Puppy and Dog Vaccinations

Vaccinating your puppy

Your new puppy requires a course of two vaccinations as follows:

1st vaccination between 6 and 8 weeks of age
2nd vaccination at 10 weeks of age

A 1st booster vaccination is required at 12 months after the 2nd vaccination, with annual boosters thereafter.

Most puppies should be fully protected about 14 days after the second vaccination and therefore can go outside in public areas after that period.

Vaccinating your puppy

Timing of vaccination is important. For a short period after birth, the mother produces a special milk called colostrum that is full of antibodies. These antibodies are absorbed by the puppies into their blood stream and temporarily protect against disease. These maternally-derived antibodies decline over the next 2-3 months, leaving the puppies unprotected and vulnerable. Because the maternal antibodies interfere with the vaccines, vaccination must be given sufficiently late to be effective but sufficiently early to offer protection. The first and second vaccinations are timed to maximise their protective effect as early as possible. There will be individual variation in the degree of response to the primary puppy course of vaccinations, so the first booster, usually given at around 15 months of age, is very important. It is because the protective antibodies stimulated by vaccination also fade over time that annual boosters are recommended to top them up.

Lapsed vaccinations or older dog with unknown vaccination history?

We recommend two vaccinations approximately 2 weeks apart, a 1st booster vaccination at 12 months after the 2nd vaccination, and annual boosters thereafter.

What diseases can we vaccinate dogs against?

Canine Parvovirus
Very contagious, debilitating and widespread, the disease caused by this virus emerged in many parts of the world only in 1978. Spread through infected faeces, the highly resistant virus can remain in the environment for many months. Symptoms include high fever, listlessness, severe bloody vomiting and diarrhoea, and dehydration. In puppies under the age of eight weeks the virus can also damage muscle of the heart. Vaccination is the only certain method of preventing this potentially fatal disease. Even with intensive care, not all dogs can be saved.

Canine Distemper
Vaccination against this often fatal, hard-to-treat disease is absolutely essential. Highly contagious, it is spread by discharges from the noses and eyes of infected dogs. Symptoms can include listlessness, fever, coughing, diarrhoea and vomiting; convulsions and paralysis may occur in the disease’s final stages. The distemper virus attacks many organs, including the nervous system, which may be permanently damaged, even if the dog recovers.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis
Caused by Canine Adenovirus Type I, this disease is transmitted among dogs by contact with secretions, such as saliva, infected urine or faeces. Causing liver failure, eye damage and breathing problems, the course of this disease can range from mild to fatal. Vaccination remains the best protection.

Leptospirosis
This is a bacterial infection that causes liver and kidney disease and often failure of these organs. Humans can become infected with leptospirosis via their infected dog’s urine. Leptospirosis bacteria can survive for a long time in damp or wet surroundings (e.g. puddles or near rivers). The bacteria are also transmitted via small mammals including mice and voles, and dogs are potentially at risk on every walk. Many dogs can survive with intensive treatment, but may be left with liver or kidney damage.

Canine Tracheobronchitis  ‘Kennel Cough’
Kennel cough is not a single disease, but a group of diseases (caused by various airborne bacteria and viruses, including Canine Parainfluenza virus, Canine Adenovirus Type II and the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica) producing very similar clinical signs – usually a dry, hacking cough. The infection is easily transmitted from dog to dog. Vaccination is imperative if your pet will come in contact with many other dogs in such situations as obedience training classes, dog shows or boarding kennels. In contrast to other vaccines that are administered by an injection under the skin, this vaccine is squirted into the nasal cavity via the nostrils.

Kennel cough vaccine is not included in a routine vaccination protocol, but instead is only given on request.

Rabies
Fortunately the UK is rabies free and hence this vaccination is not routine in this country. However, vaccination against rabies is a requirement for animals travelling under the UK Pet Travel Scheme. This incurable viral disease affects the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. It is spread through contact with the saliva of infected animals. Vaccination will provide your pet with much greater resistance to rabies if exposed to the disease. In unvaccinated animals, the disease is always fatal.

For Dog and Puppy Vaccination in Tewkesbury, please give us a call at Crescent Vet Centre.