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Vaccinating a dog: how much does it cost and when to vaccinate [vaccination schedule

Vaccinating the dog

Vaccinating the dog: what are "for " and what "against " vaccinations?

Every conscious dog owner takes all measures to ensure an adequate standard of living for his pet, which will be reflected in the correct condition and the best possible health condition.

An old and well-known saying is that "prevention is better than cure", which undoubtedly seems to be only the reasonable and wise behavior of the owner.

If we can avoid some threat, why not use it?

Why expose your pet to unnecessary suffering, unpleasant disease symptoms and sometimes even death, when you can easily eliminate this risk almost to zero.

On the other hand, are our actions completely safe and harmless to the dog??

Or maybe they are associated with a certain risk that we are not always fully aware of?

When writing prophylaxis, the first association with this term will be "research " and then "vaccinations ".

And it is precisely with vaccinations, especially in the recent period of time, that there is much controversy.

On the Internet you will find almost as many articles and opinions calling for vaccinations and praising their advantages as those according to which vaccinations should be categorically avoided because they have very serious health consequences and, above all, simply do not work, so they do not make much sense.

Will a "normal person " reading such opinions not get a little nervous and start to wonder about the advisability of doing them?

More than one reader will have the following questions:

It is finally vaccinated or not?

Is this vaccination completely safe??

There is something to be afraid of?

The same doubts may arise in the case of preventive vaccinations of our animals, for which we decide whether or not to do it.

I hope that in the article I will be able to answer these questions and in a simple, accessible way to dispel at least some of the doubts against vaccination.

In order to be objective, I will also describe possible side effects from vaccination.

In this article you will find the answer to the question of whether it is worth doing it, and if so, then when, where and what to vaccinate the dog.

  • Where did the vaccines come from??
  • What is a vaccine?
  • When post-vaccination immunity occurs?
  • Is it worth vaccinating a dog??
  • What to vaccinate a dog for?
  • When to vaccinate your dog: your dog's vaccination schedule
    • Early vaccination
    • Standard dog vaccination
    • Late vaccinations
  • How often to vaccinate your dog?
  • Puppy vaccinations
  • How much does it cost to vaccinate a dog?
  • Factors influencing the outcome of vaccination
  • Vaccinate your dog before going abroad
  • Why NOT Vaccinate Dogs - Negative Effects and Side Effects of Vaccines

Where did the vaccines come from??

Many centuries ago, civilized Europe struggled practically every year with various plagues and epidemics affecting humans and animals.

Some of them decimated the populations of contemporary cities, spreading great fear among societies, and collecting a deadly toll caused significant economic losses, even difficult to estimate.

Massively dying animals, which are the main source of protein for humans, entailed "lean years" and caused hunger in medieval societies.

And where malnutrition and worse hygiene, the body's resistance decreased and there was an increased susceptibility to numerous diseases.

Today, even historians are very cautious in estimating the number of people who have paid for the presence of infectious diseases with their lives.

However, we certainly will not be mistaken when we talk about the millions of innocent and unaware people who have paid for their lives with more than one epidemic:

  • the plague,
  • damn it,
  • flu,
  • smallpox,
  • typhus.

The number of dead animals, which are often the only breadwinners for the entire family, cannot even be estimated.

From antiquity, various methods were used to outsmart the plague, not always effective and often even very dangerous.

For example, pus from scabs was rubbed into damaged skin of a healthy person in order to ensure its immunity.

The doctors of those years also recommended the consumption of large amounts of alcohol, which was to ensure the body's insensitivity to pathogens.

It must have been very painful to burn the wounds after being bitten by a rabid animal.

Interestingly, some of these methods were to some extent effective and they came from careful observations of those who somehow did not get sick after using them.

Europe owes its first vaccinations against smallpox to a remarkably modern woman, the wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople, Lady Mary Montagu.

It was she who made a bold decision for those years and ordered her son to be "vaccinated" against smallpox.

