The 4 main vaccinations annually given to dogs
Canine Parvovirus

This can be caught from an infected dog or from dog faeces.  It generally affects puppies aged 6 weeks to 6 months and can have serious consequences as it can cause them heart problems which can lead to death.  It effects older dogs who have not been regularly vaccinated as well.  The symptoms are extreme vomiting and diarrhoea which can present bloody.  Dogs become very dehydrated and their white blood cell count drops making them susceptible to other infections.  Your vet may suggest antibiotics via a drip and anti-vomiting medication.  Canine Parvovirus is very serious, without treatment 85% of dogs die, but with veterinary care up to 85% of dogs do survive.

Canine Distemper Virus (sometimes referred to as Hard Pad)

It is passed through bodily fluids from dog to another.    The symptoms are fever, depression, vomiting and diarrhoea, coughing and discharge from the eyes and mouth.  Dogs with very severe symptoms rarely survive.  Dogs can recover from milder symptoms but often have long term health problems for example, neurological problems, muscle tics, difficulty walking or walking in circles, seizures, eye problems, thickening of the skin on the nose and pads hence the name Hard Pad.  There is no specific treatment apart from anti-seizure medication and an intravenous drip to hydrate.


The main source of infection is infected urine or contaminated water found in stagnant pounds, water areas which attract volumes of rats. In the UK the two major strains of leptospirosis are carried by dogs and rats although it can also cause Weil’s disease in humans.  They symptoms are fever, increased thirst, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, lethargy and jaundice, in more severe cases dogs can die from liver and or kidney failure.  Through treatment of antibiotics and intravenous drips dogs can recover but their urine remains infectious for many months which makes them a high risk to other animals and leptospirosis in humans can be fatal.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis ICH or Canine Adenovirus

It is spread through bodily fluids/discharge from the infected dog.  A dog’s urine can remain infectious for up to a year, it is also well preserved in the environment for many months. There are two types of symptoms, one is like kennel cough and the second, causes an infection of the liver.  The symptoms include coughing, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, jaundice and abdominal pain.  The symptoms can very similar to Parvovirus.  There is no specific treatment.  Most dogs will recover, others will not.

Puppy Vaccinations

Two courses of vaccinations are given to the puppy, the first dose at between 4 - 8 weeks and the second dose is given 2 – 4 weeks later.  Your puppy will then require a booster at 6 or 12 months of age.



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