Menu

Why I should vaccinate my puppy?

Your puppy’s maternal immunity (initially provided by his or her mother through the milk) starts declining at 6 weeks of age, so they are soon left on their own to resist viral disease.  We do not compromise on protection and use 'Nobivac'. It offers enhanced protection against many diseases and allows early socialisation of your puppy.  Vaccinations are essential to protect your puppy against the following diseases:

Parvo Virus

Parvovirus causes exhausting vomiting and diarrhoea, which ends up being lethal in most cases. It’s very common in spring and autumn, with low survival rates regardless of aggressive treatment.

We see several cases of Parvovirus every year. It’s found in high concentration in the faeces of infected dogs, and is resistant to the effects of heat, detergent and alcohol – and so remains stable in the environment for several months. It is very easily transmitted via the hair, coat or feet of dogs or contaminated shoes, clothes and objects from humans. Direct contact from dog to dog is not required to spread parvovirus.

Symptoms include severe vomiting and diarrhoea, which may or may not contain blood, loss of appetite, depression and fever. Young puppies are the most severely affected dogs and the most difficult to treat successfully. To treat Parvovirus, aggressive intervention is required before severe septicaemia and dehydration occur. Parvovirus is often fatal, so it’s essential to protect your pet through vaccination. In the case of young puppies, a ‘top up’ vaccine is advised at 18 weeks of age.

The vaccine we use provides the earliest protection possible against Parvo Virus.

Distemper

Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease in dogs. It’s spread mainly via direct contact but coughing can also spread the virus over short distances. Although symptoms can vary, the main signs are fever, loss of appetite, thick yellow discharge from nose and eyes, coughing and seizures. Intensive care is usually essential in treating Distemper, and even then it is often a fatal disease. Vaccination to protect your dog in the first place is vital.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of dogs that affects blood, liver or kidneys. It’s spread in urine, either from infected rats or dogs. Even dogs that have recovered can become carriers and continue to spread infection. Leptospirosis is also present in waterways across the UK, from contamination with rat urine.

There are a few variations of the disease but acute cases can be life-threatening. The disease can cause bleeding, liver failure, kidney failure and fever. Bloody diarrhoea and vomiting are common and this type can be rapidly fatal. Treatment is given with antibiotics if diagnosed early enough. However, dogs are often so ill when presented that hospitalisation with intravenous fluids is necessary.

We use a new 'L4' vaccine that protects against the latest strains, including the one that has been in hte press recently as it has been blamed for deaths in the Bristol area.

Vaccination has helped to reduce the spread of this disease, but at St George’s we still see 2-3 cases each year (in unvaccinated dogs). Vaccination only protects your dog against Leptospirosis for a year, so you need to keep up-to-date with the boosters.

Infectious Hepatitis

Infectious Hepatitis is an acute liver infection. It can be spread in the faeces, urine, blood, saliva and nasal discharge of infected dogs. Symptoms include fever, depression, coughing and a tender abdomen. Severe cases will develop bleeding disorders. Death can occur secondary to this or the liver disease. Most dogs recover after a brief illness, although chronic corneal oedema (blue eye) and kidney problems may persist. Steam cleaning can kill the virus, but the virus itself can survive in the environment for months in the right conditions. It can also be released in the urine of a recovered dog for up to a year.

Parainfluenza

Canine Parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is one of the causes of ‘kennel cough’. The dog will have a dry, unproductive, persistent cough lasting up to 21 days. The condition may be intensified by any type of activity or excitement. A runny nasal discharge will also be present. The dog will have difficulty breathing, and laboured panting will also be more noticeable after any type of physical activity. Although fairly straightforward to treat, prevention with vaccination is much kinder for your dog than suffering through three weeks' of coughing.