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Dr. Mitra’s Pet Clinic & Surgery
E 6/12 Arjun Marg ,
Opp. Malik Hospital
DLF Phase-1 Gurgaon -122002
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Unseen They Suffer, Unheard They Cry,
In Agony They Linger, In Silence They Die



Some facts about vaccinations

Between six and sixteen weeks of age, puppies lose the disease protection they received from their mothers and become able to form their own immunity to disease. New vaccines for distemper and parvovirus are much more effective than what we had even two or three years ago, and eliminate much of this problem. Also, since the new vaccines work better we don't have to give as many, which save money. Until your puppy is four or five months old, try to prevent contact with stray dogs or sick dogs. Avoid boarding your puppy or taking her places like highway rest stops where lots of other dogs go to the bathroom.

Following are some of the infectious diseases that may affect your Puppy

Canine Distemper:
This is a widespread viral disease which carries a high death or mortality rate. The virus is spread through droplet infection from the eyes and nose and from fecal and urine spread. Signs include high fever, nasal and ocular discharge, coughing, pneumonia, diarrhea, vomiting, and neurological symptoms. The disease is easily spread and exposure is considered inevitable during the dog’s lifetime.

Canine Parvovirus:
This is a widespread virus that is spread through the feces in the environment. Puppies with this infection have gastrointestinal symptoms including vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite, and severe diarrhea with or without blood. Most puppies are hospitalized for treatment and the disease carries a moderate mortality rate. This virus can infect the heart muscle.

Canine Hepatitis:
A viral infection caused by an adenovirus present worldwide. This disease infects the liver, eye, nervous tissue, lungs, and kidney. It is commonly spread through the urine and saliva of dogs. Signs include increased thirst, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, corneal opacity (blue eye), and bleeding tendencies. Most symptoms are those associated with hepatitis. This disease carries a moderate mortality risk.

Canine Leptospirosis:
A bacterial infection which is spread through the urine of rodents and other infected wildlife, urine of infected dogs, or contaminated water. It is commonly found in rat urine. The disease infects the liver, kidneys, and intestinal tract causing high fever, kidney damage, jaundice, hemorrhage, pain, and bloody diarrhea. This disease can be transmitted from dog to human. There are multiple strains or serovars of Leptospirosis and not all strains are in certain vaccines. Only your veterinarian can determine if your puppy needs to be vaccinated and which strain of vaccine should be used.

Canine Bordetella or Canine Cough:
This respiratory disease is really a combination of Bordetella (a bacteria) and Parainfluenza (a virus) which are usually combined in a vaccine. This is a very common infection that causes mild to severe respiratory symptoms in the puppy. These different organisms work together in the respiratory tract to cause sneezing, gagging, and coughing. The cough can be moderate to severe and is described as a dry “honking” cough, especially of the throat area is touched. The disease can progress into bronchopneumonia. It is very commonly spread through contaminated droplets from the mouth or lungs or by direct contact. The disease is very easily spread in grooming shops, kennels, parks, dog shows, or any place where puppies or dogs are grouped together. The vaccine can be given by injection and/or nasal drops.

Canine Coronavirus:
A virus causing mild gastroenteritis with symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. The puppy may also be lethargic and depressed. The spread is through contaminated feces. This disease is much less severe than Parvovirus and is not found in all areas of the country.

A fatal viral disease that infects all warm-blooded animals. The virus is spread through saliva from an infected animal which is usually spread through a bite wound or scratch. The nervous system is infected producing behavioral changes, changes in co-ordination, viciousness in dogs, paralysis of the muscles of the jaw, and seizures. Rabies is fatal in all animals and humans. Rabies vaccine is mandated by law and the duration of vaccine is regulated by each state.
Some of the worms that may infest your Puppy

Roundworms & Hookworms:
These are otherwise known as Nematodes which are a group of worms which can vary considerably in their life cycleThese are seen in the gasto-elementary system of your Puppies. Round worms are serious issue in case of Puppies because heavy load of worms can lead to death. Puppies show signs of worm infestation in many ways. From a few weeks of age, coughing, pneumonia and failing to gain weight occur. This can develop into a pot belly and diarrhoea with increasing weakness, vomiting, emaciation and death. Puppies and sometimes older dogs may well vomit up large quantities of worms which owners occasionally mistake for elastic bands as they are often coiled. The worms themselves are usually a buff colour.Regular deworming is necessary to avoid infestation in puppies

If you see little short white worms (1/2 inch long or less), these are probably tapeworm segments. When the segments dry they look like grains of brown rice and may stick to your dog's hair. If you see anything like this, take your puppy to a vet and he will dispense medicine to use at home. Prescription tapeworm drugs are extremely effective, very safe, and cause no discomfort whatever. Non prescription tapeworm medications don't work very well and often cause intestinal cramps and diarrhea.

