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by PetVets

Why Do We Vaccinate Dogs?

Vaccinations protect against infectious diseases which can be fatal.

Vaccinations protect your dog against:

  1. Parvovirus
    A highly contagious virus spread through contact with infected faeces. The virus can also live on shoes, clothes and floors for many months. Symptoms include vomiting, severe bloody diarrhoea and lethargy. Parvovirus can be fatal in up to 90% of cases. Puppies are especially susceptible.
  2. Canine distemper
    A contagious virus spread through saliva, blood, or urine. Initial symptoms include red, watery eyes, nasal discharge and fever. Later symptoms include lethargy, coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures. It can also cause hardening of the footpads and nose. It is fatal in up to 50% of cases.
  3. Leptospirosis
    A bacterial infection spread through infected rat urine and contaminated water. Symptoms include fever, muscle tremors, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, jaundice and breathing difficulties. In severe cases dogs can develop kidney damage and liver failure. It can be fatal even with the best treatment.
  4. Infectious Canine Hepatitis
    A viral disease spread through urine, saliva, blood, faeces and nasal discharges. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, vomiting, coughing, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. In severe cases the disease can cause jaundice and liver failure, and can result in seizures and coma. Even with the best treatment severe cases of infectious canine hepatitis can be fatal.

Optional additional vaccinations are also available for Parainfluenza and Kennel Cough which cause upper respiratory tract disease.

Puppies can start their vaccinations from 6 - 8 weeks old with a second vaccination 2 - 4 weeks later. Pups should not mix with other, potentially unvaccinated dogs until their primary vaccine course is complete. 

Booster vaccination are required for distemper, parvovirus and infectious hepatitis every 3 years and for leptospirosis every year.

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