Vaccinating your dog throughout their life is an important way of keeping them happy, healthy and protecting them from certain diseases.
There are four ‘core diseases’ that we vaccinate against, most of which are highly contagious and often difficult to treat and unfortunately can prove fatal.
These diseases are usually spread by physical contact, picked up from the environment or be airborne so dogs are always at risk when out and about and meeting other dogs.
Remember prevention is better than cure!
The disease is spread via infected faeces and the virus is highly resistant, which means it can survive in the environment for months on bowls, carpets, kennels and grass and can be spread on shoes, clothes and hands.
Incubation period is 5-7 days
Clinical signs include:
There are no drugs that will kill the parvo virus, so treatment of infected dogs usually involves hospitalisation and intensive supportive care, unfortunately some dogs will die from parvo virus infection.
Vaccination against parvo gives a three-year immunity before the vaccine needs repeating.
Incubation period is 4-7 days.
The virus targets the liver, kidneys, eyes and lungs.
The clinical signs can include:
In some cases, the disease can cause sudden death with no clinical signs having been apparent.
Treatment is again supportive to reduce the severity of clinical signs as there is no specific treatment while the virus runs its course.
Vaccination against Canine adenovirus gives a three-year immunity before the vaccine needs repeating.
Incubation period is usually 1-2 weeks but can be as long as 4-5 weeks.
Early signs of the disease include runny eyes, nose and a persistent cough with a high temperature.
This is followed by lethargy and tiredness, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea.
In later stages dogs may develop thickened foot pads known as ‘hard pad’. This can then progress to neurological signs such as fits and paralysis.
Again, there is no specific treatment other than supportive care with fluids, medication to help with the vomiting, diarrhoea and fits. If treatment is started early there is a good chance of a dog making a full recovery however if neurological signs have developed it is more likely to cause ongoing health problems or death.
Vaccination against Distemper virus gives a three-year immunity before the vaccine needs repeating.
Incubation is anywhere form 4-20 days.
Leptospirosis can have a wide range of symptoms but soon after infection a high temperature can develop. The bacteria can then cause severe liver or kidney disease. Dogs may show varying symptoms including lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, abdominal pain, urinating more frequently or only passing very small amounts or urine or no urine whatsoever, if the liver is affected they may also develop a yellow tinge to the whites of their eyes or gums.
Treatment is a combination of supportive care and specific antibiotics.
Vaccination against Leptospirosis gives a year of immunity so annual vaccination is required to provide cover.
We use Nobivac vaccines DHP which covers against Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis and Parvo and Nobivac L2, which covers against the common strains of leptospirosis present in the UK.
Puppies will require a course of two vaccinations.
Due to the different length of time immunity is achieved for these diseases we use a rolling vaccination protocol for booster vaccinations. This minimises the number of vaccines that are given but ensures each dog is adequately protected against disease.
To give it its official name Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis is a highly contagious disease of a dog’s respiratory tract and contrary to its common name it is not only a disease that is picked up in kennels but any dog that comes into close contact with other dogs is at risk. It is caused by the bacteria Bordatella bronchiseptica and the Canine Parainfluenza Virus. It is spread via aerosols form infected dogs coughing and sneezing.
Incubation period ranges from 3-10 days.
The signs include a harsh dry cough which sounds like they have something stuck in their throat. They may also cough up white froth. The cough can be made worse by exercise and pulling on the lead. They may also have runny eyes and nose. They often remain bright but can develop a temperature.
If they catch kennel cough, many animals will be able to fight the disease themselves. Although clinical signs can persist for up to 6 weeks, medication such as anti-inflammatories can help to alleviate the clinical signs. Vaccination against kennel cough is not 100% effective but having your dog vaccinated will greatly reduce their chances of picking up Kennel cough and reduce the severity of the clinical signs.
We use Nobivac KC which offers protection against both Bordatella bronchiseptica and Canine Parainfluenza Virus.
Dogs must be at least 3 weeks of age to start vaccination and immunity is achieved with a single intranasal vaccination.
Immunity against Bordatella bronchiseptica is achieved after 72hours and Canine Parainfluenza Virus after 3 weeks. Annual vaccination is recommended.