Generally speaking, any veterinarian including the ones at Colonial Manor Animal Hospital in Homer Glen, IL recommend vaccinating dogs as puppies for a lifetime of protection against common pet diseases. However, sometimes that isn't an option when someone is caring enough to adopt an older dog, especially a stray, and doesn't know whether the dog received the proper vaccinations already. Just because the pet was lucky and wasn't exposed to the disease before doesn't change the fact they need such protections now. Keep in mind, vaccination doesn't only protect your dog but also protects any other dogs your dog might come in contact with.
Traditional and Modern Vaccinations
At the turn of the 19th Century, dog vaccinations didn't exist, the first formally documented inoculation against smallpox only occurred in 1796, leading to scientific evidence of how vaccinations end disease and save human lives. The concept spread to animals as well. Before that, dogs who became sick were either disposed of to prevent contamination of the kennel or cared for until they either became better or passed away. Standard modern dog vaccinations include a 5-way shot administered at six, twelve and sixteen weeks of age to protect against known common diseases. Specific areas might also recommend vaccinations against other local diseases. With an older dog in which you don't know whether they already are vaccinated, it's important to discuss a proper treatment regime with your veterinarian to determine how to proceed and maintain the pet's healthy long life.
Rabies vaccines are just as important but are administered differently. Rabies vaccinations don't last for a dog's entire life but have to be administered regularly. Typically, a dog should see a veterinarian once per year for a general physical and checkup, which is also a good time to administer the rabies vaccination. For some owners, it might be more convenient to get a vaccination that lasts three years, according to how veterinary visits are scheduled. As with all pet health issues, it's best to discuss with the vet what will work best for you and your dog to develop a plan and stick to it.
Colonial Manor Animal Hospital in Homer Glen, IL
At Colonial Manor Animal Hospital in Homer Glen, IL, we treat every pet with the care and dedication they deserve. You'll find every member of our staff to be caring and understanding whether your pet is coming in for a routine visit, an illness, or emergency service toward a specific injury. Give us a call to set up an appointment to set an appointment to introduce us to your friend and discuss what veterinary care topics including vaccines need to be addressed.