Vaccination is a great way to give your pet immunity to some of the worst infectious diseases, and make sure they are as safe as they can be.
Vaccination is given as an annual injection, which keeps immunity topped-up and your pet protected. The only vaccination not given by injection is kennel cough. This is given via an annual intra-nasal vaccine – a squirt up the nose! This gets the vaccine right where it is needed to give local immunity.
Your pet should have a thorough health check at least once a year as part of their general healthcare. This helps your vet check that no developing health problems can be detected.
We recommend puppies should have an injection at 8 weeks and 12 weeks. You may notice that some veterinary practices vary in their guidance on when to vaccinate, this is because vaccines manufactured by different companies have differing protocols. If you have any questions about when to best vaccinate your Puppy or if your Puppy has already had one vaccine with their breeder, please contact us and we will happily discuss the options with you. We recommend this is followed annually by a health assessment and booster injection.
Although it is important that your dog has a vaccination appointment every year, not all the vaccines will be given at every appointment. This is because different vaccines last for different amounts of time – we will be able to advise you about the schedule for your dog. Your dog will need at least one vaccine every year, however, the frequency at which we give boosters varies according to the disease. Leptospirosis is given every year but Parvovirus, Distemper and Hepatitis are given every 3rd year. An option at the 3rd year is to have a blood test to see if the patient requires a booster (leptospirosis is required annually) but not all kennels or insurance accept this as proof of protection.
The following diseases are covered by vaccination:
Canine Parvovirus - a small but extremely hardy virus that can survive in the environment for long periods. The disease first emerged in the 1970's as an epidemic, killing many thousands of dogs before an effective vaccination became available. It causes a bloody diarrhoea and vomiting syndrome and can be fatal especially in younger or dogs with a lowered immune system.
Canine Distemper - a virus spread mainly by close dog to dog contact. Signs may take up to three weeks to appear and include a discharge from the nose and eyes, a soft cough and neurological signs. Dogs less than one year of age are most commonly affected and it is frequently fatal.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Adenovirus) - mainly attacks the liver and can rapidly be fatal. Transmission is by close dog to dog contact or contact with items that have been in contact with an infected dog. Dogs are most commonly affected in the first year of life, but all ages are susceptible. The main sign you will see is a poorly dog and you may notice their gums and the whites of their eyes appear yellow (jaundice).
Leptospirosis - caused by a bacteria that spreads in the urine of infected animals and is associated with stagnant water. It can be spread by skin contact with the affected water or urine, and can cause disease in humans. It can affect several body organs causing liver disease, kidney disease or sudden death.
Kennel Cough Syndrome (Infectious Canine Tracheobronchitis) - a contagious upper respiratory disease usually occurring where dogs are in close contact - boarding kennels, rescue centres, shows, etc. The main symptom you will be aware of is a hacking cough that may take weeks to go away. Some dogs can be quite ill with it. A variety of infectious agents may be involved. The vaccine is administered via the nasal passages and is therefore given separately from all of the above.