The child had a fever for several days, but never developed smallpox after that.

The vaccination method proposed by Mary Montagu was called variolization, from variola vera, that is smallpox.

The world waited for the real smallpox vaccine until 1798., when Edward Jenner announced the results of his experiment.

He introduced an 8-year-old boy (in 1796.) pus taken from the bladder on the hand of a woman infected with cowpox (cowpox).

After a year, the boy was given material taken from a person suffering from smallpox and the child was immune.

In the nineteenth century, the well-known Ludwig Pasteur, Robert Koch and many other researchers made great contributions to the advancement of the science of vaccination and immunity.

It is thanks to them that today we have effective vaccines and methods of preventing dangerous, sometimes deadly diseases of humans and animals.

What is a vaccine?

What is a vaccine?

A vaccine is most simply defined as a product of biological origin based on an antigen that stimulates the immune system to quickly recognize it as "foreign", and consequently destroy and create post-vaccination immunity based on the principle of immune memory.

It is thanks to the phenomenon post-vaccination memory in the event of the next contact of the organism with a given antigen, in other words, an infection, the immune response develops faster and the resulting antibodies protect against the disease.

The emerging secondary immunity determines that the disease does not show clinical symptoms and the previously vaccinated organism remains healthy.

Therefore, the phenomena of immunity are based on the extremely important and essential properties of the immune system, ensuring the memory of the past infection and, in the case of another infection caused by the same etiological factor, which determines an extremely fast response of the immune system.

Vaccines may contain:

  • live, weakened antigen (pathogen) and then we say that they are attenuated, i.e. o reduced virulence,
  • killed pathogen in inactivated vaccines,
  • fragments of the structure and metabolites of the pathogen causing the disease.

Vaccines may also contain one antigen and then they are monovalent vaccines or several (many) antigens which allows to define them as polyvalent - combination vaccines.

Vaccinations used in small animal veterinary medicine, in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of WSAVA - World Association of Small Animal Veterinarians, can be divided into three main groups:

  1. Basic vaccinations core vaccination, which should be performed in each animal of a given species because they protect against dangerous diseases of animals and people, e.g.:
    • rabies,
    • nasal,
    • parvovirosis,
    • Rubarth's disease,
    • kalici and feline herpeswirosis,
    • feline panleukopenia.
  2. Additional vaccinations i.e. noncore vaccination, indicated when the doctor sees greater threats to a given individual in the case of, for example, lifestyle or health condition, e.g.:
    • leptospirosis in hunting dogs, hunting dogs, drinking water from puddles,
    • Lyme disease - when the animal brings a lot of ticks,
    • dermatophytosis in shelters.
  3. Vaccinations for which it is difficult to give any indications, e.g. coronavirosis, giardiasis and therefore Not recommended.

Basic vaccination includes very severe disease, life-threatening.

Vaccinates also for diseases not so serious, but very widespread and very contagious, either dangerous to people arriving with pets.

Additional vaccination while should not be performed on every animal, but only in those with a visible risk of falling ill due to lifestyle, e.g. greater risk dermatophytosis if herpeswirosis in farms.

Vaccinations in the third group, they are mild, easy to cure, spontaneously resolving without visible complications or with unproven effectiveness.

Vaccinations they are most often served in the form subcutaneous injections or intramuscularly, less often, intranasally, orally or by scarification of the skin.

So they are certainly not associated with pain.

When post-vaccination immunity occurs?

When immunity occurs?

Many pet owners mistakenly think that once an injection is given, their pet is fully immune to any possible infectious disease.

However, this does not happen and we must remember this fact carefully.

Once the antigens present in the vaccine are introduced, the immune system of the immunized animal begins to fight them and produce antibodies to protect them, but this process takes time.

Vaccine antigens must first be recognized by the appropriate cells of the immune system, which then triggers a whole cascade of processes aimed at producing specific antibodies.

Is it active immunity in contrast to passive immunity which we get in the situation of administering the ready serum with antibodies (e.g. puppies from an adult mother).

