What is a dog vaccination?
Dog vaccine is a medicine used to prevent the onset or decrease the severity of a specific disease in the dog’s body. To do this, the dog vaccine stimulates the immune system and allows the creation of antibodies and memory cells in the body. They “remember” the disease vector, which can be a virus, bacteria, parasite, and in some cases a toxin or tumor.
In fact, this vaccine contains the vector of the disease, in whole or in part. This element, once injected, will trigger a response from the dog host’s immune system. Because it will be recognized as “foreign” to the organism, it is called an antigen. The antigens contained in the dog vaccine are therefore either pieces of virus, or whole viruses killed or alive inactivated (i.e. they are able to behave normally in the body but they are no longer able to render the sick dog).
For the vaccine to be effective, puppy vaccines should be repeated twice, 3-5 weeks apart. Then there is an annual reminder. It is usually done from the age of 2 months.
What diseases can a dog be vaccinated against?
Dog vaccines are plentiful. They generally protect against fatal diseases for which there is no cure or against diseases which can kill the dog in an overacute way and which does not leave time to cure it.
- Rabies is a zoonosis deadly. That is to say that it is transmitted from animals (and dogs) to humans. It creates encephalitis which causes the death of the infected individual in a few days following a progressive paralysis of the body and the respiratory system. It is very well known for its furious form (the “mad dog”) which is actually not its most common form. This disease, given its seriousness and contagiousness, is a regulated disease, and therefore it is the State that manages its vaccination on French territory through veterinarians. This is why to vaccinate a dog against rabies, it must be identified by an electronic chip or by tattoo, and that the vaccination must be registered in a European passport (blue with the text translated into English) which is registered in a register. Only veterinarians with health clearance can vaccinate dogs against rabies. France is free from rabies today. However, your dog must be vaccinated if he leaves the territory or if he takes the plane. Some campsites and pensions on call also ask for rabies vaccination. If your dog comes into contact with a dog with rabies, it may be requested to be euthanized by health authorities if it is not vaccinated or if it is not properly vaccinated.
- Kennel cough: for this disease affecting the respiratory system of dogs raised or staying in a community. It triggers a strong and annoying cough for the dog. The “kennel cough” vaccine exists in several forms (injection and intranasal).
- Parvovirus is characterized by vomiting and diarrhea with blood. This hemorrhagic gastroenteritis can be fatal in young unvaccinated dogs by malnutrition and dehydration.
- Distemper is a viral disease which affects various organs: the digestive, nervous, respiratory and ocular systems… It can be fatal in young dogs or very old dogs.
- Rubarth’s hepatitis is a viral disease attacking the liver, it has disappeared in France.
- Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease transmitted through the urine of wild rodents. It causes a dog kidney failure. It is treated with antibiotics but the renal failure it triggers can be irreversible.
These 6 diseases are part of the classic annual dog vaccination. It is this vaccine that your veterinarian offers you every year, it is often called CHPPiLR. Each letter corresponding to the initial of the disease or pathogen responsible.
Diseases requiring vaccines
You can vaccinate your dog against other diseases:
- Piroplasmosis is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of a dog tick. The microscopic parasite settles in the dog’s red blood cells and causes their destruction. It leads to the death of the dog if the specific treatment is not administered quickly. Sometimes we do not realize that the dog is sick (fever, depression, anorexia) before seeing the typical symptom appear: urine colored coffee grounds, ie dark brown. Even vaccinated against the disease, your dog will need to be treated against ticks and ticks removed from the dog with a tick hook.
- Lyme disease is the same disease that affects humans. It gives very unspecific symptoms that make it difficult to diagnose, such as pain in the limbs. It is also transmitted by ticks and tends to be more common in humans and dogs.
- Leishmaniasis, parasitic disease transmitted by a kind of mosquito, is very well known in the countries around the Mediterranean where it is rife. It causes the death of the animal after long months of evolution. It makes the dog lose weight, the skin has many lesions and all internal organs can be affected. The vaccination protocol is long. Remember to vaccinate your dog long before leaving for the south of France.
- A vaccine has recently been available to treat dog melanoma (anti-cancer vaccination).