Regular vaccination is vital to protect your pet against many important infectious diseases.
All dogs should be routinely vaccinated against Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus. In addition, dogs can be vaccinated against Infectious Bronchitis. This vaccine is especially important for those dogs attending regular shows or going into boarding kennels.
Here are some points for you to consider:
- Puppies receive some immunity from their mothers, both via the placenta, before birth and in the first milk, known as the colostrums. However, this immunity fades rapidly from 6-12 weeks of age. For this reason, a puppy should receive the initial vaccination from 8 weeks of age.
- A primary course of vaccinations involves 2 injections, 2 weeks apart, giving your pet immunity for the first year of life.
- Your puppy should be kept indoors for at least 1 week after its last injection, in order to avoid exposure to infection before your pet is fully protected.
- Immunity to infectious diseases is not indefinite, and will gradually fall leaving your pet at risk. Regular annual booster vaccinations are vital to maintain your pet's immunity and to protect against diseases.
- Your vet will provide you with a record of vaccination, showing the vaccines that have been administered to your dog, and the dates that the next booster is due.
- Prevention is particularly important since these diseases are often difficult to treat successfully and may result in recurrent long term illness or even the death of a pet.
- All of these diseases share the same initial symptoms of depression, a loss of appetite and a high temperature, so if your dog is unwell, and especially if it has not been vaccinated, seek the advice of your vet immediately.