Canine Vaccinations

Vaccinations

Vaccinations give your dog immunity against these fatal diseases:

  1. Parvovirus – this virus attacks the bone marrow and gut lining, weakening the immune system and causing bloody vomiting and diarrhoea. Puppies die from dehydration and sepsis. 
  2. Distemper Virus – this virus attacks the brain, lungs and intestines
  3. Canine Hepatitis – this virus causes severe liver disease, including jaundice, vomiting and diarrhoea

These all remain in the environment for months and can be spread between apparently healthy dogs. It’s true that in the UK we see these diseases far less commonly, however this is certainly due to popular vaccination uptake giving our dog population a ‘herd immunity’. If this is reduced we will start to see these fatal diseases more and more, just like in less developed countries around the world, or even in highly dog populated and poorer areas and cities of the UK.

4. Leptospirosis – transmitted by rat’s urine, and picked up from farms, puddles or watercourses, this bacteria is really hard to diagnose and causes liver and kidney failure.

Frequency of Vaccination

After the puppy course of vaccines, and 1 year booster, your dog will only receive the viral vaccines (1-3 above) every 3-4 years. Research has shown that immunity to these vaccines can last this duration of time, however for our bacterial vaccine against Leptospirosis, immunity will only last 12 months. We still therefore recommend having this vaccine every year at your dog’s annual health check.

Titre testing

If you would rather not vaccinate your dog, you may have a titre test which will measure the antibody level against the three viruses, to ensure they have full protective immunity. The frequency that this test should be done will depend on your dog’s age, lifestyle and health.

Negatives

Your dog may develop a lump at the site of injection. This is a normal reaction of the body to the vaccine and should disappear in 2-14 days.

Your dog may be quiet for 24 hours. Please get in touch if you are worried beyond this time.

There is increasingly internet lobbying against vaccinations and their effects on overstimulating the immune system. It’s true that we are increasingly diagnosing conditions which involve the immune system attacking the body unnecessarily but there is no evidence YET that vaccination is responsible for this.