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TerrierThe Importance of Vaccinations

With most of the viruses that affect pets today there is still no treatment so we believe that 'Prevention is better than cure'. Sadly we often see pets that have become ill with Feline Leukaemia Virus or Myxomatosis or Infectious Tracheobronchitis that could have had their illnesses prevented or kept to a minimum if only they had been vaccinated.

A vaccine is designed to stimulate your pet's immune system so that they have a 'memory' of a certain disease. This means that if they are unfortunate enough to come across this disease they will be have a much faster and stronger reaction by their immune system to beat the disease and throw it out of their body.

Currently, we recommend yearly boosters for many of these diseases to ensure that your pet's immune system is always vigilant and prepared in its constant fight against disease.As well as having its 'booster' vaccination, whenever you take your pet to your veterinary surgery it will have a thorough clinical examination that can alert us to problems ranging from bad teeth to heart disease.

These examinations are as vital for the well being of your pet as the vaccination and it is important you discuss any concerns or queries you may have about your pet's health.

Vaccinations for Dogs

Normally, it is advisable for puppies at seven weeks old to be given an initial course of two vaccination injections and these should then be followed by a booster vaccination on an annual basis.   The key vaccinations you need to protect your dog against are:
(a)    Parvovirus

(b)    Distemper

(c)    Canine Hepatitis

(d)    Leptospirosis and

(e)    Kennel Cough (infectious bronchitis)

(f)    Adenovirus and

(g)    Para-Influenza.

Although some of these diseases are treatable, some are fatal and it is therefore wise to vaccinate against them to prevent severe discomfort for your pet and stress and anxiety for you. 

If you have an older animal, it is never too late to start a vaccination programme and your vet will be able to advise you on this.  Older animals lack a strong immune system so it is important to keep their boosters up-to-date. It is also important to remember that most kennels will not take pets for boarding unless the pets have an up-to-date vaccination record. 

Accordingly, it is wise to ensure that your pets have their annual booster.  If more than 12 months pass after your pet’s last booster vaccination, your pet will have to start a vaccination course again as its resistance will have deteriorated considerably.

Remember, vaccinate before it’s too late – it could save their lives.

When we vaccinate a dog or a puppy we use a multivalent vaccine. This means that with one injection we are actually vaccinating against a variety of diseases.

In dogs we vaccinate against:

Girl hugging dogParvo virus

This often fatal disease causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting which leads to dehydration as well as damaging the dog's immune system so that it cannot fight infection. It is a very tough virus that usual disinfectants cannot kill.

Distemper (Hardpad)

This disease is not as common as it once was but there are still cases seen. Vomiting, diarrhoea, pneumonia and brain disease and death are the unfortunate consequences of this horrible disease.

Canine Hepatitis

This virus (which is not dangerous to people) can cause severe damage to the liver and kidneys and is again often fatal.


The canine equivalent of Wiles Disease. This can be caught if the dog swims in or drinks from water exposed to rat's urine e.g. canals and old pools. This also causes liver damage.

Kennel Cough (Infectious Tracheobronchitis)

A harsh hacking cough is the symptom of this disease. It has many causes, but we can vaccinate against some of the most common viruses and bacteria including bordatella bronchiseptica, canine parainfluenza virus and canine adeno virus II.
Puppies require two injections given from 7 weeks of age to ensure that they have the correct levels of immunity to fight these infections. Thereafter adult dogs will be given one injection each year to keep their immunity levels high.

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