Chevromist: Vaccinations

We see fewer cases of the major viral diseases in pets than 10 years ago.

So why vaccinate if the number of cases is low?
If people stop vaccinating their pets there will be a large population of un-protected pets just waiting for one of these highly contagious viruses to enter the neighborhood and cause an epidemic. Most of these diseases are fatal and/or cause lots of suffering e.g. Distemper causes meningitis, Parvovirus causes bloody vomiting and diarrhoea.

Canine Parvovirus
Parvovirus is still common especially in lower income areas where people try to save money by not vaccinating. When Parvo first occurred, there was no vaccine available and a large number of dogs lost their lives. When the first Parvo vaccine arrived, vets had queues around the street corners. It caused sudden vomiting and diarrhoea of watery blood, servere shock, acute abdominal pain and death. Treatment is prolonged, costly and not always successful. The virus spreads easily and can survive up to one year in contaminated soil – a dog has only to sniff where a dog went to the toilet one year ago to pick up the infection.

Canine Distemper
Canine Distemper occurs occasionally. It is a highly contagious viral disease. Symptoms vary but include fever, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis occurs later in the disease.

Canine Hepatitis
This is a very serious viral disease affecting the liver of the dog. Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain.

Prevention of Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus
These days dogs receive annual booster to protect them from Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus (see table below) as a bare minimum.

Kennel Cough
Dogs coming into contact with large number of other dogs e.g. boarding kennels, show dogs, often catch kennel cough and develop a nasty throat and/or chest infection. There a several “bugs” which cause Kennel Cough of which the worst are Bordetella and Parainfluenza.

Prevention of Kennel Cough
Both Bordetalla and Parainfluenza are preventable by use of Vaccination. There are still a few “bugs” which can cause a mild kennel cough, especially in dogs that bark all day long when in kennels, but they are not as serious. It’s like overdoing it when supporting your kids at their football match!

Annual Booster
1st Vaccination – Protech C3
2nd Vaccination – Protech C4

Distemper, Hepatitis & Parvovirus
C3 + Kennel Cough

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