Puppies are usually given their core vaccines via two injections at 8 and 10 weeks of age. Sometimes the timing may vary depending on the type of vaccine given. Vaccinations are given for several rather unpleasant diseases. We will explain more about these below.
Parvovirus - this is a very infectious and horrendous disease that causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. It is often fatal and unfortunately relatively common in unvaccinated puppies.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis- this is thankfully a very rare virus but it is serious as it can cause severe liver failure.
Leptospirosis- this a rare bacterial infection that can cause liver or kidney failure. It also has the potential to spread to humans and cause Weil’s disease.
Distemper- sadly distemper is a serious disease that can cause severe illness. This is a rare airborne virus but it is increasing in frequency in the UK due to pet travel.
In addition to the vaccinations already mentioned, it is often advisable to give kennel cough vaccination. This is advisable for social dogs, for example those who go to doggy daycare, puppy parties, boarding or kennels. It is caused by a variety of organisms - primarily Bordetella bronchiseptica (a bacteria) and canine parainfluenza (a virus). Kennel cough causes a nasty cough that can last months. It is rarely fatal, however, it is very widespread and so we include it as part of our VIP Healthcare Plan. Due to the influx of puppies, there have been outbreaks of kennel cough and we recommend the vaccine. It is administered with a spray of fluid into the nostril.
Lepto 2 Or Lepto 4?
There are two different vaccinations for leptospirosis. One has two types of leptospirosis (lepto 2) whilst the other has four (lepto 4). Lepto 2 vaccination are generally sufficient in built up areas. In some areas, particularly forest areas near rivers and lakes, you should be offered the Lepto 4 vaccination. The Lepto 4 vaccine requires two doses, four weeks apart. Once you have completed the primary vaccines, it’s really important to keep up to date and get your puppy’s boosters done every year.
It is absolutely essential to get vaccinations done on time to avoid serious health risks to your cherished pet.
What Is Lungworm And How Do You Know If Your Puppy Is At Risk?
Lungworm is a relatively new disease and is caused by a microscopic worm called Angiostrongylus vasorum (also known as the French heartworm). It is spread by foxes, slugs and snails. In many areas the local foxes are infected at over 50% prevalence. Lungworm can cause a range of illnesses from coughing, pneumonia, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding disorders, strokes and even death. In many cases, it is not evident that there is a problem until it is too late- it can be a hidden killer.
We strongly recommend preventative treatment for lungworm. This disease can be easily prevented with treatments that are only available from the vets. It is important that you consult with a vet to keep your puppy protected. The treatment we would recommend covers fleas, worms and lungworm too. Veterinary practices see a lot of lungworm! You can’t get these medications from pet shops- only from your vet and will protect against lungworm, fleas, manage and ear mites, and will cover all of the things that you might be concerned about. As lungworm can cause bleeding problems we strongly recommend your puppy is up to date with lungworm treatment before neutering or any other operations.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are small parasites that live in the fur of pets and live off the blood of your puppy. To keep your puppy protected, we recommend regular flea treatment, usually in conjunction with lungworm, manage and worming prevention. Animals can easily pick up fleas from the environment- they don’t necessarily have to pick them up from another dog. Flea eggs can live up to 18 months in the environment, so it’s really important to provide them with ongoing flea treatment.
Fleas are very small and very hard to see. That’s why preventative treatment is so important. It’s better to prevent the problem from starting than trying to tackle it once it has arisen. Fleas can be very itchy and uncomfortable for your pet, which no one wants. They can also cause skin conditions that can be severe. You’ll want your adorable pup to be happy and healthy at all times, so keeping on top of flea treatment really is a must. Read our blog to find out more about why it is vital to treat your precious pet for fleas.
Why Are Weight & Worming Checks Important
One of the reasons vets have puppies in monthly is to check their weight and to provide the appropriate worming, lungworm and flea treatment. This helps to ensure that as they grow, they continue to get the correct dose of treatment.
Benefits Of Monthly Health Checks
For monthly checks, vets would normally give a pup a top to tail check over and discuss dental development, their weight, their growth, what diet they are on and many other things. Seeing your pup monthly means they can be monitored regularly as they grow and make sure they are doing well. Monthly checks with a vet is a great way to get your puppy used to visiting the vet. This positive reinforcement is really helpful because if your dog needs to come to the vet in the future, they will already have a positive experience of the vets and will see it as a safe place to be.
Top Tip: Bringing your pup to the vets regularly is a great way to get them feeling comfortable. It helps when they need to be treated in the future, as they make great patients. The less stressed they are, the better!