pet care requires puppies to be taken to the vet for their initial course of
vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. The
immunity weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to
pet become infected, treatment can require frequent visits to your vet and
all diseases can be cured and disability or death may result. The only
practical means of protection is vaccination!
When should your dog
be 'temporarily' protected against many diseases by antibodies received through
their mother's milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first few months
of a puppy's life, however until they drop sufficiently they can neutralise
vaccines. This is why a series of vaccines is necessary.
conditions the recommendation would be for an initial course of vaccination
visits as specified by your veterinarian. Thereafter, booster vaccinations as
recommended by your veterinarian and annual health checks will provide the best
protection for the life of your pet.
vaccination your dog may be lethargic and off its food for a day or two, or
have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food
and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a
quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact
your veterinarian for advice.
infectious diseases that can affect your dog.
Canine parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of
all ages but is most serious in young pups and older dogs. The virus attacks
the intestines causing blood stained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and
severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive
It is not
necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread.
The virus is so persistent that the infected dog's environment needs to be
cleaned with a potent disinfectant to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks
occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in summer.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease
that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.
vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting,
diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis
usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the
recovery rate very low.
Dogs that do
recover may have permanent brain damage.
Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like
distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become
infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.
include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute
abdominal pain. In severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. Dogs
that recover may develop long term liver and kidney problems and can act as
carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.
Canine cough is a condition produced by several
highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs
congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among
the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as
Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type
2 and distemper.
dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is
distressing for pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working
and sporting dogs. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.
Canine coronavirus is another contagious virus and
causes depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea especially in young
dogs. Diarrhoea may last for several days in some cases. Although most dogs
will recover with treatment, coronavirus has the potential to be fatal,
especially if other infectious agents such as parvovirus are present.
Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some
areas and can cause high death rates. It is spread by the urine of rats and is
usually transmitted to dogs by contaminated food and water, or by rat bites.
increased risk where high rat populations exist such as rubbish dumps or green
sugar cane cutting areas. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet
weather, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate. Leptospirosis
is an animal disease that can be passed to humans who may then suffer a
persisting "flu like" illness.
What is heartworm disease?
Heartworm (Dirofliaria immitis) is spread by mosquitoes and
has the potential to cause heart failure and death. Your pet does not have to
be in contact with other dogs to develop this disease.
More than 65% of the dog population in Australia lives in
high heartworm expectancy areas.
Now, with just one easy dose, your pet can be protected all
year round. Before a puppy is 12 months old, treatments may be given more
Once-A-Year Heartworm Protection is administered by your vet
and takes away the risk of forgetting monthly or daily dosing. Simply arrange
to treat your dog as a part of the annual health check, and you can forget
about heartworm... for a whole year!
The heartworm lifecycle
* Carrier mosquitoes
infect healthy dogs while sucking blood.
* Larvae develop
in tissues and migrate to the heart where they mature to adult worms.
adult female heartworms release microfilariae into the blood.
ingest microfilariae while suckingblood
from infected dogs.
It may only take a single bite from a carrier mosquito to
infect your dog. The mosquito infects your dog with heartworm larvae as it
feeds on your dog's blood. These larvae then migrate through your dog's tissues
to the heart and adjacent blood vessels of the lungs where they grow into adult
In the early stages of heartworm infection, there may be no
outward signs of disease.
Your vet may recommend a simple blood test before starting
heartworm protection for the first time, or if doses have been missed, or as
part of your dog's annual check-up.