Vaccinations are your puppy's first line of defense against pathogens and diseases. When they're young, their bodies and immune system are still much more susceptible than when they're an adult. Due to this reason, most veterinarians recommend that you start vaccinating your puppies when they reach 6 to 8 weeks of age. Getting vaccinated can be a very scary experience for your puppy.
Here are 3 things that you can do afterwards to put them at ease and to confirm that the shots did what they're supposed to do.
Watch Out for Signs of Problematic Side Effects
It's not uncommon for some puppies to experience some side effects after getting their shots. This is just their bodies reacting to the chemical agents inside the vaccinations, and minor side effects, like decreased appetite and activity and any mild fever or swelling, should subside within a day or two. Now is not a good time to leave your puppy alone for long periods of time. You want to keep a watchful eye on their condition for the next several days. If minor side effects persist, bring your puppy back to the vet just to get them checked out.
Some puppies can also have a major reaction to the vaccinations. These side effects include persistent vomiting or diarrhea, hives, severe coughing or difficulty breathing and collapse. These side effects are dangerous, and your puppy should seek medical attention immediately.
Check Immunity Levels by Checking Titers in Bloodstream
If the vaccinations did their job, then the antibodies should show up in your puppy's bloodstream after several days or weeks. The veterinarian can confirm that your puppy's immunity has improved by checking their bloodstream for titers. This might also give you further insight as to whether your puppy needs any booster shots in the future. Due to how stressful getting vaccinated can be for a puppy, try to avoid getting booster shots if they are not necessary. It'll also put your mind at ease to know that your puppy is immune to certain diseases.
If the titers in the bloodstream exceed a certain level, then your puppy will be good to go. If it doesn't, speak to the veterinarian regarding the other options or alternatives that are ready. Keep in mind that the various titers for different vaccinations will take different amounts of time to show up.
Keep Your Puppy as Comfortable as Possible
It's normal for your puppy to be more fatigued than usual after getting their shots. Some puppies are going to sleep a lot more than usual or are going to feel under the weather for several days afterwards. This is when they need your affection and attention the most. To help them recover much more quickly from their shots, keep your puppy as comfortable as possible. This means that you should avoid taking them out for a super long walk or trying to get them to participate in strenuous exercises. Let them rest if they need it.
Provide your puppy with a warm and comfortable place that is free of distractions to rest. Now is not a good time to overstimulate or excite them. Shower them with lots of affection, praises and treats to help them feel better. This will also make going to the vet a much less stressful experience for them.
Getting vaccinated is a huge deal for a puppy. Going to the vet can be a stressful experience, and their body might react negatively to the vaccination. Learn more about the process and get questions to your other questions by visiting resources like http://www.lansdaleveterinarian.com/ to consult with vets.