Here is a very old cartoon made by Burrows-Welcome, manufacturer of Epivax, the first dog vaccine. (see name top left - in red in the original cartoon) This protected against distemper and nothing else, but saved many dogs from a horrible death. The text says
"He'll let you touch him all right, but the trick is getting your hand back!"
Remember that routine vaccinations protect not just against distemper and these are also are covered by the Parkside VIP Pet Health Plan, saving you money on vaccinations, flea prevention, worming and other offers exclusive to VIP Pets. Click the link for more information.
Vaccinations protect a pet against infections which we cannot treat and may well result in the death of the pet. So if you can't treat it, prevent it - by vaccination! We use Nobivac vaccines by MSD animal health for all your pets' needs. All pets receive a full clinical examination when they come to us for vaccination. Early socialisation makes such a difference to pups!!
Dogs receive 2 injections as pups, at 8 and 10 weeks of age, (at the earliest) with annual boosters. This protects them against Distemper, Parvovirus, Viral hepatitis, and 2 forms of Leptospirosis. Boosters now vary - one year, dogs receive a full booster and every second year they receive a small one (leptospirosis only). This saves you around £10 when a small one is used, so your dog receives enough but not excessive doses - and you save money! Some Vets' vaccines must use the big one every year and you are charged accordingly.
There have been a few confirmed cases of Parvovirus (Parvo) in vaccinated dogs, later in their first year and it has been found that around 2% of dogs fail to respond fully to the Parvo vaccine and can become susceptible to the infection later in that first year. This can be avoided with an extra Parvo Booster at 16 weeks of age (or soon after) which would cover the small proportion of dogs whose immunity may be low. We recommend this, especially having seen a conformed parvo case (which recovered) in late 2014. We see these often enought to recommend the best protection we can give.
Boarding your dog usually means a vaccination against Kennel Cough, better known as Infectious Canine Cough as you do not need to be near a boarding kennel to become infected. This lasts for 1 year and is only one dose, in the form of drops, given in one nostril. This covers the worst form of kennel cough (Bordetella Infection) and now includes a Para-influenza-3 virus (Pi3). This means that all dogs can now be protected against most types of infectious cough and we recommend that all dogs have this. It is 25% cheaper if done at the same time as annual boosters. This will not protect against every cough but does protect against the nasty ones and makes others much milder. (Like you being vaccinated against Flu, but still getting colds).
Rabies vaccine is kept for dogs going abroad. As we do not have rabies in the UK, it is not used routinely unless your pet is going abroad and you want to come back, so it needs a Pet Passport. You can read about that HERE.
Recent bad press about vaccinating animals has caused a swift reponse by both the British Veterinary Association and Vaccine manufacturers. They both stress the fact that we see very few examples of the diseases for which pets are vaccinated, BECAUSE, they are vaccinated. In other words, these vaccines work VERY well and under current knowledge, pets MUST have annual boosters to keep their protection high. There may be some pets whose immunity may last much longer, but the only way to tell would be by blood testing the pet and checking for antibodies to each disease. The cost of this would be many times the cost of a check-up and vaccination, so we vaccinate, to be sure that ALL pets are protected.
The few who are NOT vaccinated are only safe because most other pets ARE vaccinated, so the diseases do not have enough susceptible population to start on. BUT as more people become lax and miss boosters, more and more pets become succeptible, then we see a sudden plague of disease, with everyone rushing for booster vaccinations, then the population is protected again and all goes quiet. We have seen this to take a seven year cycle in Dundee. Just like the state of measles vaccination in children where, as more people do NOT vaccinate, more disease starts to show.
A recent independent survey by the Animal Health Trust has shown there to be NO correlation between vaccination and illness, up to 3 months AFTER vaccination. A very reassuring finding for everyone. So do not listen to scaremongerers and allow your pet to become a statistic by allowing immunity to wane. Keep immunity high with an annual booster. Remember, your pet receives a full clinical examination at the same time, so it is good peace of mind all round. These diseases are still around so be aware and keep you dog protected. Vaccinating a dog as a pup does NOT give the dog lifelong protection.