Shaping the future of animal health

Dogs vaccination – the key to your dogs health

Why vaccinate dogs?

why vaccinate dogsPuppies and dogs are at risk from a number of serious infections. However you can help to protect against several of these diseases with a simple vaccination programme.

It is easy for dogs to come into contact with infectious disease because of spread from unvaccinated dogs and puppies or germs present in the environment. Because dogs tend to socialise and go for walks outside, they are exposed to diseases on a daily basis. Some diseases are so serious that people can spread the disease to thier dog, simply from walking in a contaminated environment.

Vaccination is a very cost effective way of protecting your dog or puppy against serious disease and the possible high costs involved in their treatment, not to mention the life-threatening nature of some of the diseases they face.

All Virbac vaccines are made to the highest standards of safety and effectiveness.

By vaccination, dogs and puppies can be protected from the following infectious diseases:

Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus causes severe, debilitating disease in dogs of all ages. Young puppies are most susceptible to infection and the development of severe disease. Dogs and puppies can die within days of contracting the disease.

Common signs of parvoviral infection include vomiting, diarrhoea (usually containing blood), severe abdominal pain and depression. Severely affected animals may die after contracting parvovirus.

Canine parvovirus can remain in the environment for over 12 months. All dogs must be vaccinated against parvovirus.

Failing to vaccinate against this disease is the leading cause of preventible death from communicable disease in dogs.

Canine Distemper

Distemper is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease affecting dogs of all ages. This virus attacks the nervous system and typical signs include fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, respiratory problems, loss of appetite, skin reactions, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle spasms and convulsions.

Dogs that do recover from this disease may have thickened foot pads, damaged teeth, permanent brain damage and progressive paralysis.

All dogs should be vaccinated against Distemper.

Canine Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis is a highly infectious disease which causes liver damage and potentially death in dogs. Puppies are most at risk and signs of infection include fever, ocular lesions, depression, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain (due to liver enlargement). The virus is contracted through contact with the urine, faeces or saliva of infected dogs. All dogs should be vaccinated against Canine Hepatitis.

Canine (Kennel) Cough

Canine Cough, also known as "Kennel Cough" is a disease complex caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria. It is not confined to kennels as the common name suggests, and it generally spreads from dog to dog, in situations of close contact, including dog parks, the beach, vet clinics, kennels, and animal shelters.

The two most important causes of Canine Cough are considered to be the canine parainfluenza virus and the bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica.

This disease is typified by a persistent hacking cough. It is not usually fatal but it causes significant distress to the dog and owner. Some animals will stop eating and may become depressed and lethargic. Canine cough can be treated with antibiotics, nursing and rest, however, it is best to try to prevent the disease in the first instance.

It is possible that severely affected dogs may develop pneumonia as a consequence of contracting this disease. All dogs should be vaccinated annually to help prevent this disease.

vaccinate puppiesAfter vaccination care

Vaccines are biological products and they are designed to stimulate the immune system. Therefore it can occur that an animal develops signs of local discomfort or swelling at the site of injection.

Very occasionally particularly sensitive pets may over-react to the vaccine and in these rare instances you should consult your veterinarian immediately. These reactions do not mean that your dog is not being protected by the vaccine. These reactions are very uncommon.

The protection provided by a single course of vaccinations wanes slowly over time and it is advised that you re-vaccinate your dog every 12 months to ensure on-going and strong immunity.

Vaccination guidelines

For maximum protection by vaccination, it is recommended that you discuss the vaccination programme with your veterinarian. Below is a guide that will provide some direction towards a vaccination protocol for younger dogs, however your veterinarian can offer specific advice for your animal.

Age for vaccination Vaccinate against
8 weeks Canine Distemper
Canine Hepatitis
Canine Parvovirus
Canine (Kennel) Cough
12 weeks Canine Distemper
Canine Hepatitis
Canine Parvovirus
Canine (Kennel) Cough
16 weeks Canine Distemper
Canine Hepatitis
Canine Parvovirus
Canine (Kennel) Cough

After their primary vaccination course, dogs should be vaccinated annually.


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