Most generally, we can assume that vaccine immunity develops over time 14-21 days after immunization of course, provided that the antigens in the body find ideal health and optimal functioning of the immune system.

There are situations when despite the vaccination of vaccine immunity lack, or it holds on low level which does not provide protection.

In the case of repeated immunization, we can assume that we are getting immunity from vaccines on the day of the next injection.

This is the case, for example rabies when it is the next vaccination of a several-year-old dog, because earlier vaccinations ensure an appropriate level of immunity.

In some, especially the most important diseases (e.g. rabies), the law specifies exactly when immunity occurs.

This can often be confirmed by appropriate serum antibody testing.

Remember that often a single dose will not provide immunity and to be sure of the effect of vaccinations, we should repeat them several times in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation and the appropriate vaccination calendar presented by a veterinarian.

In practice, it is much cheaper to perform a series of vaccinations than to vaccinate the animal once, and to confirm the level of protective antibodies by serological testing, which is unlikely to be done in routine practice (exception of rabies and EU regulations).

Is it worth vaccinating a dog??

Is it worth vaccinating a dog??

The answer to this question seems obvious.

I cannot imagine a situation when conscious pet owners give up the simplest and most effective form of protection against serious infectious diseases, which often result in the death of a pet.

So I would definitely urge everyone to carry out vaccinations for infectious diseases, the more that, as we know exactly, they are optional.

The only vaccination that we are legally required to vaccinate is to protect the dog against rabies and we have to repeat it at intervals annual.

the remaining vaccination of the dog are not required but highly recommended.

I would not be afraid to use the term that although optional, it is definitely necessary.

So we should use vaccines containing antigens that cause serious animal diseases proven effectiveness and a small number of potential side effects.

Every dog ​​should therefore be immunized against diseases such as:

  • parvovirosis,
  • nasal,
  • infectious hepatitis (Rubarth's disease),
  • rabies.

Vaccination should also be carried out in animals that have a softer lifestyle and go outdoors less or intermittently.

Some of the diseases can be passively transmitted to, for example, shoes or clothes, and thus infect your pet.

In the case of vaccination for feline rabies, it must be stated that it is optional but recommended in case of outgoing cats outside. We are not able to look after such an individual and guarantee him a situation where he will not be bitten by another, unknown animal.

So it is better to be safe than sorry and not to expose yourself and your charges to possible illness.

Vaccinations for infectious diseases companion animals are extremely effective and at the same time safe because they very rarely cause adverse reactions that are manageable after medical intervention.

It is thanks to them that the rulers were eliminated an epidemic in the 70s and 80s of the last century if parvovirosis.

Today, these deadly diseases do not occur often and, what is worth emphasizing, they happen practically only in unvaccinated animals.

Let us be another example of the effectiveness of vaccination vaccinating your dog against rabies.

Not so long ago because in the second half of the 1940s we took notes several dozen deaths among people in Poland, while after the introduction of compulsory vaccination of dogs, this number decreased to 1 case per year.

Today, such situations do not take place and no one dies of rabies in our country anymore, and in properly immunized domestic animals it practically does not occur.

Probably no one needs to be convinced about the advisability of vaccinations and the benefits that we get this way.

What to vaccinate a dog for?

What to vaccinate a dog for?

I have already partially answered this question, but here I will try to highlight some important issues from the owners' point of view. First of all, let's not take vaccinations as an automatic operation and let's not put all the animals in one bag.

Vaccinating the dog it cannot be only an injection made and entering this activity into the animal's book, but it should always be preceded by a thorough medical interview and, of course, a clinical examination.

Why do I pay attention to this?

It often happens that such an important activity may be performed incorrectly and not bring the expected effect.

In the case of vaccination, there is an iron rule that we should carry out the appropriate qualification beforehand and determine whether the animal is healthy and suitable for vaccination.

You can't tell without examining the dog.

