Protecting your Dog from disease

Vaccination has positively changed the control the way we handle infectious disease in our dogs. It is vitally important to have our animals vaccinated to help not only your pet but the animal population as a whole. Puppies need their vaccinations to stay healthy, but it cannot protect them forever which is why as the animal progresses in age, regular vaccinations are required.

Puppy Vaccination

Puppies are given temporary protection against quite a few diseases by the antibodies in their mother’s milk. The level of antibodies declines over the first couple of months after they are born. However, the vaccines can be neutralised while the antibodies received via their moms’ milk is still present in their blood. An array of vaccinations can ensure the vaccines are effective.

Adult Dog Vaccination

The resistance against disease gained from the vaccinations received as a puppy does lessen as the dog grows older. Yearly booster vaccinations and health checks do give your pet the best protection possible.

Post Vaccination Care

You may notice a difference in your dog’s behaviour or he may have some slight tenderness and swelling around the place where he was injected for a day or two. To help your dog recover quicker, easy access to water, food and a safe, comfortable area to rest in is usually all that is needed. If the changes seem to be severe, you should contact us for advice.

The diseases that dogs are vaccinated against include:

Canine Parvovirus: This is a disease that can affect dogs of any age however, is most destructive in the very young and very old dogs. The virus is spread by attacking the intestines causing blood in the stools, accompanied by uncontrollable vomiting with bad abdominal pain. Dogs often pass away from extreme dehydration even in ICU veterinary care. The virus is so infectious it does not need to have contact with a dog that has the virus, but can stay alive in the environment. Once a dog has the disease its area, everything around it must be cleaned with a strong disinfectant to prevent transmission to another dog. Australia has regular outbreaks more commonly in the summer.

Canine Distemper: Distemper is an extremely contagious and viral disease that affect all dogs with young dogs being at most risk. Symptoms can include coughing, nasal discharge, sneezing, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. This can progress to muscle tremors, paralysis and fits. Treatment is most often ineffective with a low recovery rate. Dogs that recover usually have irreversible brain damage.

Canine Hepatitis: Hepatitis is a viral disease which is incredibly contagious and most often fatal. Any dog of any age can be infected though severe cases are very rare in dogs over the age of 2. Symptoms include loss of appetite, high fever, diarrhea, depression, vomiting and acute abdominal pain. In bad cases, death can happen within 24 to 36 hours. Recovery is possible; however, most dogs develop liver and kidney problems long term and can carry the disease and infect other dogs for a long time.

Canine Cough: This is a condition caused by a few highly contagious diseases which can be spread wherever dogs go. The infectious agents connected with the disease is the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica, adenovirus type distemper and the canine parainfluenza virus.
Symptoms include a dry hacking cough which continues for a couple weeks. It can be quite distressing for the pet and pet owner alike. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.

Canine Coronavirus: Canine coronavirus is contagious and causes loss of appetite, depression, diarrhoea & vomiting, commonly in young dogs. Diarrhoea may persist for days in some cases. Most dogs will recover with treatment. Coronavirus can be fatal if the dog has another infectious disease such as parvovirus.

Canine Leptospirosis: Some area’s carry a much higher risk for dogs, like rubbish dumps or green sugar cane cutting fields where there is a high concentration of rats. The disease has a high mortality rate. The urine of rats carries the disease and dogs contract it by consuming contaminated food and water or by rat bites. Probability of infection can increase after extended periods of wet weather when hordes of rats are forced to move. Leptospirosis is an animal disease but is communicable to humans which then manifests itself with a persistent “flu-like” illness.