Puppy vaccinations

The primary vaccinations for puppies helps to overcome the remaining anti-body protection that they still have from their mothers and ensures reliable protection at an early age. The first vaccination is usually given at 8 weeks old, followed by a second two to four weeks later (no earlier than 10 weeks old), allowing for an early socialisation programme.

At the second vaccination appointment we will provide you with your certificate of vaccination.

St Anne's Veterinary Group recommends that yearly boosters are obtained to ensure immunisation is up to date.

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Dog vaccinations protect against the following diseases:

The team here at St Anne's Veterinary Group can provide the following vaccinations for your dog:

1) Parvovirus

Regular outbreaks are still seen. The virus causes severe gastroenteritis, i.e., vomiting and diarrhoea,

leading to dehydration. It is often fatal, particularly in puppies or elderly dogs.

2) Canine Infectious hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus)

This virus attacks the liver, kidneys, eyes and lungs of infected dogs. It is unfortunately often fatal, even with veterinary care. Death is usually due to respiratory failure.

3) Leptospirosis

The disease results in liver or kidney failure and is often fatal. One form of Leptospirosis can be passed on to humans by rats and is known as Weil’s Disease.

4) Canine Distemper (also known as “hard pad”)

Foxes also transmit this disease, and it is often fatal. Dogs that do survive are often left with permanent brain damage and disabilities such as deformed teeth, nervous twitches, epileptic fits and a complete change in temperament.

5) Canine Parainfluenza

This is one of the viral agents that contributes to kennel cough. This disease is often prolonged and may last for months, even with veterinary care. Secondary infections are common and often lead to pneumonia which may be fatal. These five diseases are included in most standard canine vaccines.

6) Bordetella Bronchiseptica

This is the most common infectious agent of kennel cough but is not included in the standard vaccine as it must be given into the nostrils, or the most recent vaccine can be given orally too. It is highly contagious.

7) Rabies

If your dog is to be exported abroad, or you wish to travel under the Pet Travel Scheme, then you will have to vaccinate against Rabies.

A full health check is booked for every dog that is having a vaccination to ensure that they are in good health before giving the injection. 

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“Fit for Life”

Early Socialisation of Puppies

The socialisation of young puppies is very important for the development of social skills. This process is most readily accepted by puppies aged 6-16 weeks and may help to determine the eventual temperament of your dog. You can therefore see that it is important for young puppies to be socialised as soon as possible, but they obviously need to be protected from illness and disease. At St. Annes Veterinary Group we believe if a puppy has had its vaccination at 8 weeks, by 9 weeks of age it will have sufficient immunity to be socialised in a controlled environment with other vaccinated puppies and dogs. We hold puppy parties to ensure clients have access to early social development for their dogs.

Adult Dogs Vaccination Protocols

For puppies over the age of 8 weeks and adult dogs, the primary dose should be given as soon as possible and the second dose 2-4 weeks later. The pet is not fully protected until 7 days after the second dose. Adult pets that have never had vaccinations, or whose vaccinations have lapsed will also require two initial doses. This is to raise the immunity to an effective level.

Booster Vaccinations

In order to maintain a protective level of immunity, dogs require annual boosters or single dose vaccinations. We will send reminders (if you have given us permission to do so) but make a note on the calendar when this is due.

Kennel Cough Vaccination

The primary cause of the syndrome known as ‘kennel cough’ is a bacterium called Bordetalla Bronchiseptica. As a bacterial vaccine this cannot be given as a subcutaneous injection but instead is administered into the nostrils. This disease is most commonly associated with dogs gathering together in enclosed spaces such as dog shows and boarding kennels. However, the organism is highly infectious and can be transmitted when dogs walk or play together. As a ‘non-core’ vaccine we do not automatically give it to all dogs, and we advise you to discuss with your veterinary surgeon the risks to your pet so you can make an informed decision about using this vaccination.

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Puppy & Dog Vaccinations FAQs

Do dogs need to be vaccinated?

Vaccinations are essential for providing your dog with adequate protection from life-threatening and debilitating diseases. There is the option of Titre testing, which involves blood samples to determine your dog's immunity. Unfortunately, this is not always 100% reliable, it is costly to perform and leptospirosis would still need to be vaccinated against. This is why we would recommend core vaccinations on the whole.

Is it OK to not vaccinate my dog?

As veterinary professionals, we would always recommend vaccinations; the risk is not worth taking when it comes to the harmful diseases.

What vaccines do dogs legally need?

It is not a legal requirement to have a dog vaccinated, but it is highly advisable. Some kennels, dog trainers and day-care require vaccinations for all dogs to use their services. Insurance can be invalidated if dogs are not vaccinated.

At what age do you stop vaccinating your dog?

Dogs require annual booster vaccines throughout their lives; this is to ensure maximum protection against life-threatening diseases. We base our choice of vaccines on the lifestyle of the dog rather than age.

Can I vaccinate my dog myself?

Under UK law, only veterinary surgeons can prescribe medications; vaccinations fall into this category. Your vet is required to health assess a pet before prescribing and administering the vaccine.

Like many drugs, vaccines can have mild side effects, which is why a health check prior is essential to ensure your pet will be fit and well after the vaccine is administered. Veterinary professionals are trained at administering these vaccines; this wouldn't be advised for a member of the public to administer themselves.

Also, the vaccination bottles, needles and syringes require correct disposal. Some diseases such as diabetes require owners to inject their animal at home, but correct monitoring, training and equipment is essential.

If your dog is anxious or nervous, you can speak to the team at St Anne's Veterinary Group at any time and we can make a plan to reduce as much stress as we can. For example, after a discussion between the owner and the team, some of our nervous dogs have a minimal health check and the vaccine may still be administered. This is carried out when an owner or we feel a health examination will be too stressful.

What vaccinations does my dog need?

Annual boosters usually cover leptospirosis and kennel cough (can be given every six months). However, distemper, parvovirus and canine hepatitis are usually needed every three years. Therefore, a dog would need a vaccine every year to have maximum protection against diseases.

Because of yearly vaccinations, this is why our health plans are popular – they break down these costs into monthly payments. The plan also covers various preventative treatments, including flea treatments, worming treatments and anal gland expressions - if you haven't already signed up click here to find out more about St Anne's Veterinary Group Dog Health Plan.

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