Man, I know that I've talked about this before and the information is all over the place, but here's today's emailed question:
> hi all i have a 8 week old puppy and i gave him a 7-1 shot that i
got from the local farm store and i need to know how often do i give
them and how many of them do i give to him? sorry to ask but i cant go
to the vet right now and the vet said i have to bring him in they wont
give me any info about it at all help please
P.S. does the 7-1 shots count as puppy shots?
So, other than the rambling sentence construction here, this is a good question. Texting and email have made so many people lazy that I know I'll offend you all by suggesting that you punctuate and capitalize.
We vaccinate people and animals for diseases that are serious or fatal, and for which we do not have a good treatment. If we can't treat it, let's try to prevent it. A vaccine is a preparation containing the germs that cause a disease. The germs have been grown in a laboratory and either killed or weakened so that they cannot harm the patient.
When these are injected into the body, the body's natural defenses react to them as though they were the real-live germ that causes the disease, and produce protection against that disease. Then the individual is ready and waiting and "loaded for bear" if they ever meet the live germ.
This is like peace-time war games. Here's what the enemy looks like, so get prepared to fight. Of course, since we're asking the body's defenses to do extra work, they have to be in good shape to start with. There is no point in trying to vaccinate a sick or debilitated puppy. It doesn't work.
Young puppies do not respond like adults when given the same vaccines. Instead of making a high level of protection for a year, they make a low level, and they may quit in a few weeks. Or they may not respond at all. That is why we start vaccinating at weaning age (6 to 8 weeks) and repeat the "puppy shots" at 3 to 4 week intervals until the puppy is at least 14 weeks old.
In dogs we worry most about distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies.
The "7-in-1" shot contains the killed or weakened germs that cause distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and some respiratory viruses. It does not contain rabies. Different vaccines may contain slightly different combinations.
The vaccines from different manufacturers vary in how effective they are at stimulating the dog's defenses to protect itself. If the vaccine has not been properly stored (kept cold, not frozen), it will not be effective at all. If it has ever warmed up to room temperature for any length of time to speak of, it will not be effective. With over-the-counter vaccines, you have no assurance of effectiveness.
When you administer this yourself, there is also the possibility that you do so incorrectly. In the rare event of a serious vaccine reaction (and they do happen sometimes), you will not be equipped to treat it.
So good luck with that. Without a good examination by your veterinarian, you may overlook significant medical problems and parasite problems that could be easily treated in the early stages, but be very serious later on.
You get what you pay for, and you're not paying much or getting much at the feed store. (Does the same go for this advice?)