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Help! Which vaccinations should I give my dog, Bowen Hills Vet?

bowen hills vet fortitude valley

Should you vaccinate your dogs yearly because your local vet says you should? And do you know what you are vaccinating your dog against? Read on to find out why you should vaccinate and what you should vaccinate against.

Which type of vaccines should I give my dog, Bowen Hills Vet?

Core vaccines Vs Non-core vaccines

Core vaccines are given to dogs to protect them against severe, life-threatening diseases that are present in many parts of the world. On the other hand, non-core vaccines are generally considered non-essential but are given to dogs that have high exposure to less-threatening diseases such as kennel cough.

I recommend what is termed as 'strategic vaccination' in the veterinarian industry. This considers a variety of factors to decide on a course of action that involves just the use of core vaccines or a combination of core and non-core. The factors that should be taken into consideration include the dog’s age, lifestyle (indoor VS outdoor), immune status (estimated using serological titre - used to determine the amount of antibodies present in the dog) and environmental risk (presence of diseases in the region).

What type of vaccine is given to my dogs, Bowen Hills Vet?

The most frequently administered vaccines in Australia are the C3 or C5.

C3 is a core vaccine that protects against canine parvovirus, canine distemper and canine hepatitis.

C5 includes the core vaccine of C3 plus non-core vaccines to provide additional protection against canine parainfluenza and Bordetella spp. In some countries (such as Southeast Asia and the United States), the rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine. The following presents information on the core diseases:

Diseases and symptoms:

Canine distemper: Common in Southeast Asia. A range of neurological signs observed including seizures, loss of balance, blindness, coughing and diarrhoea.

Canine hepatitis: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, liver failure.

Canine parvovirus: Fatal bloody diarrhoea, anorexia, vomiting.

Rabies: Change in behaviour, paralysis, aggression.

When to give my dog the vaccine, Bowen Hills Vet?

Generally, core vaccines are given when your pup is 8 weeks old, and then at 12 weeks, followed by another at 16 weeks old. A booster is given at 15 months of age (a year later) and every year after that. If your adult doggie has never been vaccinated, he will require 2 doses of vaccine at 4 weeks interval. It is now a legal requirement in Australia for puppies to have their first vaccination before being sold or adopted by new owners.

So do I choose a 3-yearly cycle or an annual vaccination, Bowen Hills Vet?

Decide for yourself. Some argue that vaccines may cause horrible side effects and others think that this may possibly be a ploy for vets and drug companies to make more money.  In my years of experience, I have never had an adverse vaccine reaction, except for localised swelling, in a puppy because I use a reputably vaccine brand. Experts have consistently shown that disease outbreaks are common in communities with reduced vaccination rates. Parvovirus outbreaks are very common near major cities in Australia.

It is important to note that dogs living in kennels require non-core vaccine (Kennel cough vaccine) on a yearly basis to keep kennel cough at bay (very much like how you would get a yearly flu vaccine).

My recommendation is to choose a yearly cycle of vaccination as I rather be safe than to be sorry. Parvovirus can strike puppies and adult dogs with high mortality rate. In my opinion, yearly vaccination is the only way I am sure that my dogs are protected against these nasty viruses. If you do decide on a 3-yearly one, remember to visit your local vet annually for the kennel cough vaccine and health check. And if you still remain unconvinced, do a serological titre test to measure the amount of antibodies present in your furry kid to guard against nasty diseases on a yearly basis.

If you are looking for a Bowen Hills Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.