Dogs - Vaccinations
Vaccination is one of the most effective proven methods of protecting your pet against problems such as leptosporosis, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and kennel cough.
All dogs should be vaccinated routinely against five major diseases. These are Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis. Additional vaccination for kennel cough should be given if the animal is going to be mixing with a large population of other dogs (e.g. at dog shows, kenneling etc) and rabies vaccination should be given if traveling abroad, indeed this is a prerequisite for the Pet Travel Scheme.
Puppy vaccination starts from 6 weeks of age with the second injection at 10 weeks, if dogs are at high risk of parvovirus infection, a further parvovirus booster should be given at 20 weeks old, thereafter annual boosters are required for Leptospirosis. Distemper and Parvovirus need to be boosted every 3 years. Pups should not be allowed to mix with other dogs until at least 12 weeks old or 5 days after the second injection, whichever comes soonest.
Kennel cough vaccination has to be administered at least 5 days before exposure to a high risk situation such as entering kennels. It provides protection for 6 - 10 months after which time booster vaccination should be given.
Rabies vaccination is only required if traveling abroad. Normally one injection is sufficient to induce immunity against infection. If the Pet Travel Scheme is being used then blood testing 21 days after vaccination is required to prove that the immune response is adequate, if this is not the case then repeat vaccination is required.
Vaccination is an extremely low risk method of protecting against serious, often fatal disease. Adverse vaccine reactions are very rare and of much less importance than the severity of the illnesses that we are trying to protect against.
For more information on vaccinations please telephone the surgery to talk to one of our vets.