Vaccinations – Why and When
As for us humans, there are many potentially dangerous diseases that affect pets. Vaccinations are the best way to protect your best friend against these diseases. Animals are naturally inquisitive creatures, and as best as we try to, we cannot ensure that they will not come into contact with these diseases in there day to days lives with us. Even if your dog or cat is indoors with you, and not seeing other animals regularly, some diseases are spread by rodents and mosquitos, which makes preventing exposure very difficult. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to help ensure your best friend does not fall ill from disease.
When does your dog need to be vaccinated?
At 6-8 weeks of age puppies should receive their first vaccination; this is temporary and needs to be followed up with another one at 10-12 weeks. A final booster is given at 14-16 weeks which helps ensure your dogs immunity for the full first year. After the 10-12 week vaccination you can then take your puppy out in public areas for socialization.
Your dog will then need yearly booster vaccines to ensure their continued resistance to disease.
What do you need to vaccinate against?
- Parvovirus – a highly contagious viral gastroenteritis. Depression, loss of appetite, severe vomiting and diarrhea containing blood are some of the symptoms. Death can occur very quickly.
- Distemper – a highly contagious disease producing symptoms such as conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, convulsive seizures and spinal cord damage. Treatment is often ineffective.
- Hepatitis – in puppies can cause sudden death, whilst adult dogs can experience, weakness, fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite and bleeding.
- Canine Cough – a complex disease caused by bacterium and a virus. Affected dogs will have a hacking cough persisting for weeks. In puppies and old dogs the disease can be devastating.
Are the Vaccines Safe?
What side effects can my dog have?
Similar to human vaccines, your pet will be given a small amount of disease or virus in a modified and safe form. This stimulates the immune system to build up antigens or resistance to that disease or virus. Your pet can feel a little under the weather for a day or so afterwards, and a small amount of inflammation can be seen around the injection site. These effects are usually gone within a day or so. It is not uncommon for pets to be off their food during this time, so it is important to ensure they have plenty of fresh water, and they will be back to normal in no time! If you have any concern with your pet after vaccination, please call and speak to our team.