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Beagle Vaccinations

The Dog Vaccination Debate

While we know that our Beagles need vaccinations, there is quite a debate stirring regarding booster shots and if they are really needed.

Those against certain boosters argue that when a dog is vaccinated, their body builds immunity to that particular canine disease...Many clinical studies show that booster shots are simply not needed as much as they are commonly given.

Let's take a look at the vaccinations a Beagle needs to have while a puppy and also discuss booster shots that may be needed for an adult dog.
How Many Shots Does my Beagle Need in Their Lifetime?

This answer varies depending on your veterinarian, local laws and your own personal decision. Once the round of standard vaccinations are given, it will be a personal decision as to how often your dog should receive booster shots, if at all.

Are Booster Vaccinations Harmful to Dogs?

Booster shots will not typically harm your Beagle. Once your dog is immune to a disease, this immunity can last for many years, if not a lifetime. Receiving the same dose over and over again is not 100% proven to be necessary
Tip: A puppy will have some antibody protection which is derived from its mother's blood via the placenta. The next level of immunity is from antibodies in the mother’s milk.

This milk, actually called colostrum only gives a puppy antibodies for the first 2 days.

It must be noted that the puppy will only receive antibodies against diseases for which the mother had been recently vaccinated against or exposed to.

The Standard Beagle Vaccination Schedule

Canine vaccinations are and always will be vitally important. While some people talk in great detail about the negative aspects of vaccinations, the pro's far outweigh the slight possibility of any cons. The main element to keep in mind is that shots should be given as recommended by a reputable and trusted veterinarian who follows a safe schedule. A typical and safe schedule looks like this:

At 5 weeks old: Parvovirus.

6 to 8 weeks: Combination Vaccine. This includes a combination that will protect your dog against:

    * Adenovirus
    * Hepatitis
    * Distemper
    * Parainfluenza
    * Parvovirus
Beagle photo by Mick Adam images
This gorgeous photo is courtesy of
Mick Brinkmann of Mick Adam Images
12 weeks old:  Rabies. The age to receive the rabies shot is approximate. Most town/cities/regions have laws for when dogs must receive a rabies shot, as this disease is highly contagious and deadly. *Leptospirosis, for dogs that are at risk.

14 weeks: Your dog will usually need a combination vaccine and what goes into the shot will depend on that dog's particular health risks. For example, a shot to guard again Lyme disease if you live in an area where the risk is high and your dog is outside often. A second * Leptospirosis, for dogs that received the first one at 12 weeks.

16 weeks: * Leptospirosis, 3rd and final inoculation for puppies that received the first 2 at 12 and then 14 weeks. 

* Leptospirosis - This vaccination is a voluntary one and one that owners should put serious thought into. It protects Beagles from the extremely serious Leptospirosis disease caused by the bacterium Leptospira interrogans.  It is usually transmitted via urine of wildlife.  If your Beagle has any access to land that could be home to squirrels, wild hare, deer, raccoon or other wild animals, it would be prudent to have your dog receive this.

Adult: The only shot absolutely needed when your Beagle is an adult dog will be for rabies, and this is per the law of the region that you live in. However, depending on lifestyle, activity and environment, booster shots should be recommended by an experienced veterinarian, but not demanded. If you do have a trusted vet, it is suggested to take his advice to keep your dog healthy.
Adverse Reactions to Vaccines

While rare, a puppy or even older dog may have a bad reaction to a vaccine. For this reason, it is strongly suggested to schedule shots on a day when you will be able to be home with your Beagle. You'll want to keep an eye out for the following signs:
  • Drooping eye
  • Swelling - this can be anywhere, but is most commonly noticed on the face (around the eyes, snout, lips, etc.)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Hives (raised bumps on the skin)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
Some dogs can seem fine at the vet's but then suddenly be in trouble on the ride home. For this reason, keep a close eye on your Beagle while you are in the car and additionally at home for at least 6 hours afterward. 

If you notice any of the above symptoms or any other unusual behavior or other symptoms, do not hesitate to bring your Beagle right back to the office.

If a dog is experiencing an anaphylaxis reaction, treatment must be given ASAP and usually involved a shot of epinephrine.
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