Which Shots When & What Are All Those Letters?
- How do I know which shot to give my dog or puppy?
- What do all these letters mean?
- What is Lepto and when is it dangerous to vaccinate for it?
- What is the difference between a 5 way and a 7/9 way shot?
- What age can I vaccinate for Rabies and how often?
- How many shots does a puppy really need?
Do any of these questions sound familiar?
There seems to be a lot of confusion and some very common misconceptions or myths about puppy shots and dog vaccinations, in general. Many of these are addressed in our blog post titled "Puppy & Dog Vaccinations: Myths & Facts".
Here is a breakdown of some of those "cryptic" names/letters on some vaccines:
- D - Distemper
- A2 - Adenovirus 2 (includes Hepatitis)
- P - Parainfluenza
- Pv - Parvovirus (AKA CPv or Canine Parvovirus)
- L - Leptospira Bacterin (AKA Lepto, L4 or Leptospirosis)
- Cv - Coronavirus
How many ways...
The first four are known as core vaccines and are usually given to puppies starting at 4-6 weeks and again every 2-3 weeks until at least 16 weeks old. This is commonly known as a 5-way vaccine. If you're counting letters and wondering how we got 5, the A2 has double coverage for Adenovirus and Hepatitis.
The most common vaccines for years have been the 5-way and the 7-way. The 7-way vaccine was the core vaccines (or 5-way) plus 2 strains of Lepto. You can read more about Lepto here.
Just in the last few years veterinarians and vaccine manufacturers have added 2 more strains of Lepto to the 7-way and it is now known as a 9-way. This is a common annual vaccination for most dogs over 12 weeks. There are two other multi-protection vaccines: the 6-way and the 10-way (formerly 8-way). The 6-way has the core 5 + Coronavirus (Corona) and the 10-way has the aforementioned 9 plus Corona. Your vet can help you decide what coverage is best for your area and your dog.
As always, information given here is meant to be helpful and/or educational. It is, in no way, intended to supersede, challenge or supplant the diagnosis, treatment or advice of a licensed veterinarian.
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