Dog Vaccination

Dog Vaccination

Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious diseases in our pets.  It is essential that all pets are kept up to date with yearly vaccinations to help protect the pet population as a whole. 

Responsible pet care requires puppies to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives.  Adult dogs require regular (yearly) vaccinations to maintain immunity against diseases.

Please give us a call to discuss a suitable vaccination program for your puppy or dog.

Puppy Vaccination

Puppies are temporarily protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mothers milk.  These maternal antibodies decline in the first few weeks of their lives, after which they need a vaccination to induce immunity.  A series of vaccinations are necessary to adequately stimulate the immune system.

Initial vaccination programs should begin at 6 or 8 weeks of age and consist at least 3 vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart.

Adult Dog Vaccination

The immunity from puppy vaccinations weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease.  Annual booster vaccinations and health checks are required and will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.

After Vaccination Care

Following vaccination your dog may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site.  Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery.  However, if the response seems more severe, you should call us for advice.

Infectious diseases that we can vaccinate against:

Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that affects dogs of all ages but is most common in young dogs and puppies. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloody diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain.  Intensive veterinary care is required to treat this disease, however it can still be fatal.

Parvovirus is spread via dog faeces and is very persistent in the environment, even after the faeces has been cleaned away.  For this reason, your pet can contract the disease without direct contact with other Parvo positive dogs.  A potent disinfected (like bleach) is required to clean the environment of an infected dog as this is the only way to help stop the spread.  Outbreaks occur regularly, especially in summer and after rainfall, with an estimated 20,000 dogs infected every year in Australia.

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 vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression.  Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis may 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 Cough

Canine Cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious viruses and bacteria.  These are easily spread wherever dogs congregate such as parks, grooming salons, doggy day care, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels.  Among the infectious agents associated with Canine Cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica, as well as the canine viruses; Parainfluenza, Adenovirus type 2 and Distemper.

Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks.  It is distressing for the dogs and their owners.  It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs.  Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection, particularly in young animals.

Canine Leptospirosis

Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas and can result in high death rates.  This bacterial disease is spread by the urine of infected rats and is usually transmitted to dogs who eat rats, rate bites or ingest contaminated food and water (e.g. drink from puddles).

There is an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as cities, near rubbish dumps or around sugar cane areas.  Cases can also increase after long periods of wet weather or building activity, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate.

Leptospirosis is a ‘zoonotic disease' meaning it is an animal disease that can be passed to humans.  Human infection can occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or through open wounds.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis (or Canine Adenovirus type 1)

Infectious 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 Coronavirus

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.