Vaccinations for Puppies and Dogs

At the Bow River Veterinary Centre, we offer core and non-core vaccines to protect your adult dog against the most common and the most serious diseases and to help them lead a healthy life.

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Why is it important to vaccinate your puppy?

At the start of a puppy’s life, maternal antibodies provide protection against diseases that the mother was protected from through passive immunity. These maternal antibodies only last a few weeks. At this point, vaccines are administered to stimulate the production of new antibodies that recognize and destroy infectious organisms before they have a chance to cause illness.

Additionally, if a vaccine is given when the maternal antibodies are still present in the puppy’s system, the maternal antibodies will destroy the vaccine’s effect, rendering it useless. This is called maternal interference.

Ideally, vaccines would be given just before the maternal antibodies are completely gone before the puppy is exposed to disease-causing pathogens. However, this window of opportunity is small, and this interval of time varies greatly from one puppy to the next, so a vaccine, such as DAPPV, is given multiple times at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks so that this small window is not missed.

How should I prepare my puppy for their first vaccination visit?

Firstly, give us a call to book an appointment! To make the first examination as smooth as can be, please bring in or email over any previous medical records and vaccination history. Otherwise, feel free to bring your puppy’s favourite treats and lots of positive vibes as we want this experience to be as fun as possible!

Why is it important to vaccinate your dog?

Vaccination protects your furry friend from several diseases that can be harmful to their health at any age. Aside from safeguarding their well-being, vaccines can protect other animals and even humans from getting diseases that can be transmitted through your pet. Treatment for these conditions can also be complicated and expensive, so ensuring that your dog’s vaccine schedule is up-to-date is the best way to prevent these possible complications. Our team can advise the optimal vaccine schedule for your pet based on their age and lifestyle.

What types of vaccinations do you offer for adult dogs?

Core vaccines should be administered to all adult dogs due to the higher risk of exposure, the severity of disease and transmissibility to humans. Our core vaccines protect against the distemper virus, adenovirus type 1 and 2, canine parainfluenza virus, canine parvovirus (DAPPV) and rabies.

Non-core vaccines are optional and should be considered in light of your pet’s exposure risk, depending on geographic region, patient lifestyle, age, and other factors. Our non-core vaccines protect against leptospirosis, canine Lyme disease and the canine influenza virus. Please call ahead of time to ensure we have these vaccines in stock, as they are not commonly requested.

Selected non-core vaccines, such as the one that protects against Bordetella bronchiseptica (a.k.a. kennel cough), is recommended as core in our practice due to the high population of dogs in Canmore. If your dog spends time at dog parks, grooming facilities, or in boarding facilities, it is highly recommended to vaccinate your dog against Bordetella.

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