What is vaccination?

Vaccination is giving an injection to protect your dog against certain diseases.

How does vaccination work?

Once the vaccine is given, the immune system prepares itself in case of disease. If the disease tried to infect your dog, the immune system would be ready to fight it. This prevents your dog from becoming unwell.

Which diseases can I protect my dog against?

  • Distemper: is in the same family as human measles. In dogs the virus attacks the lungs and intestines, and can also cause disease of the eyes and nervous system, which can be fatal. Dogs catch distemper from other dogs.
  • Infectious hepatitis: comes from other dogs or foxes, and it infects the liver and kidneys, which can be fatal.
  • Parvovirus: causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea with blood. This is often fatal. It passes from dog to dog.
  • Leptospirosis: can be caught by most mammals and people, from rodent and wildlife urine. It is a particular concern in our area where we have many rodents on farm and stable yards and lots of wildlife and waterways. In humans leptospirosis is known as Weil’s disease. In both people and dogs it causes kidney and liver failure which can lead to death.
  • Kennel Cough: is a nasty respiratory infection, passed from dog to dog through droplets in the air. This disease is similar to human whooping cough. This vaccine is particularly important for puppies, working dogs, dogs going to kennels or social dogs.
  • Rabies: is a fatal disease we fortunately do not have in the UK, however your pet would need vaccinating if travelling abroad.

What does the vaccination involve?

The injection is a tiny volume of fluid given under the skin of the neck; many dogs don’t even feel the small needle. For the Kennel Cough a few drops of fluid is placed in the nostril from a syringe, no needle is used.

What is the initial vaccination schedule?

We recommend an initial vaccination programme consisting of three injections given two weeks apart. The injections cover against Distemper, Infectious hepatitis, Parvovirus and four strains of Leptospirosis. For puppies these are given at eight, 10 and 12 weeks of age. The nose drop for Kennel Cough, only needs to be given once initially.

When will my dog be protected?

The dogs immune system will respond to the vaccination, resulting in protection a week after the course is completed. This means a puppy having the initial course should not be mixed with unknown dogs or on the ground outside until a week after the second injection, in case of Distemper, Infectious hepatitis, or Parvovirus. Then the puppy should avoid farm or stable yards and waterways until one week after the third injection in case of Leptospirosis. After the Kennel Cough vaccine dogs are protected after three days.

When will the protection run out?

To keep the immune system ready to stop your dog becoming ill, yearly boosters are essential. This annual visit also allows us to health check your pet, so we can identify any health concerns early.

Are there any reasons not to vaccinate my dog?

Not having your dog vaccinated means they will not be protected against these diseases and could become unwell or die. This risk is present as there are so many pets and so much wildlife in this area for your dog to catch disease from. Even dogs that never leave their home may be exposed to some diseases from wildlife in the garden.

Vaccinations are an extremely safe treatment, with very rare side effects of slight swelling at the injection site, or a mild fever. The worldwide small animal veterinary association advises vaccination for all at risk dogs.

Vaccination has been very successful at minimising these diseases but sadly outbreaks are always possible.

How would joining Healthy Pet Club help with vaccination?

Our Healthy Pet Club gives you a significant discount on the cost of the years vaccine flea and worm treatment. It also allows you to spread the cost into monthly payments.