Why Do We Need to Keep Giving So Many Booster Puppy Shots in Rio Rancho?
As puppy parents, we want to ensure our puppies have the best chance to live long and happy lives. We know that fully vaccinating them protects them from becoming sick with potentially fatal diseases, but why do they need so many boosters?
At Coronado Pet Hospital, we understand how frustrating it can be to keep bringing your puppy in for boosters. We’re here to explain why your puppy must receive these life-saving boosters. When you’re ready for your young ones to get their puppy shots in Rio Rancho, give us a call!
Core and Optional Puppy Shots
At 7-8 weeks, veterinarians recommend beginning your puppy’s vaccination series.
Core vaccinations are what vets recommend every puppy get:
- Hepatitis (Adenovirus 2)
- Rabies (Given at 12 weeks, boosted at one year)
Sometimes, you’ll see the acronym DHPP. This combination vaccine consists of distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. You may also see this vaccine abbreviated as DA2PP.
Optional vaccinations are given dependent on location and your puppy’s risk of exposure:
Understanding Puppy Immunity
Newborn puppies initially receive antibodies from their mothers in utero and through their mothers’ milk. These maternally given antibodies protect your puppy’s immune system for the first few months of their life before gradually beginning to fade.
Until maternal antibodies begin to fade, they can make puppy vaccines less effective in building the puppy’s own antibody defenses. In other words, your puppy’s immune system won’t respond to puppy shots until the mother’s antibodies begin disappearing from their system.
What’s impossible to tell is when these maternal antibodies begin dissipating in each individual. Every puppy is different. Some lose maternal immunity sooner than others.
That big puppy who got more than their share of their mother’s milk may take longer to build their immunity than the smallest pup in the litter because of the higher volume of maternal antibodies they consumed with all that milk.
This is why most veterinarians recommend beginning puppy shots at 7-8 weeks and continue giving these shots every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks.
Understanding Puppy Boosters
Veterinarians use the word “booster” because we give the same vaccines multiple times to keep boosting your puppy’s immune system until they are fully protected.
Why keep giving puppies the same shots up to 4 or 5 times?
Think of building immunity as a wave. As vaccines begin, the puppy’s immune system responds a little based on the level of maternal antibodies. There are fewer maternal antibodies 3-4 weeks later, but the puppy has had time to produce at least some antibodies on their own. This next vaccine comes as the mother’s antibodies are even lower, and the puppy’s immune system gets another boost.
One vaccine would not be enough to ensure that, at that point in the puppy’s life, their antibodies have the opportunity to work on their own to provide full protection. They need several opportunities to build their own immunity.
Why not just give one vaccine at 16 weeks when we’re pretty sure there are no interfering maternal antibodies?
Because no one can know when the maternal antibodies dissipate. If they were gone at 10 weeks, the puppy would be completely vulnerable to infection until they received that vaccine. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Basically, the puppy shot series, including boosters, ensure that all puppies, no matter when they lose their maternal immunity, receive the vaccinations when their bodies are ready to react to them.
Ready to schedule puppy shots in Rio Rancho?
At Coronado Pet Hospital, we hope this gives you a better understanding of how puppy shots work and why they are given multiple times between 7-16 weeks. This is why we follow these well-established and researched puppy shot guidelines, ensuring every New Mexican puppy builds full immunity when their bodies are ready for it.
Contact us to schedule your puppy’s shots in Rio Rancho!