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All About Dog Vaccinations

We all know that vaccinating our pets is necessary (and mandatory). But do you know how they work and what kinds of vaccines are available? Read on to find out everything you need to know about canine vaccination.

All About Dog Vaccinations


Dogs vaccines, what are they?


Vaccination is a process of immunization against a disease by injection, by which a weakened antigen (the causative agent of a disease) is introduced, forcing the body to deal with it in order to destroy it. This means that the disease does not appear or, if it does, it is much milder.

The introduced antigen weakens to the point of not being able to spread the disease, but it is strong enough to force the body to react to immunization. This works for both vaccines in dogs and other animals, including humans. There are different types of vaccines depending on the degree of attenuation of the antigen:


  • Live attenuated vaccine: the organism is alive, but it has lost its virulence. By performing cell culture series, or by inoculating the virus into another animal species where it has no effect.
  • Inactivated vaccine: This type of vaccine deals with antigens and destroys them, but is not able to provide immunity to the body.
  • Synthetic vaccine: It is introduced into the body for the sole purpose of provoking a response to the antigen.


The vaccines in dogs can be of any of these three types, depending on the disease to be treated.

List of Dog Vaccines

The vaccines in dogs are very varied. Some of them serve only to prevent a particular disease, such as rabies. This is called a monovalent vaccine.

Others, on the other hand, are versatile. That is to say, the same injection serves to avoid several different diseases. There are these types of polyvalent vaccines for dogs:


  • Trivalent vaccine: covers distemper (a viral disease that is often fatal, affecting the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and often the nervous system), viral hepatitis and leptospirosis (a bacterial disease that affects several systems including the kidneys and liver; can be fatal. Only a risk in certain geographic locations so not used routinely for every dog. Your vet can help you decide if your dog should have this vaccination).
  • Tetravalent vaccine: protects against parvovirus (a viral disease that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, and which can be fatal), distemper, viral hepatitis and leptospirosis.
  • Pentavalent vaccine: effective against parvovirus, distemper, viral hepatitis, infectious tracheobronchitis and leptospirosis.
  • Hexavalent Vaccine: Faces distemper, viral hepatitis, parvovirus, kennel cough, rabies (a fatal viral disease that attacks the nervous system and that is contagious to humans) and leptospirosis.
  • Heptavalent vaccine: distemper, hepatitis, canine leptospira, leptospira hicterohemorrhagicus, parvovirus, kennel cough, adenovirus type 1.


Find out what side effects some dog vaccines can have.

Some vaccines in dogs are mandatory, others are optional and recommended depending on the environment in which you live. Always check with your vet about your pet's vaccination schedule and make sure you keep as many up-to-date as you need - only then will you be in good health!

All About Dog Vaccinations

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