Despite the availability of vaccines, many dogs are affected each year by parvovirus, leptospirosis and kennel cough. Should an unvaccinated dog or puppy come into contact with one of these diseases, it could prove to be fatal. Those that recover may be left with long-term damage to vital organs. There is no need for this to happen as a dog can be protected through a couple of injections as a puppy and then regular boosters throughout his life.
- Puppies should be vaccinated at 6-9 weeks of age and then again at 10-12 weeks. They will become fully protected two weeks after the second vaccination.
- The vaccine contains a weak dose of the disease and this stimulates the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies that will be able to fight the disease should they become exposed to it at a later stage.
- If your dog is unwell, has been recently unwell or unusually quiet when he is due to have his vaccinations, make sure that you tell your Vet. It may be a good idea to postpone his injections for a while, just to minimise the small risk of adverse reaction.
- Vaccines are given in different ways. Most are injected into the ‘scruff’ of the neck; however, the kennel cough vaccine is given as drops into the nose.
- Regular ‘booster’ vaccinations are necessary to keep the dog’s immunity levels high enough to protect him against disease throughout his life. Your vet will advise you on how often your pet needs to be vaccinated.
- Apart from kennel cough the following diseases share the initial symptoms of depression, appetite loss, and a high temperature. Veterinary treatment should be sought immediately if your dog is unvaccinated and becomes unwell.
Remember, ALL of these diseases can be fatal: Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and kennel cough.