A major part of taking care of your dog is making sure that he doesn't get sick. Let's assume you have a Bulldog named Derek. Luckily, many canine illnesses are easily prevented if you vaccinate Derek according to the schedule your veterinarian recommends. In most states / counties, dogs are required to stay up-to-date on Rabies vaccinations; However, there are also other vaccinations that Derek needs to stay healthy. The exact vaccination schedule for Derek depends on where you live, Derek's age and any underlying health problems Derek has.
Rabies is a viral infection that wild animals – such as raccoons and rats – carry. It causes dogs to become aggressive and to foam at the mouth. Death from respiratory failure is possible for a person or animal infected with rabies. The rabies vaccination helps to prevent Derek from getting rabies, as well as preventing him from spreading it to humans and other animals. Rabies shots are given annually, but three-year shots are available in some areas.
Parvovirus is a sometimes-deadly intestinal virus that is most common in young dogs. It is harbored on any surface that an infected dog comes into contact with. It is possible to transmit parvovirus to a dog through shoes and other items that come into contact with the virus and then touch something your dog touches. Parvovirus can live a long time even in harsh elements. Vaccinating Derek against parvovirus minimizes his chance of contracting the disease, but it isn't a full proof way to prevent the disease from occurring.
Kennel cough is another term for tracheobronchitis, and it is caused by several viruses. This is extremely contagious; However, it can be prevented with vaccinations. Kennel cough affects the respiratory system. It causes a hacking cough that won't go away. It can lead to pneumonia in a dog with a weak immune system.
Canine distemper is a disease that is almost always fatal. It affects the dog's nervous system, and it attacks the brain within a few weeks. It can also lead to pneumonia. The vaccine, which is given in three-week intervals when the dog is still a puppy and then an annual booster shot, can effectively prevent canine distemper. Sadly, if Derek does contract canine distemper, euthanasia is often necessary to prevent undue suffering.
Canine coronavirus is a viral infection that affects the gastrointestinal tract. This virus is similar to the parvovirus and produces similar symptoms; However coronavirus is easily treated and often less severe than parvovirus.
Leptospirosis affects the organs of the body, including the kidneys. Rats are known to carry leptospirosis bacterium. It is a bacterial disease that is mostly found in dogs that live on a farm because of the prevalence of rats on farms. Leptospirosis isn't found in all vaccinations, so when you take Derek to the vet, be sure to ask if he needs to be vaccinated against this disease.
Parasites and Worms
Having puppies wormed is common because roundworms can be spread from a mother to her puppies. Besides roundworms, dogs can become infected with tapeworms, hookworms, Giardia, coccidia and whipworms. Most worms are transmitted through canine fecal matter; However, because the worms are alive, they may burrow into the soil.
Roundworms and immature hookworms, called sandworms, can be transmitted to humans. When you take Derek to the vet, he will have an intestinal worm check to determine if he needs to be treated for worms and parasites.
Heartworms are internal parasites that can be fatal for Derek. Heartworms live in the arteries leading to the heart. They may also invade the heart, and they may cause severe damage to the circulatory system. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, but they are easily prevented if you give Derek a monthly heartworm preventative. If Derek does contract heartworms, he will have to go through a difficult treatment regimen that may not be effective.
The bottom line is that if you want Derek to stay healthy, the old adage 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' is very true.