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15 May 2024
Dogs & puppies

What we vaccinate against in dogs and puppies

What we vaccinate against in dogs and puppies

Canine Distemper is a virus that affects the nervous system, but can also cause thickened pads, fits, diarrhea, cough, and runny eyes and nose. Distemper is spread through contact, saliva and urine. The disease is very serious and often fatal. Distemper is rarely seen in the UK due to good immunity provided by regular vaccinations.  

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease which means it can also infect humans. It is a bacterial disease and is transmitted though the urine or blood of infected animals, directly or from the contaminated environment. Common infected areas are slow moving or still water and any areas that rats and rodents shed the disease. When people are infected, it is sometimes called Weil’s disease. 

Parvovirus, often referred to as parvo, is a virus that damages the lining of the intestines causing sever vomiting and diarrhoea, which weakens the immune system and attacks the cells in the dog's bone marrow. Parvo is contracted through the environment such as parks, gardens, and fields, it can be shed in the faeces of infected dogs and will survive in the environment for many months and even years. This virus is extremely infectious, requiring only a very small dose of virus to cause infection. Unvaccinated puppies are most suspectable to parvo virus and if treated early can make a full recovery  

Other vaccinations can be given to dogs under certain circumstances, the most common of which are kennel cough and rabies. 

Kennel Cough Vaccination – this protects against a respiratory virus and a respiratory bacteria. These two infections are responsible for the large majority of kennel cough outbreaks so vaccination can provide up to 80% protection. Infection occurs through close shared air space or nose-to-nose contact with an infected dog. Risk is highest when several dogs come into close contact in a shared airspace such as kennels, training classes or dog shows. Infection is rarely dangerous, with most dogs recovering fully without treatment. Symptoms are typically persistent coughing, which can last up to 3 weeks before recovery. More serious complication such as pneumonia are rare. 

Rabies Vaccination – Rabies is currently not endemic in the UK so protection is not required for dogs living here. If you want to take your dog to other countries then a rabies vaccine is likely to be required. If you are considering travelling with your dog please speak to the veterinary team for country specific advice and check with DEFRA for legislation guidelines. 

If you have any questions regarding vaccinations, please contact the practice. 

Find out which vaccinations are included in our monthly healthcare plan

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