If you have ever rescued a dog from a dog shelter, you know they tell you the dog has received its shots, which consists of one set. They will inform you the dog will be good for a year, then they will need their shots again. You may have wondered why the dog was good after one set when the shelter knows nothing about the dog's history. Those could have been the only vaccinations the dog has ever had, so why don't they need booster shots the same as puppies? You can learn the real reason why your puppy needs so many vaccinations by reading the information here.
Puppies receive antibodies from their mother
While a puppy is still dependent on its mother, the mother's vaccinations will come in to play. The puppy will receive antibodies from the mother's milk during the first few days of nursing. These antibodies help to keep the litter of puppies from getting sick. The antibodies they get from the milk help to protect the puppies from things like bacterial and viral illnesses while the puppy is still so young and fragile.
The mother's antibodies affect vaccinations
Since the puppy received the antibodies from the mother, the antibodies will block any vaccinations that the puppy receives, making the vaccinations null and void. This means if the puppy was given vaccinations with the mother's antibodies still in their system, then it is just like the puppy never received any vaccinations.
The mother's milk will then only supply the puppy with these antibodies for a certain amount of time. Once the antibodies leave the puppy's system, the puppy will be susceptible to a wide range of illnesses should they come into contact with any germs or bacteria that can make them sick.
Your timing has to be just right
The first, second, or possibly even third vaccinations your puppy is given could all be wasted if they still had their mother's antibodies in them. However, if you don't give the puppy its shots and the antibodies were gone, then they can get sick very easily. Therefore, puppies are given so many sets because you need to make sure you give them the shots at that perfect window where they no longer have the mom's antibodies to push out the vaccination and before the puppy comes into contact with something that gets them ill. If there was a real way to know exactly when the puppy no longer had its mother's antibodies then they wouldn't need so many shots.
Always follow the vet's advice
You should always bring your puppy in for as many series of shots as the vet recommends. Always ask for a shot record as well. The shot record helps you know when your puppy will need more shots, and it gives you something to show places like boarding facilities or groomers who may require proof of shots. To learn more about animal vaccinations, contact services such as Jones Animal Health Clinic.