Vaccinating Your Pit Bull Puppy

Prevention assures the best quality of life for your pet. Vaccinating your dog is the best and least costly way to prevent disease.

Nursing Puppies:

Nursing puppies receive antibodies from their mother’s milk (called maternal antibodies) that protect against disease during the first months of its life. If the pups mother had all her shots brought up to date just before she was bred, the puppies have a higher degree of immunity.  Unfortunately, these antibodies can also keep a vaccine from being effective. Maternal antibodies gradually decrease during the first few months of the pup’s life. That’s why puppies are given a series of vaccination doses spread out over six  to 16 weeks of age. That way, if maternal antibodies interfere with early vaccinations, later doses will still stimulate the pup to produce its own antibodies to the disease.

* DHL-PPC: (“6 in 1”) DHL This is a term used to describe the vaccination for three of the most contagious diseases known to attack dogs and puppies. It is very important that this shot be kept up to date. (D) Distemper Virus: This is so widespread that your dog will very likely be exposed during its lifetime.  Distemper’s high death rate makes vaccination essential. Dogs with distemper may suffer coughing, vomiting, seizures, diarrhea, and other painful signs followed by death.

(H) Infectious Canine Hepatitis Virus: This virus affects your dog’s liver. It spreads through an infected dog’s urine and exposure can mean anything from a mild infection to death.

(L) Leptospirosis: This is a bacteria that affects your dog’s kidneys.  Disability or even death in severe cases may occur. “Lepto” can reside as a low level infection for months or even years, infection other dogs while weakening yours. Lepto is contagious to people.

PARVO: Parvovirus is highly contagious and life-threatening to your dog or puppy. This virus attacks the digestive tract. A first typical symptom is not eating, and a very quiet behavior. The disease causes severe dehydration, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and death, especially in puppies. It can be transmitted through contact with an infected dog’s feces. This virus is also  airborne. The virus can live for months in the environment. You may feel your dog is safe in its own back yard, but he can be infected by a dog in the neighborhood who has Parvo. If the wind is right or if the dog was out for a walk. You can also carry the virus on your own body, such as your hands or shoes. Only dogs can get Parvo. Get your dog to the vet IMMEDIATELY if these symptoms occur. If your dog contracts Parvo, you must clean everything he was near with chlorine bleach. It is the most effective method of killing the Parvovirus.

KENNEL COUGH Kennel Cough may be caused by canine Parainfluenza virus or canine adenovirus type 2 and several other viruses and bacteria. Canine cough or Tracheobronchitis is an upper respiratory infection that shows up as a persistent, dry, hacking cough (sort of like bronchitis in humans). The disease may last several weeks and is highly  contagious. This too is an airborne disease. It is generally only dangerous to small puppies and older dogs, but can become a serious problem if left untreated.

CORONA: Coronavirus is an intestinal infection which causes vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. It can affect a high percentage of dogs and cause death in puppies. This infection weakens your dog and can also make it more susceptible to other intestinal diseases. The symptoms are similar to those of Parvo, as is the transmission.

* BORDETELLA: This is another type of “kennel cough”. It is caused by bacteria. If your dog is going to stay at a boarding kennel or will be around a lot of other dogs, this can be a concern. The vaccination is given as a nasal spray.


* RABIES: One of the most publicized and feared diseases, is almost always fatal. Rabies virus attacks the brain and central nervous system, and is transmitted to humans chiefly through the bite of an infected animal. It is a public health hazard and a risk to all pet owners. There is no cure for rabies. Preventive vaccination is your pet’s only protection. RABIES VACCINATIONS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW FOR ALL DOGS. Cases of rabies have been fairly rare in recent years, there are outbreaks in some areas occasionally.

6 – 8 weeks:
1st puppy shot (DHLPP) + Corona
11 –12 weeks:
2nd puppy shot (DHLPP) + Corona
15-16 weeks:
3rd puppy shot (DHLPP) + Corona
Over 4 months:
Rabies ( repeat 1 year later)

7-9 months:
1st Heartworm test

Adult Dogs (after 1 year)
DHLPP - Yearly
Heartworm Test - Yearly
Rabies - Every three years (after 2nd shot)
Bordatella - Yearly

Common Dog Vaccine Side Effects

Vaccine Reactions: What To Expect After Your Dog’s Vaccination

First-Year Puppy Vaccinations; A Complete Guide (AKC)

Why do Puppies Need Deworming?
Intestinal parasites such as
roundworms , hookworms , tapeworms , and whipworms are common among young puppies. All puppies should be given a dewormer for easily-prevented illness caused by these parasites. 

Fast Facts about Parasites and Dogs (Parasite Screening Pet Owner Brochure)

Worms Dogs Get: Intestinal Parasites & Dog Wormers from A to Z


Other Types of Dog Parasites:

Internal: Hartworm

Non-Worm Parasites: Coccidia, Giardia, Spirochetes

External: Fleas, Ticks, Lice and Mites

AKC Dog Health - Dog Parasites