Vaccination of Dogs

Our recommendation is that all puppies are vaccinated at 8, 10 and 14 weeks of age against the 4 core diseases of Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis.

This should be followed by a booster once the dog is 15 months old. When a puppy receives the initial 8 and 10 week vaccinations with us we offer the 3rd booster at 14 weeks as a complimentary service.

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DHPL (Distemper virus, Adenovirus, and Parvovirus and Leptospirosis 4)

We recommend a course of three injections for young puppies - the third at 14 weeks of age - and with a booster at 15 months. This is the primary course and sets up the best possible protection for life.

You can find many many opinions on the Internet about what course to have and at what age to finish. Every one of those opinions, even the WSAVA, BVA and BSAVA are influenced by the companies who produce the vaccines.

The emphasis in recent years has been to produce an 'early finish' to enable 'early socialisation' by allowing the dog to 'go out' early, and this is important. The vaccine we use has a license for a 10 week finish, and a course of two injections only.

What that means is that 95% of dogs will have full protection at 10 weeks of age. That leaves the other 5% - 1 in every 20 - not fully protected, and perhaps not protected at all. At 12 weeks of age the figure is 98%, and at 14 weeks 99.9% - as good as you can get.

That is why we advise the extra injections. We feel so strongly about this that if you have the first two injections with us, we give the third FREE. If you have the first elsewhere and the second with us, the third is at cost.

Yes, we could run a blood test at 16 weeks to check the antibody levels and pick up those that are low. However, this is much more invasive and expensive, not to mention unpleasant for the puppy.

Boosters The first annual booster at 15 months of age is a full booster (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus & Leptospirosis 4.) Thereafter we administer an Leptospirosis 4 each of the next two years and in year 4 a full booster is given again. This cycle is repeated thereafter. Again, blood tests can sometimes suggest that a booster is not yet required, but our view is that that is more trouble than it is worth for the patient, when on the above cycle the protection is as strong and it can be.

Kennel Cough (Bordatella bronchiseptica and/or parainfluenza virus)

This is generally just a nuisance but can occasionally lead to pneumonia. It is very common in this area and we therefore recommend annual vaccination. This consists of a small volume of liquid being placed in one or both nostrils as a single dose every year.

Rabies

Rabies vaccine is given to microchipped pups if travel to mainland Europe and or beyond is envisaged. Generally speaking the pup has to be 12 weeks of age or more, and can travel 21 days after the vaccine is given. All our dog vaccines are made by the same pharmaceutical company and are tested to be mutually compatible. The rabies vaccine lasts for three years.

Leishmaniasis

This vaccine is made by a different pharmaceutical company and has very tight timings for the course of three injections. We do use it in specific cases for dogs travelling to Leishmania prevalent areas.

For more detail, come and talk to us in person! We are always delighted to welcome you and your new puppy into the practice.