Performing an injection in a sick individual it will not stimulate the immune system enough to create antibodies that provide protection, and in addition, it will only burden him with additional work in the event of an infection.

The veterinarian should therefore:

  • check internal temperature,
  • auscultate the patient,
  • examine the available lymph nodes,
  • conduct a thorough interview with the fur keeper.

He should also check with which vaccine the animal has already been vaccinated and whether there have been any reactions and shock reactions after it.

These extremely important activities, although sometimes overlooked, can later eliminate a lot of stress for us and ensure a smooth course of the post-vaccination period for the animal.

Secondly, remember that we do not need to be vaccinated just because it is available for a given species.

Let an example be here cat rabies if canine leptospirosis.

I do not recommend vaccination against rabies in domestic cats that do not go outside because the risk of getting sick in them is practically zero.

It is similar in the case of leptospirosis in domestic, couch potatoes of miniature breeds, which do not participate in hunting, do not bring killed game or drink water from rivers or puddles.

Third, tell your doctor:

  • what lifestyle does our pet have,
  • whether it goes beyond the fence,
  • or hunting,
  • whether he drinks water from puddles,
  • whether he is in contact with other dogs,
  • if there is any disease in the neighbor's dogs in the area, i
  • everything that may seem important to us from the dog's point of view.

In general, we should vaccinate animals against dangerous, violent diseases, posing a threat to the life of a dog or cat or people, requiring long-term treatment and thus considerable financial outlays, i.e. those from the group of basic vaccinations.

When to vaccinate your dog: your dog's vaccination schedule

Dog vaccination calendar

Below is an example dog vaccination calendar with these additional diseases.

Early vaccination

When to vaccinate your dog?What to vaccinate a dog for?
6-7 weeksnasal
parvovirosis (puppy vaccine, first dose)
9-10 weeksnasal
Rubarth's disease
kennel cough
12-13 weeksnasal
Rubarth's disease
kennel cough
15th weekrabies
After 12 monthsbooster vaccinations

Standard dog vaccination

When to vaccinate your dog?What to vaccinate a dog for?
9-10 weeksnasal
Rubarth's disease
kennel cough
12-13 weeksnasal
Rubarth's disease
kennel cough
15th weekrabies
After 12 monthsbooster vaccinations

Late vaccinations

When to vaccinate your dog?What to vaccinate a dog for?
Puppies after 12 weeks of age, or adult dogsnasal
Rubarth's disease
kennel cough
Reactivation after 2-4 weeksnasal
Rubarth's disease
kennel cough
After another 2-3 weeksrabies
After 12 monthsbooster vaccinations

How often to vaccinate your dog?

How often to vaccinate an adult dog?

This extremely important question often arises in the context of vaccination, or on various online forums gathering guardians of dogs and cats.

Many owners who want to provide the best care for their pets wonder whether we should vaccinate adult dogs and cats too often.

At the outset, I would like to make it clear that the hitherto prevailing tradition ordering "vaccinate on everything every year " has fortunately ceased to apply for several years now. There is such an approach (which has been clearly proven by all scientific studies) completely wrong and from a biological point of view is sheer nonsense.

Please consider whether it is possible for an adult dog to develop immunity to any disease for exactly 365 days?

And whether the dog, which is a mammal, like humans, has a completely different immune system?

And yet we are not vaccinated for everything every year and many childhood vaccinations are not repeated, assuming the existence of immunity.

Of course, it would be optimal check the level of antibodies in the serum and on this basis, determine the degree of resistance, but such activities are not performed as standard (rabies may be an exception here due to regulations).

Therefore, we assume that the immunity of an adult, several times immunized dog to major infectious diseases lasts much longer than a year, on average several years.

Vaccination such animals we should repeat in the period 3-4 years.

Of course, ultimately it is the veterinarian who decides when to administer a booster dose.

Many vaccine manufacturers changed the recommendations for their administration a few years ago and extended the period between vaccinations, which is undoubtedly not beneficial from their point of view (lower number of doses sold and lower profits).

