Vaccination & your dog’s health

The first rule in taking care of your dog is: When your dog is sick, take him to your vet! While a veterinarian is qualified to diagnose trouble and prescribe treatment – it is your job to keep your dog from getting sick. Let us assume you start with a puppy. You should know something about “shots”, worm medications, flea powders, and poisons! While a puppy is nursing, it may receive protective antibodies in its mother’s milk. As soon as the puppy is weaned, this natural immunity will begin to disappear and may be gone within two weeks. Many puppies are susceptible to diseases at this young age. Most vets will advise a a vaccination program beginning at 6 to 8 weeks, so it is important that you ensure your puppy has been vaccinated. Distemper, hepatitis and leptospirosis are common and serious diseases which destroy many pets each year. Rabies is also a threat which should be guarded against in rural as well as metropolitan areas because of the possible chance of exposure to bites of infected animals. The only satisfactory method of protecting your dog is by vaccination. Your veterinarian may want to give your puppy immediate temporary protection at the time of purchase or adoption with a “puppy shot” of antiserum which contains antibodies against distemper, hepatitis and leptospirosis as well as some of the other common diseases. Vaccinations provide long term immunity and most puppies will be started on a series of vaccinations on their first visit to the veterinarian. Booster vaccines are then advisable on a regular basis for adult dogs, to maintain his overall health for years to come. Dog Vaccinatuion info as dispersed by the SOUTH AFRICAN VETERINARY ASSOCIATION: Against what diseases should I have my pet vaccinated?  Vaccines used for the protection of pets are currently divided into core vaccines and non-core vaccines. The former are vaccines that should be given to all pets in all regions because they protect against diseases that are widespread and have serious effects. Non-core vaccines are only given strategically when a particular disease is prevalent in an area or when circumstances predispose to the appearance of the disease. Non-core vaccines are only administered after discussion with your veterinarian to evaluate the risks. Core vaccines for dogs Canine distemper Canine adenovirus infections Canine parvovirus infection Rabies Non-core vaccines for DOGS                                        Leptospirosis Kennel cough Canine coronavirus Canine herpesvirus Basic vaccination programme for dogs

  • First vaccination at 8–9 weeks
  • Second vaccination at 11–12 weeks; includes the first RABIES vaccination
  • Re-vaccinate at 14–16 weeks; includes the second RABIES vaccination
  • Re-vaccinate at one year of age
  • Re-vaccinate every 3 years, including RABIES

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