Vaccination is important to protect your dog against a number of potentially fatal diseases. Many diseases are highly contagious and can be spread rapidly between dogs whilst out on walks or in kennels. When your dog receives a vaccination he/she will also receive a thorough health examination and you can discuss any health concerns you may have with the one of our Vets.
When to vaccinate
Puppies can be vaccinated from 6 weeks of age but they cannot be fully immune until 12 weeks. The primary vaccination course requires two injections to be given 2-4 weeks apart, so we recommend doing this at 8 and 10 weeks of age. The course can be started later but your puppy will not be protected from the diseases until a week after the second injection. They should not be taken on walks or mix with unfamiliar dogs before this time.
Adult dogs that haven't been vaccinated can receive an out of date booster at any time. They will need to have an initial dose of the vaccine followed by a second dose 2-4 weeks later.
To provide lifetime protection your dog will need to receive annual booster vaccinations.
What can we protect against?
Canine distemper (Hard Pad)
The distemper virus can cause pneumonia, vomiting, diarrhoea, and eventually brain damage and fits. In some circumstances the footpads and nose can become cracked. The disease is often fatal.
Infectious canine hepatitis
This is caused by a virus which attacks the liver, kidneys, eyes, and lungs. The disease can be rapid, causing death in 24 to 36 hours. Alternatively, the dog may recover but may have ongoing liver problems and shed the virus for many months, posing a threat to other unvaccinated dogs.
Parvovirus is a viral infection causing vomiting and diarrhoea and is particularly dangerous to young dogs. Infected dogs will become seriously ill and can become fatally dehydrated.
This virus is one of a number of infective agents passed on through airborne droplets causing Infectious Bronchitis, better known as ‘Kennel Cough’. Symptoms are a harsh hacking cough with gagging/retching, sometimes giving the appearance of something stuck in the throat, which can lead to bronchopneumonia. The yearly routine booster vaccination includes the Parainfluenza part of the protection against kennel cough but your dog will still need a seperate Kennel Cough vaccine to give greater protection.
We routinely vaccinate against four forms of this bacterial disease. One is picked up by dogs when swimming or drinking water from watercourses contaminated with the urine of infected rats. This bacterium attacks the liver and kidneys; dogs become jaundiced and often die. It can also be transmitted to humans with fatal consequences.
The second is caught from the urine of other infected dogs. It targets the kidneys but sometimes damage only becomes evident as the dog becomes older and develops kidney failure.
Further forms of the disease have since been discovered and we can now offer an upgrade vaccination.
This common virus affects dog of all ages, with puppies being particularly susceptible. It can cause diarrhoea and other digestive upsets. Coronavirus has also been shown to increase the severity of other viral diseases e.g. parvovirus.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease of the dog’s respiratory tract. Affected dogs develop a harsh dry cough, much like whooping cough in humans. The coughing can last for a few weeks and during this time, more serious complications can develop, including bronchopneumonia. Vaccination is intended to reduce the severity of disease and decrease virus shedding.
Kennel cough is passed from dog to dog via airborne droplets and can be picked up in kennels, shows, training classes and even when out walking in the park – anywhere dogs can get nose to nose contact. Many boarding kennels insist on this vaccine but please ensure you check with your kennel as many stipulate vaccination at least 3 weeks before a stay.
This vaccine is administered as drops up your dog’s nose. Full cover takes a minimum of 3 days and should be given at least 2 weeks apart from your dog’s annual vaccination.
Although this is not routinely needed in the UK, dogs need to be vaccinated against rabies prior to obtaining an EU Pet Passport and travelling abroad. Vaccination can be carried out from 3 months of age.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR ROWE VETERINARY GROUP CLIENTS
If your dog is regularly vaccinated at The Rowe Veterinary Group you will be entitled to £20 off an out of hours emergency consultation with one of our Veterinary Surgeons (between 9pm and 8am).