Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect not only their own health, but the pet population as a whole.
Responsible pet care requires puppies to be given an initial course of vaccinations in their first year, but this will not protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult dogs require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease. We strongly recommend a yearly vaccination to keep your pup protected against disease.
Give us a call on (02) 69 225 375 to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your puppy or dog.
Puppies are temporarily protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first few weeks of their lives however, after which they need a vaccination to induce immunity. The age at which maternal antibodies drop enough to require vaccination is highly variable, which is why a standardised schedule for vaccinations is recommended.
Our veterinary team recommend a 3-step schedule of injections; the first at 6-8 weeks, the second at 10-12 weeks, and the third and final at 14-16 weeks.
Adult Dog Vaccination
Like most vaccines the protection from a canine vaccination weakens over time, and if not maintained with regular boosters your pet can once again become susceptible to disease. We strongly recommend a yearly booster to provide the best protection for your pet. Booking their vaccination alongside your pet's annual health check is a great way to make yearly boosters simple and easy to remember.
Following vaccination it is normal that your dog may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Easy access to food and water and comfortable bedding to rest on are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if your pet seems to have a strong reaction to their vaccination, is slower than expected to recover or shows more severe symptoms than those above, please seek immediate veterinary attention.
Infectious Canine diseases we vaccinate against
Canine Parvovirus is an incredibly contagious and deadly disease affecting dogs, with puppies and unvaccinated dogs being the most vulnerable. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. The disease is resilient, difficult to recover from and has a high mortality rate. Isolation, round-the-clock veterinary monitoring and aggressive treatment are part of the standard strategy to beat the disease. Unfortunately, some infected dogs will die from Parvovirus even if they receive intensive veterinary care. For these reasons the best defense is a yearly vaccination.
Parvovirus is predominately spread via faeces of infected animals and remains in the environment for an extended period even after the faeces has been cleaned away. Only thorough cleaning with a potent disinfectant is enough to kill off the disease, making environments like parks, walking tracks and other public areas impossible to sanitise. It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. Infection runs rampant in the warmer months as outdoor activity increases. Outbreaks occur regularly especially in summer, with an estimated 20,000 dogs infected every year in Australia.
Canine Cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, and is easily spread wherever dogs congregate (such as parks, grooming salons, doggy day-care, dog shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels). Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella Bronchiseptica and the canine viruses Parainfluenza, Adenovirus Type 2 and Distemper.
Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. The condition leaves dogs open to infection, with pneumonia being a particular concern. Canine Cough is distressing for both the dog and their owner, and can be a major problem for working and sporting dogs who are regularly in high canine-traffic areas and need to stay at the peak of their physical health.
Canine Infectious Hepatitis (also known as Canine Adenovirus Type 1)
Canine Infectious 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. Onset of the disease is often quick and in severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. Dogs that recover may develop long-term liver and kidney problems, and can remain infectious to other dogs for an extended period.
Canine Distemper is a highly contagious and dangerous viral disease that can affect dogs of any age, with young puppies being most at risk.
Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage. With such a high health risk attached, it is strongly recommended that all dogs are vaccinated and given regular boosters to protect against Distemper.
Canine Leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas and can carry high death rates. This bacterial disease is spread by the urine of infected rats and is usually transmitted to dogs who ingest contaminated food and water (e.g. puddles), eat infected rats, or through rat bites. Leptospirosis is of particular concern as it is a ‘zoonotic disease’, meaning a disease found in animals that can be passed to humans. Human infection can occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or through open wounds.
There’s an increased risk where large rat populations exist such as in cities, near rubbish dumps or around areas where sugar cane is grown. Incidences can also increase after long periods of wet weather or within construction areas, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate.
Canine Coronavirus is another contagious virus affecting dogs, unrelated to the human respiratory illness. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, lack of energy, vomiting and diarrhoea (especially in young dogs). Diarrhoea may last for several days in some cases, leading to secondary concerns such as dehydration. Although most dogs will recover with treatment, Canine Coronavirus has the potential to be fatal, especially if other infectious agents such as Parvovirus are present.