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Chapter 4. Vaccinations and Regular Veterinary Checkups

Vaccinations and Regular Veterinary Checkups

Vaccinations prevent the spread of infectious disease among animals. More importantly, they protect your pet from acquiring viral diseases and bacterial infections from an unvaccinated or sick animal.
There are quite a number of different vaccines available in veterinary medicine, but there are three "core" vaccines that all dogs should have.

– Rabies is the most important vaccination all dogs should have. Rabies is a fatal disease. In all states, rabies vaccinations are required by law. The first rabies vaccination is good for one year. In many states subsequent vaccinations are good for three years. In other states, they are only valid for one year by law. Please check with your vet to determine the legal requirements in your state. Vaccinating your pet for rabies may literally save its life for two reasons. Rabies is a threat in many areas and it is a horrible disease. In addition, an unvaccinated pet that bites a human being, even by accident, is subject to long quarantine periods or even death for the purpose of testing for rabies infection. Don’t risk your pet’s life. Get its rabies vaccination.

– DA2PPC (Also called DHPPC- sometimes DHLPPC) is the Distemper/Parvo booster. It also provides protection against Parainfluenza, Coronavirus, and Adenovirus.

– Bordatella (also known as "Kennel cough") is strongly recommended as one of the "core" vaccines because dogs can easily be infected with it even if they are never in a kennel situation.

– Other vaccines are available such as Giardia, Lyme’s Disease, Leptospirosis, and even Ringworm based on your dog’s need and exposure rate to these diseases.

Regular veterinary check-ups are an important part of keeping your pet healthy. Physical examinations can help veterinarians detect and treat problems early before they become potentially life threatening.
Examinations include listening to the heart and lungs as well as checking for obvious abnormalities in you pet’s: Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Body, Coat, Skin, Legs, and Paws.
Discuss flea and tick control, worm detection, and dental care with your vet.
Ideally, dogs should be seen by their veterinarian at least once a year or more frequently if they are elderly or have special medical needs. Dogs are similar to humans and senior dogs may suffer from various organ system problems, osteoarthritis, loss of vision or hearing, and even memory loss or dementia. Fortunately, many of these problems can be successfully controlled with medication or by a simple lifestyle change.

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