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Vaccinations = A Healthy Puppy

Rise in Puppies post Covid-19

With the rise in remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic – more and more people have made the decision to welcome a four-legged friend into their home. After a long and difficult year for all of us, dogs can bring some much-needed companionship and love into our lives.

While of course we are delighted to see more people welcoming our canine friends into their families, it’s important to remember that just like with human babies our pups need vaccines too – so they can live a long and healthy life right by your side!

Puppy Vaccinations

Vaccines are an important step in being a responsible dog owner. Nobody wants to see their pup fall ill or suffer. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are several fatal diseases that are very much present in Ireland… Such as Parvovirus, Canine cough, Leptospirosis and Hepatitis.

How do puppy vaccinations work?

It’s the same principle as human vaccines. Vaccines contain a minute or altered version of bacteria or virus. When this is injected into your puppy, it stimulates the immune system and produces disease fighting cells or antibodies. This then subsequently protects your puppy against disease.

What Injections do Puppies Need at what age?

The vaccination course for puppies can start at anywhere from 6 weeks of age and usually finishes up with their adult shots at 14 weeks of age. It shouldn’t stop there though – to keep your dog in their best health they should be taken for an annual check up & annual booster shot to keep up their immunity through all stages of life.

What puppy vaccinations are needed?

Fortunately here in Ireland, some diseases like rabies are not very common and is generally not a problem. However, the following diseases are potentially very serious and so to protect against them – we vaccinate.

Canine Parvovirus (CPV)

This is a potentially fatal virus which attacks the intestines of your dog. It is usually contracted by coming into contact with vomit or faeces of another dog or fox who is infected.

With the prevalence of wild foxes in the Dublin area there’s a high potential of picking up this disease. All good vets recommend vaccinating against Canine Parvovirus due to the severity of it. In fact, over half of unvaccinated dogs who will contract CPV are not likely to recover.

Canine Cough

Canine cough – formerly known as kennel cough due to it’s high spreadability in kennels – is a highly contagious, airborne upper respiratory infection and can be contracted virtually anywhere there would be a high concentration of dogs mixing and playing. While not necessarily fatal in adult dogs, puppies are more at risk of developing pneumonia if they contract canine cough.

Areas that are likely to be high concentration zones include all of the wonderful local dog friendly spots like Killiney Hill, Deer Park, Shanganagh Park, Cabinteely park and so on.

Canine Leptospirosis

The human version is known as Weils disease and it is an extremely dangerous infection. Infected animals – most commonly rats – shed the bacteria in their urine and it can survive in the environment of mud and puddles for up to several days. If left untreated, this disease may progress to potentially fatal hepatic and/or renal failure, liver damage and even death.

We all know our dogs love to play in the mud or take a quick sip from a puddle when we’re not looking… so it’s important we take the proper precautions by vaccinating for Canine Leptospirosis so our dogs and owners alike can enjoy their favourite local walks with peace of mind!

Hepatitis, Distemper and Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPi)

While thankfully these are less common now and almost eradicated thanks to the progress of successful vaccination practices – Vets in Dublin still recommend you get cover for your dog to protect against them.

We still advise our dog owners of its importance, as an attempt to reduce vaccinations in Finland 10 years ago resulted in the re-emergence of these diseases. When it comes to your furry friend’s health – it’s always best to err on the side of caution!

Are there puppy Vaccination side effects?

Puppy vaccinations are very safe and highly effective. Consequently, when you take your puppy for a vaccination, there will likely be no reaction or side effect at all. Your puppy will most likely be their normal happy selves. A most they may feel somewhat sore or tired after the vaccine but it will be mild.

That said,

While quite rare, if there is a strong reaction, you will need to bring your puppy to a vet asap. The reactions to look out for are

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rash
  • Any swelling in the face, muzzle or eyes
  • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
  • Collapse or sudden fainting.

Again this is highly unlikely but you will know what to look out for if it does happen!

Other Common Puppy Vaccination Questions

Puppy vaccinations are administered under the skin in the neck. We use a tiny needle and make sure the vaccine is not straight out of the fridge.  This is to minimise the pain and discomfort to the puppy.

The vaccine can sting a little and some puppies do cry but we provide loads of cuddles to help with this.

Can my puppy go outside after their vaccination?

Yes but after your puppies second round of primary vaccinations. Taking your puppy out for a walk before this point can be risky. As your puppy immune system is very vulnerable in the early weeks prior to vaccination – the great outdoors is a potential pitfall at this point. The only way to make sure your puppy gets off the best start in life is to by getting their vaccinations on time and then avoiding the public until at least one week has passed from the second vaccination.

Why are Puppy Vaccinations given so young?

This is because the mother-given immunity from diseases really falls off after about 10 weeks. Therefore ,it’s critical to get the your puppy vaccinated in this early and delicate period of their life.

How are puppy vaccinations administered?

Puppy vaccinations are administered under the skin in the neck. We use a tiny needle and make sure the vaccine is not straight out of the fridge.  This is to minimise the pain and discomfort to the puppy.

The vaccine can sting a little and some puppies do cry but we provide loads of cuddles to help with this.

Ready to Protect your Puppy?

Set your puppy up for a long and happy life. – Get in touch with one of our vets to be advised on the best course of action for your puppies’ welfare and health care today!