Heartworm disease can kill, so it is vital to protect your puppy from day one. Heartworm is carried by mosquitoes which transfer the parasite from infected dogs to new host puppies and dogs. Adult heartworm can grow up to 30 cm long. They live in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs, restricting blood flow, which can lead to heart failure.The first signs of heartworm infection are usually a cough, lack of energy, weight loss, loss of coat condition and a reduction in your dog’s ability to exercise. Your veterinarian can test to see if your dog is infected. Treatment is available. However, prevention is the key.


The vaccination of puppies (puppy shots) is one of the crucial steps in assuring the puppy will have a healthy and happy puppyhood. The who, what, why, when, where, and how of vaccinations are complicated, and may vary from puppy to puppy. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine which vaccines are appropriate for your puppy. To better understand vaccines, it is important to understand how the puppy is protected from disease the first few weeks of its life.

Protection from the mother (maternal antibodies)
A newborn puppy is not naturally immune to diseases. However, it does have some antibody protection which is derived from its mother's blood via the placenta. The next level of Window of susceptibility

The age at which puppies can effectively be immunized (protected) is proportional to the amount of antibodies the puppy received from its mother. High levels of maternal antibodies present in the puppies' bloodstream will block the effectiveness of a vaccine. When the maternal antibodies drop to a low enough level in the puppy, immunization by a commercial vaccine will work.

The antibodies from the mother generally circulate in the newborn's blood for a number of weeks. There is a period of time from several days to several weeks in which the maternal antibodies are too low to provide protection against the disease, but too high to allow a vaccine to work. This period is called the window of susceptibility. This is the time when despite being vaccinated, a puppy or kitten can still contract the disease.

When should puppies be vaccinated?
The length and timing of the window of susceptibility is different in every litter, and even between individuals in a litter. A study of a cross section of different puppies showed that the age at which they were able to respond to a vaccine and develop protection (become immunized) covered a wide period of time. At six weeks of age, 25% of the puppies could be immunized. At 9 weeks of age, 40% of the puppies were able to respond to the vaccine. The number increased to 60% by 16 weeks of age, and by 18 weeks, 95% of the puppies were protected by the vaccine.

Almost all researchers agree that for puppies and kittens, we need to give at least three combination vaccinations and repeat these at one year of age.

A possible vaccination schedule for the 'average' puppy is shown below.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Age Vaccination
  5 weeks

Parvovirus: for puppies at high risk of exposure to parvo, some veterinarians recommend vaccinating at 5 weeks. Check with your veterinarian.

  6 & 9 weeks

Combination vaccine* without leptospirosis.
Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.

  12 weeks or older

Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (age at vaccination may vary according to local law).

  12-16 weeks**

Combination vaccine
Leptospirosis: include leptosporosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.
Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

  Adult (boosters)

Combination vaccine
Leptospirosis: include leptospirosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.
Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (time interval between vaccinations may vary according to local law).


*A combination vaccine, often called a 5-way vaccine, usually includes adenovirus cough and hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Some combination vaccines may also include leptospirosis (7-way vaccines) and/or coronavirus. The inclusion of either canine adenovirus-1 or adenovirus-2 in a vaccine will protect against both adenovirus cough and hepatitis; adenovirus-2 is highly preferred.

**Some puppies may need additional vaccinations against parvovirus after 15 weeks of age. Consult with your local veterinarian.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs at low risk of disease exposure may not need to be boostered yearly for most diseases. Consult with your local veterinarian to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your dog. Remember, recommendations vary depending on the age, breed, and health status of the dog, the potential of the dog to be exposed to the disease, the type of vaccine, whether the dog is used for breeding, and the geographical area where the dog lives or may visit.


Vaccine dose

small, young puppyIt is NOT true that a small breed of puppy should receive a smaller vaccine dose than puppies of larger breeds. All puppies regardless of age, body weight, breed, and gender are given the same vaccine dose. Vaccines are generally administered in one milliliter (cc) doses. Simply follow the manufacturer's recommendations. To administer a lesser vaccine amount than recommended will likely result in insufficient immunity.

Time to produce protection

Vaccines do not stimulate immunity immediately after they are administered. Once a vaccine is administered, the antigens must be recognized, responded to, and remembered by the immune system. In most puppies, disease protection does not begin until five days post vaccination. Full protection from a vaccine usually takes up to fourteen days. In some instances, two or more vaccinations several weeks apart must be given to achieve protection. In general, modified live vaccines and those vaccines administered intranasally provide the fastest protection.

Why do some vaccinated animals still get the disease?

It is a fact that many   vaccinated dogs and cats are still contracting the diseases they were vaccinated against. Some term this 'vaccine failure,' although it is more likely a failure of the immune system to respond than a problem with the vaccine itself.

Parvovirus is a serious case in point. How can a puppy get the disease and possibly die if it was vaccinated? Unfortunately, for some reason the vaccine did not stimulate the immune system enough to protect the puppy from disease. The reason may be interfering maternal antibodies, the vaccines themselves, the dog's own immune system, or genetics. By far, the most common reason in puppies is interfering maternal antibodies