Protecting Our Dogs And Puppies

Dogs are wonderful companion animals. They need a high quality balanced diet, plenty of fresh water, regular exercise and companionship. Dogs are, by nature, pack animals. Living alone in the backyard is not natural for them and may cause anxiety and destructive behavior. They are happiest when they are part of your family.

In addition to food, shelter and water, Pet Network recommends that all dogs are kept up to date with their vaccines, regularly treated with a quality flea control product, spayed or neutered, have a Microchip Identification and are licensed.

Vaccination & Disease Prevention Information

How Vaccines Work

Vaccinations prevent disease by stimulating your pet's immune system to produce antibodies that protect them from disease causing viruses and bacteria. Each time a vaccination is repeated it reminds the immune system to produce protective antibodies. After the initial series most vaccinations are repeated annually to continue to remind the immune system to protect your pet.

You must plan ahead to protect your pet . It takes time for your pet's immune system to build the number of antibodies that are needed to protect them. Having your pet vaccinated the same day as they are boarded or having surgery leaves them without protection while they are in a situation where they could be exposed to disease. Most vaccines take 10 days to provide protection.

Side Effects Of Vaccines

A small number of pets may have an allergic reaction or an adverse side effect from a vaccine. Symptoms may include lethargy (tired, sedate behavior), soreness or a lump at the site of injection, hives, swelling, vomiting, difficulty breathing or even death. If your pet has any of these symptoms please report the reaction to our office. Our phone number is (760) 744-5300.

If your pet is having repeated episodes of vomiting, its' face is swollen or it is having difficulty breathing, or if you feel that your pet needs medical attention, please get medical attention for your pet. For pets that were vaccinated at our clinic, we offer treatment for allergic reactions, free of charge, during regularly scheduled clinic hours. Treatment may also be obtained through your local animal hospital or 24-hour emergency animal clinic, however any fees or charges will be the responsibility of the pet owner.

What Vaccinations Do Dogs Need

Dogs should have the following vaccinations:

  • DA2PP or DA2LPP
  • Corona
  • Bordetella
  • Rabies
  • Dogs that are exposed to ticks should also be vaccinated for Lyme Disease.
  • Dogs that are exposed to outdoor water sources that may be contaminated with animal feces (hunting, camping) or dogs that frequently travel, may benefit from the Giardia vaccine.
  • Additionally dogs should be protected from Heartworm, which is a life threatening disease carried by mosquitoes. Your dog is protected by being tested for Heartworm every 2 years and taking a Heartworm preventative medication once a month.

How Often Should My Dog Be Vaccinated

  • Puppies need to receive a series of vaccinations. Our staff will assist you in determining the appropriate vaccination schedule for your puppy.
  • The DA2(L)PP, Corona, Bordetella and Lyme Disease vaccines are normally given once a year
  • The Rabies vaccination should be given when your dog is 4 months old, repeated one year later, and then repeated every 3 years
  • Adult pets that have not had all of the vaccinations on an annual basis may need two doses of vaccine to rebuild protection.
  • High risk situations may require supplemental doses of the Parvo or Bordetella vaccines - Please see "Special Notes for Dog Owners"

    Special Notes for Dog Owners

  • Due to the number of allergic reactions to Leptospirosis during the puppy series we do not recommend getting the Leptospirosis vaccine until 12 weeks of age, and don't recommend the Leptospirosis vaccine for Miniature Pinchers, Dachshunds or dogs who have had previous allergic responses to vaccines or bee stings.
  • If your dog goes to a grooming establishment, boarding facility, dog show or socializes with other dogs the Bordetella vaccine should be given every 6 months.
  • If you have to board your dog at a boarding facility and he/she has not been vaccinated for bordetella within the last 6 months, you should vaccinate your pet for Bordetella before boarding. It takes 10 days for an injectable Bordetella vaccine to provide protection, and 3 days for an intranasal Bordetella vaccine to provide protection.
  • If your dog goes to dog beaches, parks, or socializes with other dogs or if your pet is a Doberman Pincher or Rottweiler:
    • An additional dose of Parvo vaccine should be added to the puppy series (given 4 weeks after the last dose of DA2LPP in the series) and
    • The Parvo vaccine should be given every 6 months, once as part of the DA2LPP (Distemper/Parvo combination vaccine) and once as an individual vaccination.
  • The number of cases of Heartworm has been steadily rising in Southern California We strongly recommend that all dogs are protected from this disease.

What Dog Diseases Can Be Prevented By Vaccination?

