Beagle Vaccinations 101: A Full Guide
As your puppy grows older, their beagle vaccinations are as imperative as their regular veterinary checkups.
While your beagle puppy is nursing, their mother’s milk provides them with powerful antibodies that protect them from diseases.
However, the transition phase between when they’ve weaned off of their mother’s milk and their adulthood is a critical one.
You will now assume the responsibility of protecting and caring for your beagle puppy, to ensure that they have a happy, long, healthy life.
What Are Vaccines?
Medicines are reactive as they cure and protect against disease.
Vaccines are proactive as they are meant to prevent the disease.
Vaccines contain a weakened or killed antigen that mimics a disease-causing agent. It is weak enough not to cause disease but strong enough to activate your beagle’s immunity against the disease.
When it is administered to your puppy, they are purposefully introducing a weakened or killed bacteria or virus to their bodies. Why? Because if the fully-fledged disease is ever encountered by your dog, their body’s immune system will rapidly recognize the offending agent and will destroy it, thereby preventing disease.
Legal Parameters of Vaccines
At the moment, beagle vaccinations cover more than 11 different diseases. By law, you are required to only vaccinate against your dog against rabies. However, depending on your region where certain diseases may be more prevalent, there may be additional legal requirements for vaccinations. To ensure compliance, reach out to your local town or city hall.
Core and Non-Core Vaccines
Core Vaccines are generally recommended and essential. These vaccines cover rabies, canine distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Core vaccines protect your beagle for years or even for their whole life.
Non-Core Vaccines are optional. These vaccines cover Lyme disease, kennel cough, coronavirus, giardiasis, measles, and leptospirosis. Non-core vaccines are potentially more dangerous and weaker compared to core vaccine counterparts.
The Core Vaccines
Rabies, which causes the brain to swell, is likely the most well-known virulent disease affecting beagles. As it can be transmitted from canines to humans and is almost always fatal, the rabies vaccine is required by law.
Canine adenovirus/hepatitis infects a beagle’s liver and kidneys. It is spread via saliva, urine, nasal discharge or feces. Chronic renal issues and/or death are common results of canine adenovirus. It is different from human hepatitis.
Canine distemper attacks the nervous, respiratory and digestive systems. Currently, there is no known cure, unfortunately.
Parvovirus is highly contagious. It attacks the circulatory system, specifically white blood cells. It may also damage cardiac muscle, leading to chronic heart problems or death. Death can occur within 24-48 hours. It is not communicable to humans.
The Non-Core Vaccines
Lyme disease usually encompasses arthritis, lameness, and joint inflammation. It is passed to beagles through vectors, such as ticks. Fortunately, Lyme disease can be treated and is rarely fatal in dogs.
Kennel cough as you likely gathered is a highly contagious respiratory infection. It is caused by either the bordetella bacteria or the parainfluenza virus. Bear in mind: if you plan on bringing your beagle to doggy daycare, or anywhere else where they may be exposed to many other dogs, you may consider having them vaccinated for this, as it is highly communicable. It is treated with antibiotics and prevented by vaccines.
Coronavirus causes diarrhea. Puppies are at the highest risk of mortality, particularly ones younger than 12 weeks old. Older puppies and dogs frequently overcome the disease in a matter of days.
Giardiasis is usually caught from the parasite giardia in another dog’s infected fecal matter. It causes diarrhea, yet it can be treated.
Measles is related to the distemper, which as you noticed above is one of the essentials. So why is it on this list? Well, it’s only given to beagle puppies that are at a markedly higher risk for canine distemper between the ages of 4 to 10 weeks old.
Leptospirosis is procured by soil, infected water or even other animals. Beagles that live on farms and ones that live in kennels are at higher risk. This disease is treatable in dogs by antibiotics. It is contagious to humans.
How Are Vaccines Administered?
Vaccines may come in injection, liquid or spray form. Beagle vaccinations are only administered by a licensed veterinarian.
What Is The Vaccination Schedule?
Boosters & Titers
Before having their annual vaccinations administered, many owners opt-in for titer testing.
Titer tests evaluate your beagle’s immunity levels and help to determine which if any vaccinations are necessary.
One that is not optional is, you guessed it: rabies. That is required by law.
Potential Side Effects
Just like with any other type of medication, side effects can occur. They are fortunately rare, therefore the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Some side effects to looks out for include:
- Behavior changes
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling and pain on the site of injection
- Difficulty in breathing
If you observe any of these conditions in your beagle or are simply concerned, contact the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Booster vaccines pose slightly higher risks than those vaccines which are injected only once during your beagle’s lifetime. Although boosters are necessary against some highly contagious and fatal diseases such as rabies.
We would like to think of vaccines as fool-proof. However, vaccine failure can occur and allow your beagle to develop an ailment that they had been vaccinated against.
A primary cause is that the beagle puppy’s immune system never developed immunity to a specific disease.
Other causes include:
- The vaccine had been stored for a long time and the potency of the antigens inside has decreased.
- The vaccine was incorrectly prepared, there it may contain too few antigens to be effective.
- The injected vaccine antigen differed from the disease-causing agent.
What Are The Costs For Vaccinating My Beagle?
Beagle vaccinations costs do vary widely depending on the disease being treated, your location, manufacturer of the vaccine, and even your veterinarian.
- The average cost will be around $75—100. These will include the core vaccines, which are administered in a series of three: at 6-, 12-, and 16 weeks old.
- The core vaccines include the DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza). Your pup will also need a rabies vaccination, which is usually around $15—20. (Some clinics include the cost of the rabies vaccination.)
- Often animal shelters charge less for vaccines — approximately $20 — or are even free. If you acquired your dog from a shelter, he would most likely have been vaccinated, up until the age when you got him.
Shelters and rescues may vaccinate your dog for a much lower price, or even sometimes free.
Vaccines are excellent defenses to preventing your beagle from contracting potentially harmful or fatal illnesses.
Some illnesses such as rabies are incurable, with the terminal solution being to euthanize the beagle.
No one should have to put through that. So to avoid these types of scenarios, beagle vaccinations are a proactive and effective approach to ensuring their long and healthy life.
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