Dog receiving vaccine

Essential Vaccines for Your Dog

Your puppy bounds through your backyard, a bundle of energy wrestling squeaky toys and proffering sloppy doggy-kisses. Watching your pooch play, it’s hard to imagine anything but the lively canine that’s in front of you. But just like people, dogs can catch diseases and become ill. That’s why it’s important to vaccinate your puppy. Though not foolproof, pet vaccination in Toronto, Scarborough and other surrounding areas is the single best thing you can do to protect your canine from diseases. Depending on your pup’s future plans, the recommended immunizations will vary some, but all dogs—even apartment dwelling Chihuahuas—should be vaccinated against the following diseases.


Canine distemper
This highly contagious and often fatal disease is spread from dog to dog via nasal and eye discharges. When contracted, this illness attacks a number of systems in the body including the respiratory, digestive and nervous systems. Dogs who do survive distemper may have lasting damage to their nervous system.

Parvovirus
This fast acting virus attacks the gastrointestinal tract and can sometimes take a sick dog’s life within 48 hours. If your dog catches parvo, symptoms will often include vomiting and diarrhea. Puppies and senior dogs are most susceptible to the illness, which is highly contagious and can spread without direct contact between dogs.

Adenovirus
Also known as canine hepatitis, this illness is transmitted via the urine, feces, or saliva of an infected dog. The illness can be fatal if left untreated and is potentially hazardous to the liver, eyes, and breathing of your pup. Symptoms of the virus include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes coughing.

Parainfluenza virus
This virus is one that often factors into what’s commonly known as “kennel cough.” It’s spread though nasal secretions and can cause fever, coughing and even lead to a fatal bout of pneumonia.

Rabies
Once contracted, this illness that attacks the central nervous system is almost always fatal. Rabies can spread between various species, and bites and scratches from other mammals of all kinds are the most common way it’s transmitted to dogs. Symptoms vary greatly from one case to the next but can include listlessness, paralysis, uncharacteristic aggression and excessive drooling.

Vaccination schedule
Puppies should be vaccinated for distemper, parvo, parainfuenza and adenovirus—often given as a single shot—every four weeks up until 16 weeks of age. After this, they should get a booster at the one-year mark and afterwards. The rabies vaccine is first given at 16 weeks of age, with boosters then given once every year.

The importance of animal vaccination
In Toronto, immunization is the best way to keep canine populations healthy and disease free, not to mention protect your own particular pup. Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic offers affordable vaccinations for cats and dogs throughout the GTA. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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