Sterner Veterinary Clinic

821 N. Jefferson St.
Ionia, MI 48846


Why does my puppy need a series of shots?

Newborn puppies have an undeveloped immune system. They depend on protection from their mothers to avoid infections. The mother’s immunity is passed to the pups through special milked called colostrums that the babies eat the first 2 days of life. As this protection wears off we supplement it with vaccinations to keep your puppy safe. The vaccinations given at 6 and 8 weeks of age are helping the antibodies from the pup’s mother. The vaccinations given at 12 and 16 weeks of age are stimulating the puppies’ own immune system for longer last protection.


What if I adopt/obtain an older dog and vaccines history is unknown?

An older dog that has never had any vaccines still needs a series of 2 vaccines 3 or 4 weeks apart. The body has special immune cells that create a “memory” to fight disease months after the vaccine was given. This “memory” is only created by first “introducing” the disease with a first shot and the “reminding” their immune system 1 month later. If the second shot is not given on time, the body will forget the “introduction.”


How often should I vaccinate my adult dog ?

Based on local occurrence of the diseases we vaccinate against, an annual booster should be given. This is needed to “remind” the immune system’s “memory and insure complete prevention of infection.