Vaccination of Dogs
All dogs should be vaccinated routinely against five major diseases. These are Distemper, Hepatitis, Para influenza, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis. Additional vaccination for kennel cough should be given if the animal is going to be mixing with a large population of other dogs (e.g. at dog shows, kenneling etc) and rabies vaccination should be given if traveling abroad, indeed this
is a prerequisite for the Pet Travel Scheme.
Puppy vaccination starts from 6 weeks of age with the second injection at 10 weeks, if dogs are at high risk of parvovirus infection a parvovirus booster should be given at 20 weeks old, thereafter annual boosters are required. Pups should not be allowed to mix with other dogs until
at least 12 weeks old or 5 days after the second injection, whichever comes soonest.
Kennel cough vaccination has to be administered at least 5 days before exposure to a high risk situation such as entering kennels. It provides protection for 6 months after which time booster vaccination should be given.
Rabies vaccination is only required if traveling abroad. Normally one injection is sufficient to induce immunity against infection. If the Pet Travel Scheme is being used then blood testing 30 days after vaccination is required to prove that the immune response is adequate, if this is not the case then repeat vaccination is required.
Vaccination is an extremely low risk method of protecting against serious, often fatal disease. Adverse vaccine reactions are very rare and of much importance than the nature of the illnesses from which these vaccines less