Vaccinations & Licensing

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Filed in Dogs, Safety

Bringing a new dog into your home requires a fair amount of work and preparation. There are all sorts of accessories to buy, preparations for housebreaking are a must, and obedience classes need to be arranged.

However, before you begin to address any of these needs there are two things that should be at the top of your to-do list: vaccinations and registration.

Vaccinations

There are many types of vaccinations that a dog may need. Whether or not your dog needs these vaccinations is based on factors such as age, overall health, need for diagnostic tests, and risk of exposure. To find out what vaccinations your dog requires, you should consult with your vet as soon as possible. However, here are some of the most common types of ailments that require vaccination.

Rabies: This is usually thought of as an ailment where the dog's mouth foams and they get unusually aggressive. While this is true in some cases (it's known as "furious rabies") there is another type known as "dumb rabies." This variation is characterized by drooling and withdrawals from human contact. It's very important to get your dog vaccinated for rabies immediately because once they contract the rabies virus they have to be euthanized.

Canine Distemper (CD): This is a virus that affects up to 75% of untreated dogs, and can be lethal for puppies. Signs of CD include diarrhea, seizures, and moist discharge from the nose or eyes.

Hepatitis: Although most adult dogs can fight their way through this virus, it's usually fatal for puppies. The virus is spread primarily through infected urine. Symptoms include diarrhea, respiratory problems, and eye damage. The vaccination for hepatitis (which includes the virus CAV-2) should be administered as soon as possible.

Viral Diarrhea: Once again adult dogs can sometimes fight through this but it is often fatal for puppies. Dogs can be protected from this by receiving vaccinations that fight against coranavirus and parvovirus. Puppies are given these vaccinations in 3-4 week intervals.

Respiratory Disease: Also known as "kennel cough." This usually isn't fatal (unless pneumonia develops) but it can cause loss of appetite/energy, sub-par appearance and excessive coughing. There are vaccines that can help prevent some strains, however, like the flu, it is impossible to cover all of them.

Licensing

Another important task you must complete when you first get a dog is to get it licensed. This is done through the county and carries a yearly fee.

In return you'll receive a set of ID tags that should be kept on your dog at all times, especially when the dog isn't present on your property. If you're dog is found without its license tags it can be taken to the pound where it can be euthanized if left unclaimed for a certain amount of days. In essence the fee is a small price to pay to insure your dog's safety, and to comply with the law.

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