The range of vaccines available includes: Rabies, DHPP (distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and parainfluenza), Leptospirosis, Lyme, Influenza, Rattlesnake, and Kennel Cough. Texas requires all cats and dogs to be vaccinated for rabies starting at 12 weeks of age. DHPP is considered a core vaccination for all dogs since it prevents common and fatal infections, while other vaccine recommendations depend on your family’s lifestyle. Your veterinarian will assess the relative risks based on your circumstances and advise you accordingly.
Booster Vaccines for Puppies
Newborn animals have not yet had a change to make their own immunity so they need protection against infections present in their environment. They receive this immunity from their mother. It declines steadily over the first few weeks of life and is largely gone by 12 weeks of age. The rate of decline is variable depending on many factors. Without complicated blood testing, it is impossible to know when a pup has lost the immunity it gets from its mother. An early decline in maternal immunity can leave it susceptible to infection but a strong maternal antibody can actually interfere with early vaccinations. Also, particularly with killed vaccines, the first dose is a ‘priming’ dose, and the second is needed to boost the response to a higher, longer-lasting level of immunity.