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Dog Vaccination. Why Is It Necessary?

dog with vaccination in mouth on white background

Dog Vaccination

It is very important to vaccinate dogs as early as possible ideally when they are puppies. Keep puppies inside until they start their vaccines. 2 injections of vaccine are given 2-4 weeks apart. Your puppy can go on walks one week after the second vaccine. The vaccines can be given as early as 6 weeks of age. Following the initial course, an annual vaccine must be given to keep the immunity strong. Avoid any vets that are selling so called "vaccines for life".

Please See our "Best Start Vaccination Offer for Puppies".

For costs of other vaccines please see our price list.

Why should I vaccinate my dog?

  1. Most importantly, to keep your dog healthy! There are some nasty diseases dogs can catch such as parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis, adenovirus, parainfluenza, kennel cough and rabies (see below for a complete description). These diseases can be very difficult to treat effectively and can even kill dogs. They can however be prevented by a simple vaccination course.
  2. Most good, responsible boarding kennels insist that dogs are fully vaccinated in order to stay there.
  3. It is also a requirement of most insurance policies.

Annual booster vaccinations are essential to maintain full protection, there is no such thing as a "lifetime vaccine"!

Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus infection first appeared in 1978. Because of the severity of the disease and its rapid spread through the canine population, canine parvovirus has aroused a great deal of public interest.

The main source of the virus is in faeces of infected dogs. Susceptible animals become infected by ingesting the virus. Subsequently, the virus is carried to the intestine where it invades the intestinal wall causing inflammation, which results in severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

Unlike most other viruses, canine parvovirus is stable in the environment and is resistant to the effects of heat, detergents, and alcohol. The virus has been recovered from dog faeces even after three months at room temperature. Due to its stability, the virus is easily transmitted via the hair or feet of infected dogs, contaminated shoes, clothes, and other objects. Direct contact between dogs is not required to spread the virus. Dogs that become infected with the virus and show clinical signs will usually become ill within 7-10 days of the initial infection.

How does this disease affect the dog?

The clinical manifestations of canine parvovirus are somewhat variable, but generally take the form of severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The diarrhoea may or may not contain blood. Additionally, affected dogs often exhibit a lack of appetite, depression and fever. It is important to note that many dogs may not show every clinical sign, but vomiting and diarrhoea are the most common signs; vomiting usually begins first. Parvo may affect dogs of all ages, but it is most common in dogs less than one year of age. Young puppies less than five months of age are often the most severely affected and the most difficult to treat.

Can it be treated successfully?

As with any virus disease there is no treatment to kill the virus once it infects the dog. However, the virus does not directly cause death; rather, it causes loss of the lining of the intestinal tract. This results in severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and infection in the bloodstream (septicaemia). It is when the bacteria that normally live in the intestinal tract are able to get into the blood stream, that it becomes more likely that the animal will die.

The first step in treatment is to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications are given to prevent or control septicaemia. Some medication may also be given to inhibit the diarrhoea and vomiting that perpetuate the problem.

What is the survival rate?

Some dogs with canine parvovirus infection recover if aggressive treatment is used and if therapy is begun before severe septicaemia and dehydration occur. Intensive care, hospitalisation and treatment can prove costly and can not guarantee a favourable outcome.

Can it be prevented?

The only method of protecting your dog against canine parvovirus infection is by vaccination. Puppies vaccinated at Daisy Street Veterinary Centre receive a parvo vaccination as part of their primary vaccine course. Injections given around 6-8 weeks for the 1st and 10 weeks for the 2nd vaccine. After the primary course booster vaccinations are required to maintain immunity.

Is there a way to kill the virus in the environment?

The stability of the virus in the environment makes it important to properly disinfect contaminated areas, food and water bowls.

We recommend using Safe4 disinfectant as it is effective against the canine parvovirus. This ready to use spray is ideal for small areas, however a 5Ltr concentrate is available, which will need to be diluted 1:100. This disinfectant needs to be left in contact for 30 minutes in cases of canine parvovirus.

This ready to use spray can be purchased from reception.

If you have any concerns about your dogs health, canine parvovirus or have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Daisy Street Veterinary Centre on 01254 53622

Distemper

Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease.

The virus is spread by direct contact with an infected dog. Coughing can spread the virus over short distances, any discharge from the nose is heavily laden with the virus.

What are the clinical signs?

Clinical signs can vary between individual. The main signs are fever, loss of appetite, a thick yellow discharge from the nose and eyes, coughing and seizures.

There are many conditions which cause these symptoms, however this combination is unique to canine distempter. Please speak to your vet if your have any concerns over the health of your dog  01254 53622.

As with most viral infections there are no medications to kill the distemper virus once your dog is infected. Treatment can only be used to support the body in it's fight of the disease and to prevent secondary bacterial infections occurring. Intensive nursing care within the practice and at home is often essential.

What is the outcome if my dog contracts distemper?

Some dogs can recover from this viral infection but more often it proves fatal. If they do survive some are left with persistent nervous twitches and recurrent seizures.

How can I protect my dog against distemper?

You can protect your dog with a simple vaccination. It is included in our primary vaccination course, the first part of the course can be given from 6 weeks of age and the second part of the course from 10 weeks of age. However any dog can be vaccinated at any time of it's life. We recommend yearly booster vaccinations with the distempter virus being given every 2 years.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis

This is an airborne virus that affects the liver.

