Defend your pet against disease

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Most people are aware vaccinations are a routine requirement.

Vaccinations teach your pets’ immune system in advance how to recognise and defend against certain important diseases.

Some of them are incurable and can be fatal, such as distemper in dogs.

So, let’s break these down a little:

* Canine distemper is an infectious disease and more often than not fatal to the dog.

* Infectious canine hepatitis attacks the liver, kidney and lungs.

* Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease and can be fatal, Dogs of all ages can become infected, but puppies are particularly susceptible due to their immune system not having fully developed.

* Coronavirus affects dogs of all ages, again with puppies being more susceptible, This disease upsets the digestive system and can cause diarrhoea.

* Leptospirosis is a condition that can be passed from animals to humans. It is caused by a bacteria which can be picked up from a watercourse and urine of other infected animals.

* Kennel Cough (Canine Parainfluenza and Bordetella). Parainfluenza is a component of kennel cough. Vets will often recommend vaccinating against bordetella too. This disease is spread from dog to dog through airbourne droplets.

* Rabies – although we in the UK, a rabies-free country, dogs travelling abroad must be vaccinated against rabies. This is required by law.

When to vaccinate

A certain amount of immunity for a young puppy is passed down to them from their mother, but this sadly diminishes quickly.

By vaccinating puppies from an early age – ideally at eight weeks old – we can provide them with protection before disease has had any chance to attack.

The usual schedule for vaccination is two injections done two weeks apart. Ten to 14 days after the second injection, protection is in place.

However, an annual booster injection must be given. We strive to make it as pleasurable as possible with lots of fuss and treats.


This week’s comes from Mr Harris with Ebony.

I need to put my dog into kennels but have been told not to get the kennel cough vaccine. Surely I should if it’s a kennel condition?

Answer: Kennel cough is not a condition found in kennels just because of its name. This is an airbourne disease and can be contracted anywhere! But it can be avoided with the correct vaccinations.