Canine Distemper is a contagious and very serious viral infection that affects dogs of any age but especially young puppies. It can be spread from nose to nose contact, and coming into contact with urine, vomit or faeces that are from an infected animal. It affects many body systems including the respiratory, gastrointestinal, nervous and lymphatic systems. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate is very low so it is very important to vaccinate your dog.
Canine Cough (also known as Kennel Cough) is a highly contagious respiratory disease similar to whooping cough in people. It is an inflammation of the trachea and bronchi called tracheobronchitis. Dogs with Canine Cough have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks and if untreated can cause pneumonia. Canine Cough can be spread any place dogs meet such as parks, kennels, beaches etc.
Canine Parvovirus is a virus that attacks and strips the gastrointestinal tract causing severe bloody diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting, abdominal pain and is often fatal without treatment. Parvovirus is highly contagious. Unvaccinated dogs and puppies are at a high risk. Parvovirus is spread either, directly from dog to dog or from ground contaminated with faeces. The ground may remain infectious for several years. Thus, the need to avoid exercising your puppy where other dogs have been until fully vaccinated.
The second shot is given at around 12 to 14 weeks, and I recommend a C5 vaccine, especially for show dogs exposed to a number of other people and animals. The third puppy shot is done at 16 to 18 weeks and I again recommend that it be a C5 vaccination. Boosters should be given to adult dogs, particularly show dogs, on a yearly basis.
The argument: “I haven’t seen distemper for years” is a bit of a Catch 22. I haven’t seen distemper for years either, but the reason is that we have been vaccinating against it for the past 30 years and the vaccines work. If we stop vaccinating as vigilantly as we do, the disease is likely to return.
The mammalian body is extremely complex and makes the most modern computer look like an abacus. As a result, occasionally a dog might still contract a disease even though it has been vaccinated. This happens in circumstances when there is immunosuppression. A vaccine may also prove ineffective if at the time of vaccination the dog has a fever, is being treated with steroids or has another disease.
Number 1 is the deadly PARVO virus, which is exquisitely contagious and causes explosive bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. Think doggy EBOLA! A puppy could pick up parvo from soil where an infected dog defecated up to 18 months previously! Treating a parvo puppy takes intensive care around the clock and quarantine strategies like a nuclear spill.
Numbers 4 and 5 refer to the most common and viruses and bacteria that cause canine cough (formerly known as kennel cough or KC). The VIRUS is parainfluenza virus, which is very similar to the human flu, and the bacteria is Bordatella bronchiseptica, which is the doggy version of Whooping Cough. Both cause infection and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, with symptoms that can include coughing, rhinitis, and sneezing. In puppies, with their tiny immature airways and lungs, Canine cough can escalate to life threatening pneumonia. It is heartbreaking to see and requires intensive care to treat. Canine cough is very common in our coastal doggy population, and extremely contagious, just like the flu.
Our vaccination protocols for puppies and kittens are designed to provide a safety net for early failure of the transferred maternal immunity and are timed to ensure that the baby’s maturing immune system responds appropriately to the vaccines, and builds its own artillery of protective antibodies. The antibodies produced will not only be strongly protective within 2 weeks of the last vaccination, but they will continue to be produced so that the puppy or kitten will be able to protect itself when exposed even many months later.
Until 20 years ago, heartworm was difficult to prevent and worse to treat, and countless dogs died from the disease. Modern medicine means that it is now easy to prevent, although still rife in the tropics with infected mozzies becoming less concentrated the further we go south. Monitoring of pet dogs, wild dogs and dingos up and down the Fraser coast highlight an alarming depot of infection that poses a constant threat to our Sunshine Coast dog population.
When a puppy or a kitten is born and first suckles, protective “antibodies” are transferred from mother to baby through the placenta and through the first milk. The puppy or kitten gets a short term ‘snap shot’ of the mother’s immune system. For a short period, it will have immunity to all the viruses and bacteria that she has been exposed to and built resistance to. So long as the mother has been properly vaccinated, the immunity she transfers will include resistance to deadly PARVO VIRUS in puppies, and the array of CAT FLU viruses in kittens.
What is the difference between a C3 and a C5 vaccination under what conditions would you consider only having a C3 vaccination?
What is Protech C4?
Under what conditions would you consider only having a C3 vaccination?