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.
When do I need to vaccinate my puppy/dog?
The initial puppy vaccination should commence at 6-8wks of age and then be followed up by a booster 4 weeks later. Boosters are then given at yearly or triennial intervals thereafter. Immunity is NOT immediate or permanent. The veterinarian will advise you when re-vaccination is necessary to prolong your pet's immunity, and will record the date on the certificate to remind you.
What diseases does the vaccination prevent?
This depends on what vaccination is chosen to best suit the needs of your dog. The basic and most common vaccination is a C3 - this includes distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus. Other dogs may require a C5 vaccination - this includes the same components as a C3 with the addition of Bordetella bronchiseptica and a parainfluenza virus, the two components of canine cough, sometimes referred to as kennel cough.
Canine parvovirus is a disease that is most common and affects dogs of all ages but is most serious in young pups and older dogs. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. This disease can have a high mortality and even is the animal has had the appropriate treatment. Parvovirus is persistent that the environment of an infected dog therefore it is greatly important that all dogs are vaccinated because contact with an infection dog is not required to become infected with parvo.
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.
Dogs of any age can become infected with Canine hepatitis, 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 to 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/ Kennel Cough
Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious agents, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2. 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 can also be a consequence of infection.
This vaccine is usually offered as an optional extra as part of a routine, annual vaccination, but will be required any time your dog goes into a kennel. The kennel owner will always ask to see proof that your dog has been vaccinated against kennel cough, which we can provide in the form of a vaccination card or certificate.