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What vaccines should Pit Bull puppies get?

The examination portion of your puppy's visit to the veterinarian is just as important as getting her properly vaccinated against infectious diseases
The examination portion of your puppy's visit to the veterinarian is just as important as getting her properly vaccinated against infectious diseases
Rodney Scot Photography

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, “Vaccines provide proven life-saving benefits, are associated with minimal risk, and should be part of routine preventative health care".

Different veterinarians utilize different protocols when vaccinating young puppies, sometimes dependent on the region where they practice. Not every pet needs protection via Rattle Snake vaccination, nor is every pet at risk for acquiring Lyme disease.Though protocols may differ regionally, there are core vaccines that are recommended by experts to keep your puppy protected against fatal infections.

For normal routine puppy vaccines, the first round should not be given to puppies less than five weeks of age, (this does not include de-worming, which typically start at two weeks of age) and should be given by the end of the sixth week. The following is considered an ideal vaccination schedule:

Age: 6 weeks

  • DHPP, (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
  • Veterinarians will usually check a fecal sample to properly de-worm puppies on this initial visit
  • Heartworm and flea prevention should be started on this visit and administered every 30 days for the remainder of the pets life to protect against parasitic infections

Age: 9 weeks

  • DHPP, (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
  • De-worming

Age: 12 weeks

  • DHLPP, (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptosporosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
  • CBV, (Canine Bordatella Vaccine) Intranasal can be given once, if injectable, should be boostered at final visit.
  • De-worming

Age: 15 weeks

  • DHLPP, (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptosporosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
  • CRV1, (Canine Rabies Vaccine, 1 year)
  • Veterinarians will typically check a fecal sample at this final puppy visit to ensure that no worms are present

After the puppy series is completed, your veterinarian should see your Pit Bull back at the year mark after the last round of vaccinations given.

In order for the immune system to recognize and combat the diseases that your veterinarian is vaccinating your puppy against, it is important for them to have multiple exposures, (hence the repeated vaccinations at a young age, and then annual, or tri-annual boosters throughout their lifetime).

State laws mandate that all canines are vaccinated properly against the Rabies vaccination. Though other vaccinations are not necessarily mandated by state, it is critical to a puppy’s health to receive protection against these prevalent diseases. Every responsible dog owner should understand the importance of vaccinations and how the immune system responds to them. A trusted veterinarian is your true source for the best information regarding keeping your puppy safe.

It is not recommended that you purchase your own vaccinations and inject your puppy yourself, unless you are a licensed veterinarian. Due to handling, vaccinations given by owners can often fail and land a new puppy in the emergency room. The other benefit to allowing your veterinarian to administer vaccinations is the physical exam which comes with the inoculations. Your puppy’s Doctor will listen to her heart, lungs, and abdomen, as well as ensure that their eyes, ears, noses, and all other parts are functioning normally. In the event that something is amiss, your veterinarian is more likely to catch the issue during a physical exam than the untrained eyes and ears may be at home.

Want to learn more about the guidelines for vaccinating puppies? Read what the experts have to say in the published AAHA guidelines which were developed by doctors proficient in immunology, infectious diseases, law, internal medicine, and clinical practice.

For further information or questions about immunization, email Sara at dogexaminer@yahoo.com.

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