Dog Vaccinations

There are a number of diseases which dogs are routinely vaccinated against. These include distemper, hepatitis, parvo, parainfluenza and leptospirosis and kennel cough These are outlined below

Distemper

  • Uncommonly nowadays as a result of successful vaccination.  
  • It is a viral condition which causes a multitude of clinical signs including coughing, discharge from eyes and nose, vomiting, diarrhoea and neurological signs.
  • If dogs do survive the initial illness they can be left with sometimes serious neurological disorders

Canine Infectious Hepatitis

  • Caused by an adenovirus
  • A disease showing a multitude of signs varying from fever, dullness and jaundice to sudden death
  • Dogs which survive may be left with a permanent ‘blue eye’, a classical sign of the disease

Parvo

  • A deadly virus which is commonly encountered with multiple outbreaks recorded throughout the year.
  • It may take 3-10 days after exposure for clinical signs to develop.
  • It can cause a multitude of signs including vomiting, profuse, often bloody diarrhoea, dehydration and extreme dullness.
  • It is spread via contact with infected faeces.
  • Medical treatment usually with hospitalisation is required in the majority of cases, but even with swift, aggressive treatment it still can have a very high mortality rate.
  • It is a highly resistant virus, meaning it can be extremely hard to kill and can persist in the environment for months or even years.

Parainfluenza

  • This is one of the causative viruses of the highly contagious condition of ‘kennel cough’.
  • It is spread by aerosol transmission from affected dogs
  • Causes a severe cough which can last weeks and be very hard to resolve.

Lepto

  • There are 2 main strains vaccinated against in Ireland
  1. Lepto canicola and Lepto icterohaemorrhagiae

– may spread from direct contact with rats\rat’s urine

– may cause vomiting, fever, liver\kidney failure and death

– L. icterohaemorrhagiae can be transmitted to humans (Weill’s disease)

-Pups are all born with maternally derived antibodies(MDAs) which provides some protection against these diseases. These MDAs reduce with time, and vaccination is then required to provide protection against these illnesses.

-An initial vaccination is given at 8 weeks followed by a top up vaccination 3-5 weeks later, and possibly again at 14-16 weeks of age. A booster vaccination is then given 1 year from then. Yearly boosters are required after this, however which type of vaccination needed, may differ, depending on your pet’s individual needs.

-In cases where there is a high risk, pups may be vaccinated against parvo only from 6 weeks of age.

Kennel Cough

– an umbrella term for a nasty respiratory condition in dogs.

-Can be caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria.

-2 of the most common causes which are vaccinated against are Bordatella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza.

-It can take up to 72 hours to build up immunity against B.bronchiseptica, and up to 3 weeks against parainfluenza virus, therefore this vaccine should not be left to be given last minute before going into kennels.

– Vaccination provides 1 year of immunity against these 2 causative agents. Yearly boosters are required.

-Other causative agents may also be involved. For this reason, dogs vaccinated may still pick up a strain of kennel cough, however, it will be far milder, and easier to treat than otherwise would be without vaccination.