Vaccinations for Italian Greyhounds
Keeping a dog's vaccinations up-to-date is not only important to help keep the dog healthy, but it is also required by law in many cities or counties. Speak with your veterinarian about the required or recommended vaccinations in your area to ensure you are within compliance and keeping your Italian Greyhounds fully protected.
Over Vaccinating Dogs
New research points that dogs may not need vaccinated annually, and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccination Task Force updated their vaccine protocols in 2011 to reflect these findings. If a veterinarian insists on vaccinating annually, they might just be over-vaccinating to pad their pockets. If you are concerned about over-vaccinating your Italian Greyhound(s), please consult with another vet or request a titer test to be conducted which will determine the amount of antibodies in the blood.
Reactions to Vaccines
Vaccines are meant to help prevent diseases, but can sometimes overwhelm a dogs body causing sluggishness, fever, loss of appetite, pain, sensitivity, swelling or hives, vomiting or diarrhea, difficulty breathing or even seizures. After any pet (not just IGs) receives vaccinations, they should be closely monitored for a few days afterward to ensure any complications do not arise. If any signs appear, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.
Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvo/Parainfluenza And Adenovirus
This common shot prevents an Italian Greyhound against many diseases, and is commonly suggested to be given annually by veterinarians. It may be noted on medical records as DHPP, DA2PPC, DHPPV, DHPP, DA2PP or DA2PPV depending on the particular combination of preventative your veterinarian has selected based on your area. The letters which are part of this acronym stand for Distemper (D), Adenovirus-2 (A2), Hepatitis (H), Parvo (P) and Parainfluenza (P) respectively. Additionally, there may be an L in the acronym with stands for Lepto, which is noted separately below and should be given with caution.
The lepto vaccine is a vaccine which has been known to cause reactions in Italian Greyhounds, so caution should be given if using this vaccination. It can be administered as a combination with distemper (DHLPP), or as a separate shot. Although giving this vaccine should always be given with caution, it may be more risky when given in combination with other shots because it may overwhelm a dog's immune system easier.
Probably the most common vaccine given to dogs, and required by law to be given by pet owners in most cities or counties. An initial shot and booster must be given to puppies. For dogs who the vaccination history is unknown, they should receive follow up vaccination the following year. The rabies is available in 1 and 3 year doses in many states. There is no difference in dosage amounts between the one and three year vaccines, so they should be similar in cost, although many vets charge 3x the cost for a three year dose. So, beware if your vet charges much more for a three year shot.
Although there is not a vaccine for Ehrlichia (Ehrlichia Canis), the best method of preventing your Italian Greyhound from contracting the disease is to avoid areas where ticks are prevalent, and when in those areas to use a flea/tick preventative, or a dog safe tick spray. Since such sprays are generally a type of insecticide, you should speak with your vet about those which are best to use for your area and are safest to use in Italian Greyhounds. If your dog does develop Ehrlichia, treatment can be provided in early stages if noticed, however in advanced cases the dog may develop such symptoms as fever or sluggishness, lameness, excessive bleeding or bruising, eye issues or even neurological problems. If your dog has been bitten by a tick, keep a close eye on them for any fever that may develop and take a trip to a veterinarian if symptoms develop.
Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
Kennel cough preventative is something often required by boarding kennels, doggie day cares and other facilities which house groups of dogs for short periods of time. The actual preventative only protects against a few common strains of the illness, so getting preventative does not guarantee that your IG will avoid getting infected. The vaccine is not very costly, but either is the treatment if it is contracted. Dogs in IGCA Rescue are not treated with kennel cough preventative, and if the dry raspy cough symptoms appear they are given treatment which is effective generally in only a few days. Although a dogs immune system can fight off kennel cough, treatment will help speed up the process and prevent more serious issues like pneumonia from developing.
Heartworm, Flea/Tick, and Worm Prevention
Preventing parasites (especially heartworms) is as important, if not more important than regular vaccinations. Please read our page about heartworm and parasite prevention to learn more about how to prevent these critters from using your Italian Greyhound(s) as a host.