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Although your new puppy will likely squirm and maybe even cry when getting his shots, it is just as important for your dog as it is for your children or yourself. In fact, by keeping up on your dog’s vaccinations, you could be saving his life.

Vaccinations are injections of a small dose of a disease, which will prevent your puppy from developing that very illness. Just like immunizations in children, it is required by health departments and is the right thing to do for your dog.

Two different types of vaccinations exist. They are a Killed Vaccine and a Modified Live Vaccine. A Modified Live Vaccine is the live disease injected while having been altered by the drug company to be unable to cause the disease it is protecting against. A Killed Vaccine is when the virus itself has been killed before any injection occurs.

Once vaccinated, your dog’s immune system will recognize the presence of a disease and will then create barriers or reinforcements (antibodies) to fight it off, should it appear. These barriers only last from six months to a year, which makes regular appointments extremely important for your dog.

A few of the more commonly heard of diseases that affect dogs are often at the top of a vaccination list. These include Canine Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Rabies and Corona Virus.

Regular vaccinations can prevent your dog from contracting these diseases; however, you should still be aware of what they are. Canine Distemper is caused by a virus that attacks the body and can be damaging to the dog’s central nervous system. 50 percent of dogs who contract this disease will have a fatal outcome. It mainly affects middle-aged dogs. Puppies and older dogs are usually safe from contracting it.

Another vaccination, which is essential to your dog’s health and should not be confused with the human disease, Hepatitis is Infectious Hepatitis, which is a life-threatening viral disease. It is transmitted through urine, saliva, and feces. All ages of dogs are at risk for this disease. Luckily, it’s not contagious to humans.

Vaccinations for Rabies are probably the most commonly talked about vaccine. The disease itself is the most well known in animals and can quickly affect humans through saliva and bites. Aggression, excessive salivation and erratic behavior will follow the onset of rabies, although it may not be as clear as “Cujo,” the famous rabid-infected dog in the movies.

Corona Virus is another disease that is commonly confused and is important to have vaccinations for. Most often mixed up with Parvo, this disease affects young dogs.  Transferred by another infected dog through ingesting feces, Corona Virus is contagious and causes trouble within your dog’s intestinal tract. This disease can usually be treated before Parvo sets in.

As you can see, many diseases can affect, sicken, or even kill your precious family member. Vaccinations are crucial to keeping you and your dog healthy and as a dog owner having regular visits with the vet is a definite responsibility. For all the happiness he brings to you and your family, he deserves to be healthy.