Puppies can receive their first vaccination from as early as 6 weeks of age. Generally all puppies will require at least two vaccinations 2-4 weeks apart depending on their age. Sometimes your vet may advise that a third vaccination is necessary; usually if the puppies first vaccination was only against Parvovirus (Parvo) or if the interval between vaccinations exceeded four weeks. Puppies should not be brought out into public areas e.g. parks etc. until they have finished their primary vaccinations. Every dog requires an annual booster to maintain immunity at a protective level.
Disease we vaccinate against:
- Parvo Virus: This is a very common and highly contagious virus that can be passed to your dog without ever coming in contact with other dogs. It can even be brought in to your home on the soles of your shoes and transmitted to your dog. This virus causes vomiting and bloody diarrhoea with death within a few days. Vaccination against this disease is the single most important action you can do for your dog. This can be done from 6 weeks old and then annually thereafter.
- Distemper: There are many varying symptoms of this viral disease depending on the organ affected. Symptoms include respiratory problems, neurological signs such as twitching, paralysis and fits, diarrhoea, dental deformities and skin problems. Fortunately this is now a very rare disease in Ireland.
- Hepatitis: This is a viral infection that affects the liver causing depression, abdominal pain leading to permanent liver damage and death. The kidneys, spleen and eyes can be affected in severe cases.
- Leptospirosis: This is mainly picked up from stagnant water, from the urine of rats or from other infected dogs. The main clinical effects are kidney problems that lead to jaundice, bloody urine, diarrhoea infertility, kidney failure and death. Unfortunately this is a very common disease in Ireland and dogs that swim a lot in canals or dirty rivers are at an increased risk. Leptospirosis can also be transmitted to people and is commonly known as ‘Weils disease’.
- Parainfluenza: This is a virus which produces a mild respiratory tract infection. It is often associated with other respiratory tract viruses. In combination these viruses are usually transmitted by contact with the nasal secretions of infected dogs.
This is a common disease that occurs most often where dogs are grouped together e.g. kennels or greyhound yards. It spreads rapidly and causes loud, harsh and uncomfortable bouts of coughing that leads to further respiratory damage and secondary infections such as pneumonia. Vaccination is advisable and should be given two weeks before boarding your dog at kennels. The vaccination provides protective immunity against certain strains for 12 months.