By getting your dog vaccinations from a puppy, you will be saving them from various preventable diseases. It is far better to prevent these illnesses than a treatment regimen that may not always work.
What diseases do dog vaccinations protect dogs against
Although you can decide to immunise against a various number of illnesses, these are the five most common diseases that we recommend vaccinating against:
- Kennel Cough (Infectious Tracheobronchitis)
- Infectious Canine Hepatitis
Kennel Cough (Infectious Tracheobronchitis) - Infectious tracheobronchitis is like the canine equivalent of the human common cold. It is a respiratory tract infection that's easily transmitted from one dog to another. It results in a dry, hacking cough. So, if your dog's going to come into contact with other dogs, whether it's through the use of boarding kennels, or even through simply playing with other dogs in the park, we strongly recommend that you get your dog’s vaccinations.
Parvovirus - This highly resistant virus is spread through infected faeces and can remain in the environment for many months. Symptoms include high fever, listlessness, vomiting, and blood-stained diarrhoea. Vaccination is the only certain method of preventing this potentially fatal disease, which is most severe in young puppies and elderly dogs.
Leptospirosis - Dogs infected with this disease can suffer liver and kidney damage, and they will need a long course of treatment if they're to fully recover. This disease can also be passed on to humans!
Distemper - Distemper is spread through discharges from the nose and eyes of dogs. Symptoms can include listlessness, fever, coughing, diarrhoea, and vomiting. The canine distemper virus attacks many major organs - including the nervous system - and may cause permanent damage, even if your dog recovers.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis - Canine Hepatitis is transmitted among dogs by contact with secretions such as saliva, infected urine, and faeces, resulting in similar symptoms to those of canine distemper. If left untreated, canine hepatitis can result in liver failure, eye damage, and breathing problems, while the course of the disease can range from mild to fatal.
Dog Vaccinations FAQ
Is it important for dogs to get vaccinated?
Dog vaccinations are essential for providing your dog with adequate protection from life-threatening and intensely painful diseases. There is the option of Titre testing, which involves blood samples to determine your dogs immunity. Unfortunately, this is not always 100% reliable, it is costly to perform and leptospirosis would still need to be vaccinated against.We recommend all core vaccinations for this reason
Is it OK not to vaccinate my dog?
As veterinary professionals, we would always recommend vaccinations; when it comes to harmful diseases, the risks aren't worth taking.
I have heard that vaccines are risky and to avoid them – is that true?
Any veterinary procedure that is performed can carry some sort of risk, however, in the case of dog vaccinations, it is important to remember that for the majority of pets the benefits of being vaccinated greatly outweigh the risks. Vaccination reactions are rare and where they do occur, they are mostly short-term and mild. Reactions of this nature show that the vaccine is effectively stimulating the immune system. The team at Woodward Veterinary Practice are always happy to talk to you about the benefits and risks associated with vaccinating your dog to help identify the most suitable strategy as part of their wider preventative healthcare programme.
Is it a legal requirement to have my dog vaccinated?
It is not a legal requirement to have a dog vaccinated, but it is highly advisable. Kennels, dog trainers and day-care centers may require vaccinations from all dogs before they will accept them. Insurance can also be invalidated if dogs are not vaccinated.
Can I vaccinate my dog myself?
Under UK law, only veterinary surgeons can prescribe medications; vaccinations fall into this category. Your vet is required to health assess a pet before prescribing and administering the vaccine. Like many drugs, vaccines can have mild side effects, which is why a health check prior is essential to ensure your dog will be fit and well after the vaccine is administered. Veterinary professionals are trained at administering these vaccines;users should not administer this on their own. Also, it is important to ensure vaccination bottles, needles and syringes are disposed of correctly. There are diseases, such as diabetes, for which owners must inject their animals at home however, proper monitoring and training are essential.
Why does my dog need to have vaccinations every 12 months?
Depending on the disease that your dog is being vaccinated against, the period of time that they are protected will differ. Certain diseases, such as leptospirosis in dogs only carry around 12 months of protection, which is why a yearly booster is recommended. Even though your dog might be being vaccinated every 12 months, it is not always against the same diseases – your vaccination card will show you which diseases they are getting boosters for each visit. Visiting us every 12 months for vaccinations also means your dog gets a full annual health check, which is equally important!
Does my dog need to be vaccinated if they live inside?
Although your dog may not go outside, it is still possible for diseases to be brought into the house. This could be via soil on a dirty boot or via other wildlife that could enter the home. Therefore, ensuring your dog is fully vaccinated can provide the protection needed for all circumstances, meaning you don’t have to take the risk.
At what age do you stop vaccinating your dog?
Dogs require annual booster vaccines throughout their lives; this is to ensure maximum protection against life-threatening diseases. In choosing vaccines, we consider the lifestyle of the dog rather than age.
Which specific vaccinations will my dog have?
Annual boosters usually cover leptospirosis and kennel cough (can be given every six months). However, distemper, parvovirus and canine hepatitis are usually needed every three years. Therefore, a dog would need a vaccine every year to have maximum protection against diseases.
Due to these dog vaccinations requiring a top-up yearly, in order to save you money, we offer health plans, which allow you to pay monthly for your pet's vaccinations. The health plan covers various preventative treatments, including flea treatments, worming treatments and anal gland expressions. If you have not already signed up click here to find out more how you can saves £'s with our loyalty discount plan.
With the current COVID restrictions, are you accepting appointments for vaccinations?
We are continuing to offer a full range of services for our patients, whilst adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines. To find out about our practice updates during COVID, please click here for more information.
If you would like to discuss a worming treatment plan with our vet, you can contact us, and we can provide the most up to date and evidence-based recommendations.