You will need to go to a vet to get your dog vaccinated as vaccines are prescription only medications. Different vets may use different brands of vaccinations that will cover different infections. Infections that are commonly vaccinated against are:
- Canine hepatitis virus
|Distemper||8 weeks of age||Severe disease, potentially fatal|
|Parvovirus||8 weeks of age||Severe disease, often fatal|
|Hepatitus||8 weeks of age||Severe disease, potentially fatal|
|Leptospirosis||8 weeks of age||Can be fatal in dogs, may also be transmitted to humans|
|Distemper||Between 10-12 weeks of age||Severe disease, potentially fatal|
|Parvovirus||Between 10-12 weeks of age||Severe disease, often fatal|
|Hepatitus||Between 10-12 weeks of age||Severe disease, potentially fatal|
|Leptospirosis||Between 10-12 weeks of age||Can be fatal in dogs, may also be transmitted to humans|
|Distemper||Annually||Severe disease, potentially fatal|
|Parvovirus||Annually||Severe disease, often fatal|
|Hepatitus||Annually||Severe disease, potentially fatal|
|Leptospirosis||Annually||Can be fatal in dogs, may also be transmitted to humans|
Keeping your pet healthy
As not all infections can be treated fully a vaccination against the disease is the only method of truly protecting your dog. The vaccination provides your dog with a dose of the organism to trigger antibodies that will help your dog naturally fight the infection should the worst happen.
Distemper is a virus that can be fatal. It causes fits, tics or muscular weakness. The dog’s nervous system, sense of smell, eyesight and hearing are often permanently damaged. A discharge in the dog’s eyes or nose may also be present as well as vomiting and diarrhoea. In addition the dog may suffer from coughing, difficulty breathing, increased body temperature, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Parvovirus is most likely to infect young dogs up to six month old, though it can affect older dogs. It too can be fatal particularly in the very young and old. It is spread either by direct contact between dogs or via an owner’s clothing and shoes. Symptoms include severe vomiting and blood stained diarrhoea and high temperature. Damage to the heart can occur and lead to sudden death.
Canine Hepatitis Virus is another potentially fatal disease. It is picked up by contact with urine from infected dogs and is most commonly found in young, unvaccinated puppies. It causes discharge from the eyes or nose, coughing and serious liver and/or kidney disease, appetite loss, vomiting, as well as a change in drinking and urination behaviour.
Leptospirosis is frequently carried by rats and mice or where hygiene is insufficient and contamination of food and water is common. Symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, high temperature and discharge from the eyes. Liver disease and kidney disease may follow along with diarrhoea and increased weeing. The virus can be fatal, killing the dogs rapidly or much later from kidney disease. Dogs will remain carriers for the disease even if they recover.
Parainfluenza (Kennel cough) is highly infectious but will usually go away on its own unless the dog is very young or has an underlying medical condition. The virus can cause harsh dry coughing followed by gagging.
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