The current recommendations, of course, result from the many clinical trials conducted on animals.

It is they who undoubtedly prove that even after one-time vaccination of puppies at the age of 7-8 weeks and then experimental infections, they remained healthy and did not develop distemper, Rubarth's disease or parvovirosis during 4 years.

So there is something to be happy about.

Puppy vaccinations

How often to vaccinate a puppy?

Puppies should be treated a little differently due to the so-called. immune gap.

Each newborn mammal uses as the first source of food colostrum and breast milk with those contained there antibodies conditioning passive immunity.

It is these immunoglobulins that provide immunity during the first weeks of life.

With time, as they grow, they gradually disappear and this happens at different times, even in the same litter.

The immune gap can be defined as:

The period when the level of maternal antibodies is too low to protect against the disease, but at the same time too high to immunize the puppy as a result of vaccination.

In fact, we do not know whether vaccination will result in the development of immunity or vaccine antigens will be inactivated due to the gap and despite the injection active immunity it will not.

That is why puppies should be immunized several times, starting at age 6-7 weeks, later repeating another vaccination at age 8-10 weeks and another third in the period 12-14 weeks.

After that your dog's vaccination cycle we can be reasonably sure that there is adequate protection against infectious diseases.

What is very important, the first vaccination at the age of 6-7 weeks we should make a special one a vaccine with a higher virus concentration (first dose or puppy).

It guarantees the solution of the problem of the immune gap and the development of immunity despite the existence of maternal antibodies.

When we start vaccinating older puppies, the number of repetitions of the vaccine is obviously smaller and it would be best to do two vaccinations with an interval between them 3-4 weeks assuming the latter vaccination of the dog we carry out over the age of 12 weeks of age when, in theory, passive immunity should no longer exist. It is important to complete your puppy's immunization series one dose in the second year of life.

An excellent study of vaccinology (the science of vaccination) and the recommended vaccination schedule can be found on the website of the World Association of Small Animal Veterinarians

Summing up, it seems to me that we should make every effort to ensure that as many animals as possible in the population are vaccinated at least once in a lifetime optimally not more often than every 3 years.

What it looks like puppy vaccination in the veterinary clinic you can see in the video below:

Jess the labrador puppy having her 1st vaccination with Kathy the Vet at Westmoor Vets
Watch this video on YouTube

How much does it cost to vaccinate a dog?

How much does it cost to vaccinate a dog?

Dog vaccination prices may vary by facility.

Below are the prices from one of the Warsaw veterinary clinics:

  • Vaccinate your dog against rabies - price approx PLN 30.
  • First vaccination for puppies - the vaccine puppy (distemper virus and parvovirosis) - price approx 40-50 PLN.
  • Multicomponent vaccine - price approx 60-80 PLN.
  • Multicomponent vaccines against leptospirosis, e.g. Vanguard plus 7 (distemper viruses, parvovirosis, parainfluenza, adenovirus, Leptospira canicola, Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae) - price around 100 zloty.

Factors influencing the outcome of vaccination

What factors can influence the result?

There are many factors that can influence your education vaccine immunity.

Knowledge of them seems to be extremely important from the dog's owner's point of view, as it determines the effectiveness of immunization.

The point is not to make an injection and stick a sticker with the name of the vaccine in the booklet, but to guarantee the effectiveness of this medical procedure.

We have a great influence on many of these factors, as long as we know them, of course. Remember to pay attention to the conditions under which the vaccine is stored and transported by a veterinarian.

I would advise you to avoid giving your dog a vaccine taken from a hot car to 40-50 degrees, which often happens in the summer.

The distemper virus present in the vaccine is quickly inactivated at high temperatures and the use of such a vaccine is rather likely will not provide immunity. A wormed puppy showing clinical signs invasion of roundworms should be before dewormed.

These parasites cause the condition immunosuppression as a result of which vaccine immunity develops worse.

