When does my dog need to be vaccinated?
As a puppy, they will need their first one at 6-8 weeks of age. They will then need 2-3 more (depending on if started at 6 or 8 weeks) with the final one being at 16 weeks of age or older. 10 – 14 days after this vaccination your puppy will be fully vaccinated. This will then allow you to take your new fur baby to public areas and boarding facilities without having any concerns.
They will need a vaccination each year to remain fully vaccinated. Your vet will discuss what is needed each year as it does change.
Why do I need to vaccinate my Dog?
This is a common question our veterinarian and veterinary nurses get asked. There are many reasons why we should vaccinate our furry friends, which with be discussed through this blog.
The main reason we vaccinate these days is for Parvo. Being a disease that potentially kill your beloved pet, we want them to be covered! Other diseases are listed and explained below. Some you may never have heard of- this is because they are now so rare thanks to vaccines!
What does the vaccination prevent?
Canine parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of all ages but more common and server in puppies. Parvovirus is a severe and frequently fatal cause of gastroenteritis. It causes loss of appetite, tiredness, bloody diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. As well other changes to white blood cells etc. Dogs often die, despite intensive veterinary care. This virus is common Australia wide and is highly contagious. It can be passed from infected dogs, in the soil, or on tires, shoes etc. Because treatment is so intensive and requires quarantine in a separate ward, it can be costly. Vaccination against this virus is highly effective and plays a critical role in protecting our fur babies. Please see our next blog for more information.
Canine Distemper Virus
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk. Symptoms 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 develop neurologic have permanent brain damage.
Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected most common in breeding bitches. Severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age. Dogs may develop signs which include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea. In severe cases death can occur rapidly 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 also known as kennel cough is an infectious disease which can be easily spread 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 the canine virus’s parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper. 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. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection and may cause death.
Canine coronavirus is another contagious virus and causes depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea especially in young dogs. Diarrhoea may last for several days in some cases. Although most dogs will recover with treatment, coronavirus has the potential to be fatal, especially if other infectious agents such as parvovirus are present.
Non-core vaccines are dependent on the dog’s lifestyle and living environment which increase their risk to these diseases;
Canine leptospirosis is a bacterial disease which can affect both humans and dogs. It is only high risk in some areas and can cause high death rates due to damage to both kidneys and liver. It is spread by the urine of rats and is usually transmitted to dogs by contaminated food and water, or mainly by rats. There’s an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as rubbish dumps or green sugar cane cutting areas. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet weather, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate. Leptospirosis is an animal disease that can be passed to humans who may then suffer a persisting “flu like” illness. We recommend any dogs that visit places that have high incidences of Lepto including coastal regions, to be vaccinated against the disease. Please consult one of our veterinarians.
Tetanus is a medical condition caused by a toxin, which is produced from a bacterium that affects the nervous system, spinal cord and brain. Tetanus is caused from bacteria entering an open wound. These bacteria are shed in animal faecesand are found in dirt and dust. Signs of tetanus include, stiffness, tail held up and mucsle spasmas. The signs generally start between 5 - 10 days the wound occured. However, some sighs can be seen as early as 3 days after exposure or as late as 3 weeks after. The most effective way to prevent tetanus is to vaccinate your dog for it. This will be 2 initial vaccines and then 1 every 5 years. You can talk to your vet about it!