence of this disease in this area and recommend this vaccine for all dogs exposed to ticks. The vaccine is not 100% effective, but does help to reduce the incidence of this serious disease. We continue to vaccinate patients who test positive for Lyme disease in order to minimize the risk of re-exposure.

Bordetella (Kennel Cough)/Parainfluenza vaccine
Bordetella and Parainfluenza are two infectious diseases associated with canine cough and pneumonia. The vaccine is recommended for dogs that go to kennels, grooming facilities, or have a lot of exposure to dogs outside of the family. It may not last for a year and dogs at very high risk should be vaccinated every 6 months.

Exposure DAP Rabies Lepto LymeBord/Parainfluenza
All Healthy DogsX
Two within 3-4 weeks, then every 3 years
X
Annually then every 3 years *
Exposure To Ticks or Areas Where Deer Roam.X
Annuall
Exposure To Wildlife or Farm AnimalsX
Annuall
Exposure to Dogs Outside the Family: Training/Boarding/Grooming FacilitiesX
Annuall

* Please note that Massachusetts State Law states that after receiving a one-year rabies vaccine, a second rabies vaccine must be administered 9-12 months (to the exact date) of the original vaccine to be eligible for a three-year vaccine.

Risks of vaccines

Some dogs will seem a bit off or run a mild fever for a day or two after vaccinations. There may be soreness at the site of vaccination. Risks of serious vaccine reactions in dogs are rare. Certain purebreds have a higher incidence of reactions. Serious reactions that warrant immediate attention are as follows;

1) Severe lethargy
2) Vomiting or diarrhea
3) Hives, swelling in the face
4) Difficulty breathing

If not treated these reactions can result in death, so it is critical that if you have any concerns that your dog may be having a reaction that you return to the clinic immediately. After hours you should call or go to the Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital in South Deerfield at (413) 665-4911 or VCA Boston Road Animal Hospital at (413) 783-1203.