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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What You Should Know About Dog Vaccinations Required by Law in Tennessee

As is the case with humans, dog or cat vaccination is very effective in preventing certain illnesses. While some of them may present the greatest level of harm to the animals themselves, others can be a big concern for humans or other animals.

That's why animals, such as dogs and cats will have a vaccination schedule to ensure that they remain in the best possible health and that the potential for ailments to cause problems for people or other animals is limited. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also provide details about breed specific laws in Tennessee.

Vaccinations to Be Aware of

Vaccinations to Be Aware of


Rabies vaccinations are perhaps the most common of them all and they are required to be administered to all cats and dogs that have exceeded the age of 6 months. Thankfully, Tennessee doesn't have a high occurrence of rabies, but it doesn't take away from the fact that there is a small number of confirmed cases annually.

Much of the animals spreading the infections are wildlife such as skunks and bats, but it does mean that pets can contract the infection. Becoming rabid is bad enough, but when an infected animal bites someone, then the real worry begins.

If a pet that isn't up to date on its rabies vaccine bites someone, it will likely need to be quarantined or put down. The circumstances that apply will decide this. It stands to reason then that all rabies vaccinations are administered when they are intended to be.

After the initial administration of the vaccine, it's required that a subsequent rabies vaccination happens annually.

Note that any person who has a cat or dog that has exceeded the 6-month age barrier and chooses not to get any such vaccination for the animal commits an offense. Bear in mind that it is possible to vaccinate a dog or cat as early as 3 months old or by any age specified by the vaccine's United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) license.

If there is a legally allowable vaccine available for certain livestock, ferrets, hybrid animals, and others, then these animals may be administered same. However, such animals will not need to have a routine vaccine administered thereafter unless the emergency rules of the USDA or commissioner require it.

While there doesn't need to be a licensed veterinarian administering the vaccine, one will at the very least need to supervise the process.

A vaccination certificate is required as evidence of the administration and must contain the date of vaccination, the owner's name and address, the date for the next routine rabies vaccination, the number of the vaccination tag issued, the signature of the supervising veterinarian, as well as the sex and description of the animal receiving the vaccine.

Bear in mind that the legislation prevents anything in it from being construed in a way that would require more frequent rabies vaccinations than the rabies compendium requires.


This vaccine is meant to protect dogs against four viral infections. All four are very contagious, with some even presenting a chance for fatality. Puppies and younger dogs are more susceptible. The cost of the vaccination will outweigh the risk of foregoing it for most as the process is both very costly and difficult for the animal.

Initially, the distemper vaccine should be administered between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Once the initial dose is given, the clinic recommends three additional boosters 3 weeks apart for adequate immunity to be achieved. There may be a leptospirosis component. The viruses covered are as follows:

  • Distemper - A virus that affects the nervous, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems of dogs, puppies, and wildlife. Contaminated environments and airborne secretions are responsible for its spread.

  • Adenovirus - There are two types of this virus. The type 1 variant compromises the liver and is known to cause canine hepatitis while the type 2 variant will attack the respiratory tract and is one of the most common causes of Kennel Cough

  • Parvovirus - This virus aims at the white blood cells and gastrointestinal tracts of both dogs and puppies. Direct dog-to-dog contact is responsible for its spread.

  • Parainfluenza - Here is another attacker of the respiratory tract and it is also one of the most common causes of Kennel Cough. Airborne secretions contribute to its spread.

  • Leptospirosis - This is a disease that can affect both animals and humans. It's carried by different kinds of wildlife including raccoons, rats, skunks, and deer.


This is another vaccine type that allows a measure of protection from Kennel Cough. Most daycare facilities, grooming facilities, clinics, and boarding facilities require Bordetella vaccines.

Here's What to Do When Bitten by a Dog in Tennessee

Here's What to Do When Bitten by a Dog in Tennessee

When bitten by a dog, the most important thing to do is to get medical attention. A part of this is generating the records needed for a personal injury claim and another part is simply ensuring that all causes for concern are taken care of.

There's no way for the victim to know if an owner had a dog or cat vaccinated or if there's any rabies certificate form to speak of. Therefore, getting checked out by a medical practitioner is the best bet.

Gathering evidence is also highly essential. Where did the incident happen? What do the injuries look like? Did anyone see what took place? Getting photo and video evidence is an excellent idea.

Tennessee doesn't legally require dog bites to be reported. However, it's recommended to make a report to the relevant authorities such as an animal control facility. Report records are also likely to be incredibly helpful in any scenario where a personal injury claim is being filed. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for more information on animal cruelty laws in Tennessee.

Finally, speak to an animal attack attorney in Nashville in the shortest possible order to get useful insights on what you need to do to assure the best possible outcome for a potential claim.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Qualified Tennessee Dog Bite Accident Lawyer Today!

Vaccines should always be administered on time for the combined health of everyone. Whether an animal is vaccinated or not, it may still attack you and cause injuries.

If you have been injured in a dog bite attack in Tennessee, call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation!


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