Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect the pet population as a whole. Responsible pet care requires puppies to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult dogs require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.
Puppies are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first few months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary in a puppy.
Our Vaccination recommendations for puppies:
- Puppies should be vaccinated with a core vaccination (C3) at 6, 10 and 14 weeks or 8 and 12 weeks. This vaccination protects against Canine Parvovirus, Canine Hepatitis and Canine Distemper virus.
- Puppies that are likely to board in kennels or mix with groups of other dogs should be vaccinated against Canine Kennel Cough. This can either be done by giving two injectable C5 vaccinations or one intranasal vaccination.
The two injectable C5 vaccinations are often given at 10–12 weeks and 14–16 weeks.
The intranasal vaccination is usually given with your final puppy booster vaccination but may be given to any puppy over 8 weeks of age.
Adult Dog Vaccination
The immunity from puppy vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations, as required, will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.
Our Vaccination recommendations for adult dogs:
- Annual vaccination with either a C3 or C5 vaccination.
- If your dog was unvaccinated as a puppy or has missed its annual booster then two vaccinations will need to be given, one month apart.
The intranasal kennel cough vaccination is a newer vaccine which provides more rapid immunity and has minimal side effects associated with it. It is also beneficial in that it does not require an initial booster. If you are wanting to put your dogs in kennels or are exposing them to high risk situations an intranasal vaccination will provide rapid immunity.
After Vaccination Care
Following vaccination your dog may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.
Please give us a call to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet puppy or dog.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES OF DOGS THAT WE VACCINATE AGAINST
Canine parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of all ages but is most serious in young pups. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhoea, vomiting and severe abdominal pain. The virus also attacks lymphoid tissue and destroys white blood cells, decreasing the ability of your dog to fight secondary bacterial infections.Even with early detection treatment is costly and often unsuccessful.
It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. The virus can survive for long periods in the environment and often thorough disinfection is required in order to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, and we have seen a number of cases in this area.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.
Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.
Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.
Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. In severe cases death can occur within 24–36 hours. Dogs that recover may develop long term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.
Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. We also consider some working dogs at high risk, especially if they are mixing with other dogs at yards or are travelling on trucks. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper.
Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is distressing for pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs. Pneumonia (lung infection) can also be a consequence of infection.
Although we do not routinely vaccinate against Canine Coronavirus or Leptospirosis, it is recommended that dogs travelling interstate (NSW or Queensland) consider vaccinating against these diseases.