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Dogs are a lot like kids.  We love them like kids, they’re rough and tumble like kids, we worry about them like we do our kids and we try to protect them like we do our kids.  And when a lot of them get together in one place, they share germs and viruses like kids.

In order to contain and control those nasty bugs, we require all our Doggies be properly vaccinated.  There are three vaccinations that all Doggies must be current on in order to visit Hoosier Doggy.

Rabies – This one is a no brainer.  Everyone knows rabies is a dreaded fatal disease of mammals.  It is virtually 100% fatal and can be transmitted to humans.  There are also serious legal considerations.  Everyone simply must have their dogs vaccinated against rabies, whether you intend to take them somewhere or not.

Distemper – Puppies are born with their mother’s immunity to this dreadful disease.  As they grow, the immunity they are born with declines as their own immune system develops.   There is a period where the mother’s immunity has waned but the dog’s own immunity is still weak that the young dog is particularly vulnerable to distemper.  This vaccination is normally a combo with other vaccinations and often listed on the dog’s vaccination records as DHPP or DHLPP.  Parvo virus, another dreaded disease with devastating consequences and a high fatality rate, is usually included in this combination.

Bordetella – Also known as “kennel cough,” this name is often applied to any of a number of upper respiratory infections.  Similar to respiratory infections in children, it tends to erupt in localized geographic areas a couple of times each year and will run its course in a few weeks.  When it occurs, all of the vets, groomers, kennels, dog parks and day cares in that particular area will see a spate of cases for a couple of weeks and then the tide subsides.  The good news is that it is usually not serious in an otherwise healthy dog. But there can be complications and for a very young, old or otherwise debilitated dog, it is serious.  The vaccination is effective against certain strains (much like human flu shots) so it is NOT 100% effective in preventing the disease.  In my personal experience, I would have to say that it is young dogs and dogs who do not get out a lot who seem to be most vulnerable.  Healthy adult dogs who frequent day care and dog parks tend to have well-developed immune systems and can weather an outbreak very well.  But it best to be vaccinated and we do require a current bordetella for all Doggies who visit us.

These are the things we look for.  Of course, there are other things you should be doing to make sure your beloved Doggy is happy and healthy.  Always consult your vet with any health-related questions or concerns.