What are the clinical signs?

Symptoms may include vomiting, pale gums, very high temperature, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and later into the infection, jaundice.

There are many conditions which can cause these symptoms. Please speak to your vet if your have any concerns over the health of your dog 01254 53622.

What is the outcome if my dog contracts infectious canine hepatitis?

Dogs under one year are at greatest risk. Although some dogs may recover it is usually fatal.

How can I protect my dog against infectious canine hepatitis?

You can protect your dog with a simple vaccination. It is included in our primary vaccination course which consists of two injections 2-4 weeks apart. The first part of the course can be given from 6 weeks of age and the second part of the course from 10 weeks of age. However any dog can be vaccinated at any time of it's life.

We recommend yearly booster vaccinations with the infectious canine hepatitis virus being given every 2 years.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of dogs that can affect the blood, liver, or kidneys.

The bacteria is carried by mainly rats and other rodents, but infected dogs can also pass on the infection. Ingestion of infected urine is the most important means of transmission, but some forms of the bacteria can penetrate damages or very thin skin.

How does this disease affect the dog?

There are three main forms of the disease haemorrhagic (bleeding), jaundiced form (liver), and renal (kidney)

In the haemorrhagic disease there is an early fever with lethargy and loss of appetite. Multiple small haemorrhages occur in the mouth and on the whites of the eyes. Bloody diarrhoea and vomiting may occur. This form is often fatal.

The jaundiced form begins much like the haemorrhagic form, many of the signs are the same. It differs in the presence of a yellow colour in the mucous membranes of the mouth and the whites of the eyes. In some cases the skin can also be seen to be yellow.

The renal form causes kidney failure. These dogs are very lethargic, inappetant and experience vomiting. There may be an offensive odour from the mouth and ulcers may develop on the tongue and inside of the lips. This form may be fatal, but recovered dogs often have chronic kidney disease, which in itself is life limiting.

There are many conditions which can cause these symptoms. Please speak to your vet if your have any concerns over the health of your dog 01254 53622.

How can I protect my dog against infectious canine hepatitis?

You can protect your dog with a simple vaccination. It is included in our primary vaccination course which consists of two injections 2-4 weeks apart. The first part of the course can be given from 6 weeks of age and the second part of the course from 10 weeks of age. However any dog can be vaccinated at any time of it's life.

We recommend yearly booster vaccinations.

Infectious Bronchitis (also known as Bordetella Bronchiseptica or Kennel Cough) and Parainfluenza

Infection spreads from dog to dog through the air. Close congregation of dogs results in the likelihood of the spread of the disease. It was for this reason that it was originally called kennel cough. Activities or areas where dogs congregate can be a source of infection for example, puppy parties, shows and training classes, boarding kennels, grooming parlours, in the street or in the park when meeting infected dogs.

It causes inflammation of the tubes in the lungs and bronchii which results in a persistent harsh hacking cough.

Please speak to your vet if your have any concerns over the health of your dog 01254 53622.

How can I protect my dog against infectious bronchitis and parainfluenza?

You can protect your dog with a simple vaccination which is administered into the dog's nostrils by your vet.

We recommend yearly booster vaccinations.

Infectiou Rabies

Vaccination is required if you have any intention of taking your dog overseas. Please contact us to discus this vaccination if you are intending to take your dog abroad.

Contact the Pet Travel Scheme helpline for more information on taking your dog abroad

Pet Travel Scheme helpline
0870 241 1710
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed on bank holidays)

You may also choose to vaccinate your dog to cover the risk of a Rabies outbreak in the U.K.

Daisy Street Vets (Dog Vaccine Blackburn, Dog Vaccination Blackburn) March 2016

David30 years ago..... (David Higginson MRCVS remembers)

When I joined the practice in 1970 Distemper was rife, we saw cases several times a week, most died or had to be put to sleep because of paralysis or recurring convulsions. Hepatitis and Leptospirosis were also very common. Vaccination became the norm during the 70's and has been so effective in controlling these diseases that during the past 10 years we've not had a case of Hepatitis or Leptospirosis in the practice, and only 2 cases of Distemper. Sweden was 20 years ahead of us in vaccinating their dogs. Some years ago the uptake of vaccination of dogs in Sweden declined and, no surprise, Distemper came back with a vengeance. Vaccination is vital!

Parvovirus was a new disease in Blackburn in 1980 and arrived like a plague killing hundreds of dogs over the following few years. We still get cases regularly every spring and summer in unvaccinated dogs of all ages. We usually manage to save adult cases by intensive nursing but pups often deteriorate too quickly to be helped. Vaccination is vital.

Infectious Bronchitis ( Kennel Cough) is a non-fatal respiratory disease of dogs that causes a severe and persistent cough. Infectious Bronchitis is common. We see cases all year round with a peak in late summer with as many cases occurring in dogs that have not been in kennels (hence the change of name). Most kennels insist on seeing an up-to-date vaccination certificate before allowing a dog to enter their boarding kennels.

Annual Health Check-up. One additional benefit to canine health by regular vaccination has been the annual health check at the time of vaccination. Early detection of health problems which have come to light at vaccination has raised the health of our dog population enormously. How many humans get a full health examination every year of their lives!

Page updated 16th Jun 2017, 16:57
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