Centretown Veterinary Hospital

[Centretown Veterinary Hospital]

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Vaccination for Dogs

[Photo of Tess the dog]
Tess, a client at Centretown Veterinary Hospital, has been vaccinated annually for thirteen years and running

Initial Vaccines – also known as Puppy Vaccines

The initial vaccines are given at three week intervals so as to reinforce and heighten the immune response with each vaccination, culminating in protection which will last one year from the date of the final vaccine. It is also important to remember that although your puppy receives his first set of shots at or around 8 weeks, these shots do not offer full protection until they have received the full set of three vaccinations, three weeks apart. Your veterinarian will discuss the implications of this with you and can go over ways of socializing your puppy while still keeping him safe.

We recommend that puppies receive their first vaccination at 8 weeks. Prior to 8 weeks the immunity they receive from their mother may interfere with effective vaccination.

For more information of puppy vaccines, the way they work, side effects and the diseases for which they effect – take a look at your Centretown Veterinary Hospital Puppy Manual. Each puppy receives this useful book at their first visit and it’s used to chart their growth and development over the weeks, months and years to come.

The series of shots, or protocol for initial vaccinations is as follows:

1st vaccination

Initial: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus vaccines are combined into a single needle so as to reduce both trauma and risk to the patient.

2nd vaccination (3 weeks later)

Booster: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (combined in single vaccine)

Optional: Bordatella (kennel cough) – this is a optional vaccine which protects against a contagious cough common in dogs. It is often required for puppy classes and obedience school and boarding kennels. There are a variety of forms of this vaccine, your veterinarian will discuss these with you during your appointment.

Optional: Leptospirosis – this is an optional vaccine highly recommended here in the Ottawa area as it is a disease contracted from raccoons and is often harboured in puddles. Your veterinarian will discuss this vaccine with you and the pros and cons as they relate to you and your pet during your visit.

3rd vaccination (3 weeks later)

Booster: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (given as a single vaccine)

Single: Rabies vaccines (this vaccine is designed to be given as a single dose requiring no booster)

Booster optional : Bordatella (kennel cough)

Booster optional : Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis and Bordatella have recently been shown to be less reactive and more effective if given alone (separate from other vaccines). Please discuss the options with us.

Adult Dogs

In adult dogs Centretown Vet has adopted a seasonal approach to vaccination in combination with tri-annual (every three years) basic regimen. We have decided on this approach in hopes of decreasing adverse reactions as taking an active stance against over vaccination.

Please note that although the vaccines that Centretown Vet uses are designed to last three years, most vaccinations previously administered to your pet were designed to only last 1 year and will not convey three year protection. In order for the three year vaccines to be effective, the dog must have had a basic series and an annual booster initially before the three year regimen can be used safely.

The series of shots, or protocol for initial vaccinations is as follows:

Basic Vaccinations to be give every 3 years (Tri-Annually)

These two vaccines are not given on the same year; rather, they are given on alternating years so as to allow each to work more effectively and reduce the risk of side effects.


Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (all given together as a single needle)

Seasonal Vaccinations

Late summer to early fall: Leptospirosis

1.5 to 3 weeks before kenneling: Bordetella

Tick season (late spring to fall): Lyme Disease

We also have available a number of other specific vaccinations (Giardia etc.). These vaccines may be required by certain dogs in certain situations. Please let your veterinarian know if you have any special interests such as canoe camping with your dog, or other outdoor sports or travel to exotic climes, so that she can be jealous… and better tailor your pets vaccine protocol.