So let's deworm and then immunize the puppies, the more that we can give anthelmintic preparations as early as age 4 weeks that is, before vaccination.

Certain breeds of dogs (rottweilers, dobermans) they develop less immunity after vaccination, but we do not know why this is so.

In their case, we should consider multiple doses of the vaccine.

Vaccinate your dog before going abroad

Why vaccinate your dog before going abroad?

In the case of a planned trip to another country, we should carefully read the regulations governing the requirements for dogs and vaccinations that they must have in the territory of a foreign country.

It is always worth considering with your veterinarian what potential diseases your pet will be exposed to there.

On this basis, of course, you can additionally vaccinate your dog for something extra (eg. leptospirosis).

Compulsory vaccination before going abroad it is in most countries rabies confirmed with an appropriate entry in the animal's passport. Some countries like for example great Britain require additionally determining the level of post-vaccination antibodies.

For details, please refer to the websites of, for example, the Chief Veterinary Inspectorate, where we will find comprehensive data on the removal of companion animals and related requirements.

Why NOT to Vaccinate Dogs - Negative Effects and Side Effects of Vaccines

Vaccine side effects

Preventive vaccinations of the dog in addition to a huge number of supporters, they also have a whole host of opponents, i.e. people convinced of their decisive harmfulness.

On the Internet, we can find numerous publications describing the negative effects of vaccinations, diseases they cause and threats to the life and health of humans and animals.

Vaccination opponents resign from vaccination, arguing it with the content mercury in vaccines or attributing them to causing autism in children and other serious complications, including death.

How is it really? And whether we have anything to be afraid of?

Vaccinations can cause allergic reactions though I must admit they don't happen often.

We may meet sometimes with hives which is a symptom that is not too serious, but unpleasant.

In the past, after some vaccinations (against Rubarth's disease), antigen-antibody complexes were formed, which they caused changes in the eyes.

They were also suspected of driving chronic renal failure.

Vaccine viruses they are often multiplied in tissue cultures on kidney cells, hence they can then as a result of immune reactions damage the kidneys of a vaccinated dog.

One of the worst side effects after vaccinations can be anaphylactic shock, which fortunately does not occur very often, but can cause danger to life and absolutely requires prompt medical intervention.

The whole group of post-vaccination reactions are injection site reactions manifested by granulomas, hair discoloration or post-vaccination sarcomas in cats.

However, we must remember that fibrosarcoma arise not only after vaccinations but also after the usual injections in the treatment process.

In this perspective, it seems important to choose the right injection site, especially in the context of cats.

Severe post-vaccination reactions in the form of shock usually occur shortly after the injection is given, therefore it is good practice to keep the puppy in the clinic for a while and release it home when nothing happens within e.g. half-hour.

Personally, I always inform the owner about possible disturbing symptoms and recommend that I visit the clinic as soon as possible after noticing them.

Side effects after vaccinations do not occur very often, provided that the vaccine is used by a good, reputable company, and even if they occur, they are manageable by a veterinarian and cannot be an argument for giving up vaccinations.

It is also a mistake to perform too often preventive vaccinations thereby increasing the risk of side effects.


An injection at the vet

Introduction and mass application preventive vaccinations it is undoubtedly a huge success in the history of medicine and saved millions of people and animals.

Thanks to them, we control dangerous infectious diseases and some of them have practically disappeared from our globe.

Of course, not everyone understands and is aware of the dangers and therefore they do not vaccinate their charges, thus exposing them to a serious risk of disease and death.

Let's not treat vaccination of the dog as a simple injection, but always wonder how much benefit we gain by doing this.

We should also remember that it is better to spend several dozen zlotys at a time than many times more when treating a sick animal.

Unfortunately for animals, treatment, even very intensive, is not always successful (e.g. distemper, parvovirosis) and the animal leaves because of the owner's neglect.

So let's use what is proven, good and effective, following the principle that it is always "better to prevent than to cure".

Sources used >>

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