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VACCINATIONS

General Info

via AVMA

Vaccinating your Gampr when they’re a puppy is important because their immune system isn’t fully developed yet, which makes them more vulnerable to contracting diseases. Our breed works hard protecting their charges and preventing illness with basic immunizations is an easy way to protect them in return. 

For Breeders, giving vaccines is an important part of standards when raising pups, allowing them the starting protection they need when ready to leave for new farms. Knowing a pup's history is important, so buyers should ask for a copy of their medical records, which should include the immunization schedule.  Puppies should receive their first round of vaccinations between six to eight weeks old.

Reasons to vaccinate your pet

  • Vaccinations prevent many illnesses

  • Vaccinations can help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented

  • Vaccinations prevent diseases that can be passed between animals and also from animals to people. 

  • Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets.

  • In many areas, local or state ordinances require certain vaccinations

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T'Aguhu Uzh Voski, owner Melissa H, Oak Bowery Farm, Lafayette, AL

Combat Diseases

core & non-core

All of the vaccines given to dogs fit into two categories: core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs. These vaccines protect against diseases that infect dogs of all life stages and lifestyles. These diseases have high rates of infection, are usually severe and life-threatening, and have the potential to be transmitted to animals and people. The core vaccines for dogs are rabies, canine parvovirus, canine distemper and hepatitis (adenovirus).

Rabies:  Rabies remains a major concern worldwide, killing tens of thousands of people every year. In the United States, one to two people die annually, and there were more than 4,900 reported cases of animal rabies in the U.S. in 2018.

Canine parvovirus infection ("parvo"):  Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk. The virus affects dogs' gastrointestinal tracts and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces, environment, or people; the virus can contaminate kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs. It is resistant to heat, cold, humidity, and drying, and can survive in the environment for long periods of time.

Canine distemper:  Canine distemper is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. The virus can also be found in wildlife such as foxes, wolves, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, mink and ferrets. Dogs most often become infected through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) to the virus from an infected dog or wild animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months, and mother dogs can pass the virus through the placenta to their puppies.

Canine adenovirus-2 ("CAV-2"):   CAV-2 infection is a common but transient contagious disease of the respiratory tract of dogs, causing mild fever, nasal discharge, coughing, and poor weight gain.  Symptoms are similar to distemper and this disease causes liver failure and damage to the eyes.

Optional, non-core vaccines are for dogs with individual needs based on their location and lifestyle and are given based on a dog’s exposure risk.  In most cases, the diseases these vaccines protect against are often self-limiting or respond well to treatment but a consult with your vet is always recommended to find out which non-core vaccines that are appropriate for your dog.

Leptospirosis:  Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria which can be found worldwide in soil and water. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to people. Dogs can become infected and develop leptospirosis if their mucous membranes (or wound) come into contact with infected urine, urine-contaminated soil, water, food or bedding; through a bite from an infected animal; by eating infected tissues or carcasses; and rarely, through breeding. It can also be passed through the placenta from the mother dog to the puppies.

Canine parainfluenza ("CPIV"): Canine parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus and is one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough. Although the respiratory signs may resemble those of canine influenza, they are unrelated viruses and require different vaccines for protection.

Canine enteric coronavirus ("CCoV"): Canine coronavirus is a highly infectious intestinal infection in dogs, especially puppies. Canine coronavirus is usually short-lived but may cause considerable abdominal discomfort for a few days in infected dogs. 

Canine influenza: Canine influenza virus causes a respiratory infection in dogs. It is not the same as Bordetella but the two different diseases result in similar symptoms, like coughing and nasal discharge. Most infected dog show only mild symptoms, but some dogs become very sick and require hospitalization. 

Lyme disease:  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the deer tick, and it is very prevalent in Wisconsin. Symptoms can include a high fever, lack of appetite, limping, and joint swelling or joint pain. However, some dogs show no clinical signs at all. The disease can progress to kidney failure, which can be fatal, as well as serious cardiac and neurological problems.

Bordetellosis ("kennel cough"):  Bordetella causes inflammation of a dog’s upper respiratory system, which leads to coughing and illness. Your dog is at a higher risk if it comes into close contact with other dogs, such as those who are boarded, attends daycare, visits dog parks, attends dog shows, or visits the groomer. 

An example of a typical* core puppy vaccination schedule:

  • 6-9 weeks: DA2P**

  • 10-12 weeks: DA2P

  • 13-15: DA2P

  • 16-17: DA2P, Rabies

*This is example of a minimum immunization schedule that does not include non-core vaccines or older age boosters. Always consult with your vet to determine which immunizations your Gampr needs and at what intervals.

**DA2P - Core vaccine which protects against distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, parvovirus

For dogs at higher risk of contracting canine parvovirus, please read Parvo Awareness, which lists an alternative vaccination schedule.

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Tsiran at a vet appointment, owner Sharon B, Lily Pond Acres, Lena, MS.

Titers

for special circumstances

Imported puppies will have been given vaccinations prior to leaving Armenia as required by law.  However, some vets may suggest that you start over with core vaccinations.  If you are concerned about over-vaccinating your dog you can ask for titer testing to check your dog's antibody levels.

 

This can sometimes be an exorbitant fee and some vets don't offer this service.  An alternative option is to ask your vet to draw the blood for you and you send the blood sample to an independent lab.  One example is Hemopet where the cost to run distemper and parvo titer testing is $55 plus $8 for shipping in a USPS Flat Rate small size box. 

Always discuss your dog's health with your vet before making any decisions. Ask your vet about titers and vaccinations and what's appropriate for your individual Gampr. For further reading about titers, check out AAHA.