Why is vaccination so important?

Prevention is better than cure

This gem of wisdom is not only exclusive to the English language, but one can find echoes of the same sentiment in other languages around the world. Historically people tried to prevent epidemics through quarantine and increased hygiene, but these were not sufficient when epidemics managed to break out.

A brief history

Vaccinations have a long history. Before Edward Jenner noticed that people working with cows were not catching smallpox, and used pustule content from a cowpox infection to inoculate his gardener’s son successfully, ancient cultures in Asia and Africa were already preventing smallpox using similar procedures. Edward Jenner’s observation, and the spread of the practice through the west allowed for the complete eradication of this disease.

Louis Pasteur was the next notable person to shake the medical world with the first production of a Rabies vaccine. This is of particular importance to the veterinary practice due to the nature of the rabies virus and it’s prevalence in carnivorous animals which we often keep as pets. Different processes by which different vaccines and antitoxins can be produced were discovered and perfected, resulting into the production of a wide array of vaccines that managed to curb the incidence of disease drastically.

The discovery of the vaccine did not only benefit humans. Veterinary and Human medicine, often called the two medicines, have always collaborated in the field of vaccine development. The discovery of a vaccine in an animal species often translates in a breakthrough in human vaccinology and vice versa. Given that it is thought that 6 out of 10 infectious diseases in humans are contracted from animals, vaccinating domesticated animals for zoonotic diseases (i.e. diseases that can spread between  animal  and  humans)  can also curb  the  spread  of  these  diseases  in  humans.  Through vaccinations, the veterinary practice has managed to increase the quality of life of domesticated animals and the societies to which these animals belong.

How vaccines work

The vaccine works when through its application, a non-functioning part of a virus or bacterium is provided for the immune system to recognize. On recognition of the foreign protein or carbohydrate provided  the  immune  system  mounts  an  immune response  where  different  white  blood  cells aggregate to the site of infection and eliminate the threat. After these responses caused by the vaccination, some white blood cells become memory cells where they store the information about the disease for which the animal was vaccinated against. If the particular disease infects the animal in the future, the disease is recognised and an immune response is mounted to eliminate the threat as soon and as efficiently as possible resulting in the prevention of the disease.

 

The core vaccines are the most important vaccinations for dogs. This is because they are administered to protect the dog from diseases of global significance and importance. These are those for Parvovirus, Distemper, Rabies (in some countries), and Canine Hepatitis. Non-core vaccinations are vaccinations that need to be administered to dogs according to the exposure risk to certain diseases. Such exposure risks can be a particular geographical area, specific activities and lifestyle of the dog. Examples of non-core vaccines are those for Canine Parainfluenza (CPi) virus and Borrelia.

It is a risk to socialize puppies that have not completed their first three rounds of initial vaccinations. This is because the Maternally-derived Antibodies present in the milk will not allow the puppy’s immunity to develop completely during its first round of vaccinations. It is not until the third round (suggested at 16 weeks of age) that the Maternally-derived Antibodies decrease to a point that allows the puppy’s immunity to sufficiently develop. At this point the core vaccinations are complete, and the puppy should have a basic protection to what it might meet in the outside environment. The puppy will finally take the last round of vaccinations at 1 year of age. Followning that the core vaccinations are only repeated at 3 year interval.

At newdoggy.com we understand the importance of vaccination. Therefore we make sure that the puppies our clients receive are up to date with their vaccination shots. The puppies come with a certificate of vaccination, but is the client’s responsibility to keep up to date with their puppy’s vaccination shots once they receive their puppy. Please, do not hesitate to read further about the vaccinations the puppies receive prior to shipping in our FAQ section here.

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