Why vaccinate your dog?

4th February 2016

Why should you protect your dog?

Our vets at Bollington Veterinary Centre feel strongly that prevention is better than cure, and vaccinating your pet dog is one of the best things you can do to help them live a healthy happy life.

What do we vaccinate against and why?

There are some very serious life threatening diseases still around in Macclesfield. Vaccinations helping to immunise your dog are available against;

  • Distemper – a fatal disease causing diarrhoea, discharge from eyes and nose, ‘hard-pad’ and fits
  • Hepatitis – a life threatening virus disease affecting the liver
  • Parvovirus – often causing death in epidemics through bloody diarrhoea
  • Leptospirosis – known to cause jaundice and liver disease
  • Rabies – a very serious fatal disease which can be spread to people as well
  • Infectious Bronchitis – often known as kennel cough. A very infectious and often debilitating respiratory disease

When should you vaccinate your dog?

Dogs are most at risk when they are very young and very old. At our Bollington clinic we start the puppy vaccines from 8 weeks of age, and then annually afterwards.

  • Puppies – first injection at 8 weeks, and the second injection at 10 weeks.
  • Adults – annually using a 3-year vaccine rotation.
  • Older dogs – annual injections are still important as when your pet dog gets older, they may become more susceptible to infections. Don’t think that they are not necessary just because of age.
  • Rabies – this is usually given every 3 years. Make sure you ask one of our vets to check on the timing of these injections. It is important to comply with the Rabies vaccination rules if you are intending to travel to Europe.

If you are unsure about the exact vaccination program for your own dog, ring us on 01625 573375 and we’ll try to help.

How are the vaccines given?

  • Injections – most vaccinations are given by a small injection under the skin. This includes distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and rabies vaccines.
  • Nasal drops – the Kennel Cough’ vaccine is given by a few drops introduced into the nose. Many dogs cope with this fine, some need a little but of persuasion.

Some of the common concerns and questions

Over the years we’ve had to reassure many people about vaccinations.

  • Is it painful? – No. Very young puppies sometimes squeak a little as the needle is inserted but this doesn’t last long at all. Within seconds of being given, and with the help of a biscuit, it is all forgotten. Older dogs rarely react at all when injected.
  • Can they get ill from the vaccine? - Highly unlikely in our experience. You might get the occasional puppy being quiet the next day, but after that nothing.
  • Are vaccines effective? – Yes, these days providing a full year round protection from just one booster injection. Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and rabies vaccines last for 3 years.
  • Are they safe? – 'YES, so don’t take the risk by not vaccinating your dog' says our vet.