All pooches in the UK are inoculated against several core diseases, including distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Distemper attacks the lymph nodes, causing damage to the respiratory, urinary, digestive, and nervous systems, and hepatitis targets the liver, kidneys, eyes, and lining of blood vessels. Leptospirosis compromises the nervous system and organs, whilst parvovirus leads to vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. The least serious ailment is parainfluenza, which is akin to ‘doggy flu’, however, this is highly contagious.
There are additional non-core vaccines that may be considered, such as bordetella, coronavirus, Lyme disease, and rabies. The last of these is particularly important should you be travelling abroad with your canine.
The first injection usually takes place around eight weeks old, with the second two to four weeks later, although high-risk puppies may require a third dose. They should remain in a controlled environment for up to a fortnight following their vaccinations, in order to offer them maximum protection.
As an adult dog, regular boosters are required to maintain immunity; don’t forget to treat for fleas and worms as well. Microchipping your furry friends is recommended, to ensure a safe return should they wander too far from home, and collars are a legal requirement, with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner clearly stated. Neutering your dog once it has reached six months of age, or has completed its first season, provides numerous physical health and behavioural benefits. ❤