What do we vaccinate for?
Vaccinations for puppies are placed into two main categories: CORE and NON-CORE. CORE vaccines are recognised as ESSENTIAL for preventing potentially deadly diseases as recommended by the ASAVA. NON-CORE vaccinations are still highly recommended and based on the regional prevalence of diseases such as Canine Cough.
What are the CORE vaccinations?
Canine Distemper Virus – Canine Distemper is a deadly virus that attacks multiple body systems. It is spread through close contact and there is NO CURE.
Canine Adenovirus-1 (Infectious Hepatitis) – This virus is spread through close contact and respiratory secretions and can also attack multiple body systems-particularly the liver- leading to several different symptoms. It can be fought by the immune system but then may remain latent in the kidneys for up to 6-9 months – shedding in the urine and possibly infecting other dogs.
Canine Parvovirus – This is the most commonly seen virus in veterinary practice in puppies and unvaccinated dogs and is spread through faecal-oral contact. It can be FATAL. The Type 2 virus is most common and it attacks cells in the intestinal lining. This leads to sloughing and very foetid, bloody diarrhoea. Dehydration and shock secondary to virus infection can lead to death if not treated early and aggressively.
What are the NON-CORE vaccinations?
Canine Infectious Cough (AKA Kennel Cough) – is a complex of viruses and bacteria that cause a dry, hacking cough due to upper respiratory infection. The most common infectious agents that are vaccinated against are Canine Parainfluenza virus, Adenovirus-2 and Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is of note that due to the complex nature of the disease complex, VACCINATION DOES NOT FULLY PREVENT INFECTION, but similar to a flu vaccine can lessen clinical effects when infection does occur.
Leptospirosis – this is not commonly vaccinated for in WA as it is not prevalent, but is in the Eastern States such as Queensland. It is a bacteria that can lead to acute kidney disease and is spread through the urine.
When to vaccinate?
Puppies are recommended to be vaccinated from 6-8 weeks of age, followed by two boosters 4 weeks apart. An annual booster 12 months from the third vaccination is required for effective immunity. Annual boosters are then recommended. (For older pets, you may consider titre testing in lieu of vaccination – ask one of our vets for more information regarding this).
Book an appointment to get your pup vaccinated at our veterinary clinic today!