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Chihuahua Puppy Shots and Vaccinations


The subject of Chihuahua puppy shots has become a very hot topic recently.

The consensus seems split into two:

There are those who claim that dogs are receiving too many shots, vaccinations that are not needed. The opposite side of the coin is those who insist these are needed.

So what is a dog owner to do? Who do you listen to?

While you must make your own decision, not many could argue that it would be wise to make a knowledgeable decision after reading all of the facts.

When a dog is vaccinated, their body builds immunity to the disease that could otherwise strike the dog.
Therefore, many clinical studies show that booster shots are simply not needed as much as they are commonly given. 

They "build immunity" for a dog that already has it.

However, it is suggested that all dogs receive the regular round of shots that are generally recommended; this will ensure good health and even protect others, such as the rabies shot.

What Are the Necessary Chihuahua Puppy Shots? 

Guarding your dog against illness is still and always will be vitally important. As a puppy is weaned from the dam, the pup should then receive the first rounds of shots, as they will no longer be receiving immunity from dam's milk.

For the health of your dog, your Chihuahua will need the following vaccinations at the vet or animal clinic (additional shots may be needed depending on the location that you live and possible risks of that location).

Let's look at a typical vaccination schedule for a Chihuahua:

5 weeks 

• Parvovirus**: For puppies at high risk of exposure to parvo. 

6 weeks

• Combination vaccine* 

9 weeks

• Combination vaccine*

12 weeks or older (sometimes as old as 16 to 26 weeks)

• Rabies: Age at vaccination may vary according to your local laws.

12-16 weeks

• Combination vaccine*
• Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Adult ***(boosters) Also, see below

• Combination vaccine. 
• Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs. 
• Rabies: Time interval between vaccinations may vary according to local law.

* A combination vaccine, often called a 5-way vaccine, usually includes coronavirus, hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza and parvovirus. Some combination vaccines may also include leptospirosis (6-way vaccine), if you live in an area where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs (see more below about leptospirosis).

** Some puppies may need additional vaccinations against parvovirus after 15 weeks of age. You will want to talk to your veterinarian about this.

*** According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs at low risk of disease exposure may not need to be boostered yearly for most diseases. Speak with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your Chihuahua. Remember, recommendations vary depending on the age and health status of the dog, the potential of the dog to be exposed to the disease, the type of vaccine, whether the dog is used for breeding and the geographical area where the dog lives or may visit.
About Adult Booster Shots- The only vaccination absolutely needed when your Chihuahua is an adult dog will be for rabies, and this is per the law of the region that you live in. However, depending on lifestyle, activity and environment, booster shots should be recommended by an experienced veterinarian, but not demanded. 

If you do have a trusted vet, it is suggested to take his advice to keep your dog healthy.

About the Leptospirosis vaccine - In general, this breed does not react well to the Leptospirosis vaccine. For this reason, we do not recommend that any Chi's be given this unless there is a high risk of exposure in your immediate area. If your puppy did have this and did have a reaction, discuss this with the veterinarian beforehand.

Then if it is determined that he or she does require another one, your puppy can be kept under watch for reaction and intervention can be started as soon as any signs begin.

Possible Adverse Reactions and Side Effects 

It is not uncommon for this tiny breed to have a reaction to a vaccination. The following can be expected:
  • A low fever 
  • Minor muscle aches 
  • A bit more sleepy than normal 
With this said, there are some that may have a more severe reaction. It happens to even large breed dogs. When you bring your Chihuahua for his puppy shots, you should do this at a time when you will be able to be near him or her for at least 6 hours afterward. 

Begin watching him from the moment that you leave the veterinarian. We have had a puppy begin to show signs during the car ride home from the veterinarian clinic.

Symptoms that you will want to watch out for are:
  • Swelling - This is often most evident on the face. Swelling may appear around the eyes, causing them to look warped or very small.... It may also appear around the mouth...Or all over the face in general. 
  • Hives - With short coats, this will of course be more obvious... But with either variety you can often notice hives on the belly. 
  • Vomiting - When this happens within 10 hours of a Chihuahua having puppy shots, this is often not a coincidence...It is a reaction to the vaccination.  This may be regurgitation of food or it may be vomiting foam (bile) if the stomach is empty. 
This adverse reactions can happen anywhere from a few minutes to hours after you leave the clinic. Be aware that a puppy may develop a negative reaction while you are driving him back home in the car. 
Per safety guidelines, you will want your Chihuahua to be in a canine car seat, in the back seat. Therefore, it is recommended to have someone with you if possible. 
In addition, it is best if you schedule vaccinations on a day that you will be able to stay home with your puppy to keep an eye on him. It is dangerous to bring a puppy for shots and then leave him home alone.

An antihistamine medication will often work to stop any of the above reactions. We highly suggest immediately bringing your Chihuahua back to the veterinarian for this so that he or she can receive the proper dose which will depend on the size of the puppy and the severity of the reaction. 

Since a reaction may appear minor at first and then rapidly worsen, we highly suggest obtaining professional care right away so that the pup can be evaluated.

How Much Vaccinations Cost

No one should feel awkward wondering about how much vaccination cost, because of course you want to take great care of your Chi and at the same time an owner does need to budget money for necessary care.
With this said, the cost does vary quite a bit. Some veterinarian offices offer a one-step-payment in order to keep you as a loyal client, and with that type of plan one payment ranging from $150 to $350 will cover all vaccinations including boosters.

Alternatively, an owner may wish to pay at each visit and this price will range depending on which vaccinations are given. The cost can range from $15 to $50 USD.

In some areas, pet supply stores offer vaccinations however with this option we do recommend checking the credentials of whomever is actually giving the shots....and since there is always a chance of a Chi having a negative reaction opting to have these done at the vet's office is often a better choice....The office should always have an emergency line and will usually not charge a fee to check a puppy or give medication to offset a reaction. 
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