Despite the availability of vaccines, many dogs are affected each year by parvovirus, leptospirosis and canine cough, otherwise known as kennel cough. Should an unvaccinated dog or puppy come into contact with parvovirus or leptospirosis, it could prove to be fatal Those that recover may be left with long-term damage to vital organs. There is no need for this to happen as a dog can be protected through a couple of injections as a puppy and then regular boosters throughout his life.
- Puppies should be vaccinated at 6-9 weeks of age and then again at 10-12 weeks. They will become fully protected two weeks after the second vaccination. (There may be a requirement for a further vaccination at 16 weeks in some cases but your vet will discuss this with you).
- The vaccine contains a weak dose of the disease and this stimulates the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies that will be able to fight the disease should they become exposed to it at a later stage.
- If your dog is unwell, has been recently unwell or unusually quiet when he is due to have his vaccinations, make sure that you tell your Vet, as they may decide to temporarily postpone your dog's injection(s).
- Vaccines are given in different ways. Most are injected into the ‘scruff’ of the neck; however, the kennel cough vaccine is most commonly given as drops into the nose.
- Regular ‘booster’ vaccinations are necessary to keep the dog’s immunity levels high enough to protect him against disease throughout his life. Your vet will advise you on how often your pet needs to be vaccinated.
- Apart from kennel cough the following diseases share the initial symptoms of depression, appetite loss, and a high temperature. Veterinary treatment should be sought immediately if your dog is unvaccinated and becomes unwell.
Remember, Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis can be fatal!