When Should Dogs Be Vaccinated for Distemper?

by Betty Lewis
    The canine distemper vaccine is safe and effective for puppies.

    The canine distemper vaccine is safe and effective for puppies.

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    Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease easily spread through something as simple as a sneeze. Puppies and unvaccinated adult dogs are vulnerable to this illness, which can have fatal consequences. However, vaccinating your pup according to the American Animal Hospital Association's guidelines will keep Kirby safe.

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    Unfortunately, canine distemper is an illness that's easy to share. Respiratory secretions as well as feces and urine of infected dogs are common ways this viral disease is spread. The good news is the canine distemper vaccination, or CDV, does a great job of keeping distemper at bay. The American Animal Hospital Association updated its vaccination guidelines for dogs in 2011. If Kirby is younger than 16 weeks of age, he should be vaccinated every three to four weeks between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks. For example, he may have his three vaccinations at 6, 10 and 14 weeks. The AAHA recommends a booster at one year followed by an updated vaccination every three years. If your pup is older than 16 weeks, he'll make do with one shot, followed by a vaccination every three years afterward. Though the AAHA recommends updating the vaccination every three years, the organization notes the vaccines should provide immunity for at least five years.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis has been writing professionally since 2000, specializing in animal care and issues, business analysis and homeland security. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University as well as master’s degrees from Old Dominion University and Tulane University.