THE IMPORTANCE OF VACCINATING OUR DOGS
Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. Vaccination not only helps prevent diseases occurring in individuals, but also helps provide 'herd immunity' or to help protect the pet population as a whole. Responsible pet care requires puppies receive their initial course of vaccinations to help provide protection when they are young, followed by regular yearly vaccination in adult dogs to help maintain adequate immunity against diseases.
Why are puppy vaccinations so important?
Puppies are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. But as their maternal antibodies decline in the first few months of lives, so does their protection against diseases. This is why a series of vaccinations are necessary for a puppy.
Why are adult dog vaccinations so important?
The immunity from puppy vaccinations weakens over time as our dogs grow up, which can make them susceptible to infectious diseases (particularly if they are exploring outdoors, going to dog parks or coming into contact with other unvaccinated dogs). Annual health checks and booster vaccinations provide the best protection for the life of your dog and also help raise any questions or issues you may have about your dogs health as they grow up.
A guide to vaccinating your dog/puppy:
- Ideally, puppies receive a series of 3 vaccinations at 6-8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, which help provide protection against some or all of the following:
- Canine Parvovirus
- Canine Distemper Virus
- Canine Infectious Hepatitis
- Canine Parainfluenza Virus
- Canine Bordetella Bronchiseptica
- As an adult to help provide continued protection against infectious diseases we recommend:
- A yearly or three-yearly booster vaccination for those that have received their puppy vaccinations
- OR an initial vaccination followed by a booster vaccination 2-4 weeks apart, and yearly or three-yearly booster vaccinations thereafter
At Kojonup Veterinary Hospital we know that every puppy and dog has a different lifestyle and different needs. As such, our Veterinarians recommend tailoring your dog's vaccinations to their personal needs and are more than happy to chat with you about what vaccinations suit your dog.
Please feel free to call our clinic to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet puppy or dog
After vaccination care
Following vaccination, it is common for your dog to be quieter than usual and may even have some mild tenderness at the vaccination site. We strongly recommend keeping your dog in a comfortable/safe area that is temperature controlled with adequate access to food and water to help promote a quick recovery.
If your dog's response seems severe, or you have any concerns following vaccination, please do not hesistate to contact our clinic or afterhours service for advice
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 and older dogs. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care.
- It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. The virus is so persistent that the infected dog’s environment needs to be cleaned with a potent disinfectant to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in summer.
- 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 Infectious Hepatitis
- 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 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 is a condition caused by several highly infectious agents that can be easily spread from dog to dog and 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 viruses - Canine Parainfluenza virus, Canine Infectious Hepatitis and Canine Distemper virus.
- 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 as pneumonia, reduced productivity and even death can be a consequence of infection.