The DA2LPP (6 in 1) vaccine protects our cats from the following six diseases:

  • Distemper - A widespread, and often fatal disease, which can cause diarrhea, fever, pneumonia, seizures, and a discharge from the eyes and nose.
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis A virus that affects the dogs liver. It spreads through an infected dog's urine or other secretions and exposure can mean anything from a mild infection to severe kidney damage or death.
  • Adnovirus type 2 & Parainfluenza - Viruses that cause canine cough or tracheobronchitis, an upper respiratory infection that causes a persistent, dry, hacking cough.
  • Leptospirosis - A bacterial infection which often leads to permanent kidney damage. It is very contagious to other dogs and to humans. It is spread through contact with nasal secretions, urine or saliva of infected animals.
  • Parvovirus - A widespread, highly contagious life threatening virus. Symptoms may include fever, depression, and loss of appetite, severe gastrointestinal distress, dehydration, shock & possibly death. Transmission occurs through direct or indirect contact with infected feces. The virus is particularly resistant and can persist within the environment for many months

There are also vaccinations that protect our dogs from the following diseases:

  • Coronavirus A highly contagious viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract which causes vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Bordetella A bacteria that infects the upper respiratory tract causing canine cough or tracheobronchitis. Can lead to pneumonia. Symptoms include a persistent, dry, hacking cough.
  • Rabies - A fatal infection of the central nervous system that can affect all mammals, including man. The virus is transmitted from animal to animal and animal to man primarily through the bite of an infected animal. Routine vaccination is the key to controlling this dreaded disease.
  • Lyme Disease - A complex illness that affects wild and domestic animals, as well as humans. Caused by a bacterium carried by the Western Black Legged Tick and the Deer Tick. Symptoms include fever, arthritis, severe pain and lameness.
  • Giardia - A parasite that lives in cold, wet environments and is transmitted through water sources contaminated with animal feces. Giardia causes diarrhea and weight loss. Young animals and animals with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk. Dogs that drink from streams, rivers or puddles that have been contaminated with feces of other animals (hunting dogs, farm dogs, camping), and dogs kenneled in high density kennels (shelters, breeding kennels, shows) are also at high risk.


Heartworm, What Is It & How Can I Protect My Dog From It?

Heartworms are the most dangerous of all canine parasites and can cause heart disease and organ failure which can lead to death. Heartworm larvae are transmitted to an animal through the bite of an infected mosquito. Adult Heartworms may reach a length of 6-14 inches. They live in the artery near the right side of the heart as well as in the lungs. Symptoms include diminished appetite, chronic coughing, listlessness, and weight loss. If not detected and controlled, Heartworm infection can lead to congestive heart failure and death.

Preventing Heartworm is a simple two step process. Every 2 years a blood test is done to ensure that your dog does not have Heartworm. Once the test has been run a preventative medication will be prescribed. The medication is beef flavored. One dose is given each month.
Additional Information For Puppy Owners

One Set of shots does not protect your young pet!

Your puppy will need to get a series of vaccinations to build protection from deadly diseases and to replace the protection that it got from its mother. Vaccines prevent disease, they do not cure disease. Vaccinations should not be given when your pet is ill.

To keep your puppy safe, please keep your pet away from unknown or ill animals and areas where unknown or ill animals may have been within the last 6 months. This isolation should continue until 10 days after the final vaccinations in the puppy series have been given. (Vaccines may take up to 10 days after administration to provide protection.)

Your puppy should begin its vaccination series between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Your puppy should be vaccinated and de-wormed every 4 weeks until it is at least 16 weeks old. If your puppy is over 16 weeks old when it begins its vaccination series, your pet will need at least 2 sets of vaccinations, given 2-4 weeks apart.

After the initial puppy series has been given, your pet will need to get vaccinations once a year to continue to be protected.

Pet Network recommends that puppies are spayed or neutered 10-14 days after they have completed their vaccination series. This allows the vaccinations to be effective before your pet is placed in a stressful situation where it may be exposed to animals that are ill.

Click Here To View Our Recommended Puppy & Dog Initial Vaccination Series Schedule

Internal Parasites (Worms) & Your Dog

The two most common worms seen in dogs are Tapeworm and Roundworm.


  • Almost all puppies have roundworm. Roundworm sheds in cycles and may or may not be detected in a fecal exam. Most adult dogs do not get roundworm. Roundworm is often not seen but may be present in your pets stool or vomit and resembles spaghetti. Pet Network recommends that all puppies under 6 months of age be treated for roundworm. It is treated with Strongid-T, a yellow, liquid oral medication.


  • Tapeworm is carried by fleas. A pet may get tapeworm by ingesting a flea or eating a flea infested animal. Tapeworm sheds in cycles and may appear to go away without treatment, only to return a week or more later. When tapeworm sheds, small rice-like segments are visible in your pets stool or around their anus. You may also notice dehydrated segments that look like sesame seeds in or around your pets bedding. Tapeworm is treated with a medication called Droncit. It comes in an injectable form and a pill form. The treatment will kill any tapeworm in your pet, but does not prevent your pet from getting Tapeworm again. The most effective way to prevent tapeworm is by regularly applying flea control, such as Advantage or Frontline to your pet. This will not prevent animals that hunt and eat their pray from getting tapeworm, but will prevent the most common transmission of tapeworm from a flea to your pet.

Pet Network does not recommend the use of over-the-counter de-wormers for your pet. In general they are not effective against tapeworm and if not dosed properly may be dangerous or even fatal to your pet.

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