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Vaccinations are often started when our pets are younger to remind the body to produce antibodies to prevent disease and infections. The injections can start from 8-9 weeks of age and the second injection is to be given several weeks later.

A booster vaccination should be given 12 months after the first vaccines to ensure that the body has a good level of immunity therefore protecting the body from diseases and infections.

Vaccinations are a useful and lifesaving injection that prevents disease from spreading to other animals. It also prevents your pet getting infected with fatal diseases.

Our health care plan includes yearly boosters and all other essential needs for the year, the cost is spread over affordable monthly payments.

Are there any risk from vaccinating my pet?

Adverse effects from vaccinations are rare, however there can be side effects in some individuals. These effects usually are mild and can include lethargy, in appetence, tenderness at the injection site, vomiting, diarrhoea or a lump at the site of injection.

In recent years it has been reported that tumours can develop at the site of injection. However it is now recognised that this is a very rare occurrence and it seems that both vaccines and other injectable products can carry a small risk of inducing this problem. We have seen one case in the last 20 years of vaccinating thousands of pets.

If you are concerned of over vaccination then please discuss this with one of our vets, as we may be able to tailor a specific vaccination program for you and your pet.

However we strongly recommend you vaccinating your pet as the chances of them contracting one of the many debilitating and fatal diseases are far higher than developing a vaccination reaction.

Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly infectious disease. Signs of this disease can be mild or sometimes fatal. Dogs that are less than a year old are most commonly affected with unvaccinated dogs and dogs which have a weakened immune system.

Spread of the disease is through inhalation of the aerosol droplets, when the dogs are in close contact.

Clinical signs

Early signs of the disease are mainly respiratory signs, including a runny nose and coughing. This is followed by depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea. In the later stages of the disease the dogs may develop thickened foot pads and thickening of the skin on their nose.

Dogs which survive may go on to show serious neurological signs including seizures.

Treatment and control

There is no specific treatment for canine distemper apart from supportive care and treating the symptoms that are shown. Luckily this disease does not live in the environment for long and can easily be killed off using household disinfectants.

Vaccination is the best recommendation to prevent your pet from getting this disease.

Adenovirus

Commonly known as infectious canine hepatitis is a disease which affects the liver, kidneys, eyes and lungs of the dog. The disease develops quickly with fatal consequences.

Adenovirus is transmitted by direct contact with infected urine, saliva and faeces. If the dog survives this disease they still can remain infectious to other dogs for more than 6 months. The virus is hardy and can live in the environment for some time.

Clinical signs develop after an incubation period of 4-7 days and most commonly include lack of appetite, fever, pale gums, conjunctivitis, coughing abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Sometimes, the dog may later develop jaundice. In some dogs that recover clouding of the cornea occurs. However this disease is fatal in most cases.

Treatment and control

There is no specific treatment for infectious canine hepatitis apart from supportive care. Fluids to keep your dog hydrated and prevention of a secondary antibiotic. This virus can live in the environment for some time so it is important to use a substantial disinfectant that will kill the virus off in the home.

The best protection against this virus is through vaccination.

Parvovirus

Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus, which can be spread through the mouth or nose form the faeces. It can also spread on peoples shoes and clothes and on the coat and pads of the dogs. This virus can remain in the environment for some time- months or even years.

Parvovirus mainly effects unvaccinated dogs of all ages, however the very young and very old are at greater risk of developing long term problems or even death.

Clinical signs

The most common sign of parvovirus is severe gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhoea). Other signs include depression, severe vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, profuse, smelly haemorrhagic diarrhoea. These signs lead to severe dehydration and ultimately death. If a puppy survives after receiving treatment, quite often they can develop a heart murmur, which is a condition of the heart where the heart does not pump in the correct way due to the damage caused by the virus.

Treatment and control

There is no specific treatment for canine parvovirus. However supportive care can be given to combat the dehydration. Antibiotics can also be given to safe guard against secondary infection, gastric protectants can be given to help stop the vomiting, medicines can be given to help settle the guts down.

Seeing as parvovirus can live in the environment for several months to years, it is essential that areas are treated with strong disinfectants that are suitable for killing the virus.

Vaccinations are by far the best way to prevent your pet from getting this debilitating virus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kennel cough

There are many strains of kennel cough the ones that are most common and we vaccinate for are the Parainfluenza virus and the Bordatella brochiseptica. Kennel cough is spread by close dog to dog contact.

All dogs are at risk if they are in close contact with other dogs. In old and very young animals this virus could become fatal if left without supportive care.

Bordatella bronchiseptica

This is the most common cause of kennel cough and comes from the same family as whooping cough. This virus can be shed for up to 4 months after infection.

Canine parainfluenza virus

This is often found together with bordetella bronchiseptica and is present in the mouth and nasal secreations for up to 2 weeks post infection.

Clinical signs

Clinical signs can include a harsh dry cough, which may cause retching, tiredness, loss of appetite, runny nose and a raised temperature. This disease can lead to life threatening pneumonia.

Treatment and control

As with most viruses there is no specific treatment, however we will be able to treat the symptoms. Anti coughing drugs can be given which will relieve the irritation, antibiotics can also be given to safe guard against a secondary infection, anti inflammatories can help reduce the temperature and any inflammation caused by the irritating cough.

Vaccination is obviously the best and easiest way to protect dogs against kennel cough, especially for dogs kept in close proximity together. Part of the vaccine is given in the yearly booster and the other part is given in the nasal cavities so it can be inhaled.

Thorough disinfecting of the environment, providing good ventilation in kennels and preventing contact between animals will reduce the spread of the virus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria that is spread in the urine of infected animals. This disease is a zoonotic disease (one which can be transferred to humans).

There are several different strains but he 2 most commonly seen in dogs are Icterohaemorrhagiae (Weil’s disease) and Canicola serovars.

Icterohaemorrhagiae is mainly carried by rats. Transmission to dogs is either direct contact with infected urine or drinking contaminated water.

Clinical signs

The main effect on the body from this strain is on the liver. Signs include, excessive drinking, excessive urination, bright yellow-orange coloured urine, painful abdomen, vomiting, yellowing of the skin and eyes and death.

Caniciola is mainly spread by dogs themselves, although rodents also have a part to play in the spread of this strain.

Clinical signs

This form of the disease largely effects the kidneys, clinical signs include excessive drinking and urination, severe dehydration, collapse and sudden death.

Treatment and control

There is no cure for leptospirosis, it largely depends on how well the dog responds to aggressive supportive care and antimicrobial therapy. However there is no guarantee of a successful outcome.

Prevention is better than cure. Vaccinations are available for leptospirosis and due to the severity of the disease and the likely hood of the disease spreading to humans it is highly advisable to vaccinate your pet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canine herpes virus

This is similar the the herpes simplex virus in humans, however it only affects the canine species.

Puppies can be infected in the womb, or immediately after birth form the dam. In puppies less that 2 weeks old it presents itself as fading puppy syndrome. Over 2 weeks of age and adults, it resents itself with mild respiratory signs, nasal discharge and coughing. Genital lesions may also be present.

Diagnosis can be gained from taking throat and nasal swabs. Cough suppressants can help relieve some of the symptoms and antibacterials can be used to alleviate clinical disease.

This virus is not routinely vaccinated for but can be on request or if you are planning breeding from your dog.

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