Vaccinations – the key to protecting your dog’s health

Why vaccinate?

There are a number of serious viral diseases puppies and dogs are at risk from. However, they can easily be protected from most of these diseases by a simple vaccination program.

These days, dogs and their owners are often quite mobile and it is likely that your pet will come into contact with infections present in unvaccinated puppies and dogs or in the environment.

Vaccinating is a cost effective way of protecting your dog or puppy against potentially fatal diseases and the possible high costs involved in their treatment.

The following infectious diseases can be vaccinated against:

Distemper

Distemper is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting dogs of all ages. This virus attacks the nervous system. Typical signs include fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, respiratory problems, loss of appetite, skin reactions, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle spasms and convulsions. If dogs recover from this disease they may have thickened foot pads, damaged teeth, permanent brain damage and progressive paralysis.

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Hepatitis

This highly infectious disease causes liver damage in dogs. Puppies are most at risk and signs of infection include fever, ocular lesions, respiratory signs, jaundice, depression, lack of appetite, diarrhoea and abdominal pain (due to liver enlargement).

The virus is passed by contact with infected dogs and through contact with the urine of infected dogs. It can continue to infect dogs for months after apparent recovery from the disease. This virus can also cause long-term kidney and liver problems in older dogs.

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Parvoviris

This virus is still very commonly seen and often associated with outbreaks. It causes severe, debilitating disease in dogs of all ages. Young puppies are most susceptible to infection and the development of severe disease. Dogs and puppies can die within days of contracting the disease.

Symptoms include vomiting, severe watery bloody diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain and depression.

Canine parvovirus can remain in the environment for over 12 months.

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Kennel Cough

This is a disease complex caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, namely Parainfluenza (Type II) virus and the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is not confined to kennels as the name suggests. It is transmitted very easily by dogs coughing on one another. Therefore it is most prevalent where there are a lot of dogs present, eg obedience clubs, dog shows, the pound, boarding kennels etc

This disease is characterised by a persistent hacking cough, which often sounds like a ‘goose honking’. It is not usually fatal but it causes significant distress to the dog and owner. Some animals will stop eating and may become depressed and lethargic. Kennel cough can be treated with antibiotics, nursing and rest, however, it is best to try to prevent the disease in the first instance, especially due to it being so highly contagious.

The above 5 mentioned viral diseases (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Kennel cough – PI2 & BB) are most commonly vaccinated against, and grouped together they are often know as a C5 Vaccination.

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Coronavirus

This virus causes severe bloody watery diarrhoea, shock, abdominal pain and vomiting and is most commonly seen at a very young age (approx 6 to 10 weeks). There is variable mortality amongst puppies and older dogs. Signs appear very suddenly. The diarrhoea looks and smells just like Parvovirus.

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Leptospirosis

A disease which has been associated with dogs that come into contact with rats and native rodents. It is particularly common in areas around rubbish tips and areas of annual crop harvests. This component is often administered in conjunction with Coronavirus.

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Contact us for more information regarding your dog’s vaccination regime>