Updated on March 26, 2019
Vaccination is an important part of caring for you animal friend. Sometimes it can be a little confusing making sure you have got this right.
When you bring home a new puppy, one of the first things to consider as a responsible dog owner is the vaccinations that will be required to build your little dote’s immune system.
You should contact your local veterinarian to discuss a vaccination schedule and make an appointment to help protect your puppy against unwelcome diseases and illnesses.
In the UK, dogs are routinely given vaccinations to protect against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis.
Of course, vaccinations will be required throughout your furry friend’s life, with different time periods between each round of protection.
In this article, helloBARK! columnist Cat the Vet will take a look at four key vaccinations you four-legged companion will need.
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Distemper virus is very rare in the UK thanks to vaccination, however, it may make a resurgence with the increase in pet travel. Symptoms of distemper include pneumonia, vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures, and it can be fatal.
Hepatitis (caused by Canine Adenovirus 1) is a nasty potentially life-threatening illness with various symptoms including lethargy, fever and jaundice (yellowing of the mucous membranes as seen in liver disease).
Another illness which is sadly still seen in the UK is Parvovirus. This is a devastating disease which particularly affects young puppies leading to severe bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. The virus can survive well in the environment for long periods of time and is highly contagious. The mortality rate is high.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacterium instead of a virus. Many different types of this bacterium exist and four of these are included within the vaccine. (Some vaccines only include two). This is a disease that can be spread by rats and picked up from waterways with fresh or stagnant water. Another potentially fatal disease, it can lead to lethargy, vomiting and jaundice. This disease can also affect people, when it is known as “Weil’s disease”.
Puppies are routinely vaccinated against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis, usually at 8 and 12 weeks and again at one year of age.
Thereafter, Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus only need to be done every three years. The leptospirosis vaccination has a shorter duration of immunity (protection from the vaccine runs out quicker) so it is used on a yearly basis.