Vaccinating your Dog
There are a number of highly infectious and potentially fatal diseases which can affect your dog. There is no treatment for many of these diseases and young puppies that catch them often die. However, for many of these conditions there is a simple protection in the form of vaccination. Ensuring that your dog completes an initial course of vaccinations and then receives regular booster jabs is important if you want to keep your dog fit and healthy.
When puppies are born they receive some natural protection against disease from their mothers milk, through what are known as Maternally Derived Antibodies (MDA). This protection however, is temporary and it declines quite rapidly, so by the time your puppy is a few weeks old, it will probably have lost all the protection, and be in danger of infection and or disease.
Puppies are only able to absorb MDA during the first few days of their lives and obviously, the level of protection they acquire depends entirely on the amount of mothers milk theyve consumed. So, the strongest puppy in the litter, the one which has suckled well, will have the greatest immunity whereas the smallest and weakest may have very little. And, of course, the mother can only pass on the immunity she actually has herself, her ability to do that will be affected by whether or not she has been properly vaccinated and regularly boosted. So, every puppy will need vaccination to take over from protection it received from its mother.
The Immunity Gap
Whether theyre intended for children, adults or animals, all vaccines contain a harmless form of the virus or bacterium which causes a particular disease. The vaccine stimulates the dogs natural mechanisms to set up a protective barrier against the disease and then from then on, the same protective response is remembered and triggered whenever that specific disease is encountered.
How do vaccines work?
Most vaccines are given by injection under the skin. They all work by training the white blood cells in your dog's body how to recognise and attack the viruses or bacteria contained in the vaccine. This should prevent infection with that particular bug if your dog is in contact with it again.
When to vaccinate your puppy
To be effective then, vaccination must be carried out before your puppy loses the temporary immunity it gained from its mother. Your veterinary surgeon will probably vaccinate your puppy at 6-8 weeks of age and the second at 12 weeks of age. After the second vaccination you can socialise your puppy by mixing it with other dogs and people. A third booster vaccination is given at 16 weeks of age, after which your pet is fully protected for one year. For continuing protection annual vaccinations are then required for life.
The main diseases that puppies and adult dogs can be vaccinated against are;
Canine Distemper is transmitted by droplets of moisture which the dog picks up by sniffing where the infected dog has been. Once an outbreak has begun it is usually too late to vaccinate as the incubation period can be as much as three weeks long. The symptoms include coughing, diarrhoea, high temperature, vomiting, sore eyes and a runny nose. Sometimes the nose and foot pads can become hard and cracked. In severe cases pneumonia, fits, muscle spasms and paralysis can occur. Distemper is often fatal and those that do survive can be left with permanent disabilities, nervous twitches and epileptic fits.
Canine Parvovirus appeared in the late seventies and caused the death of thousands of dogs. Regular outbreaks have been common where unvaccinated dogs are. It is transmitted through contact with infected faeces. It can be carried by the dog via its hair and feet. It is an extremely difficult virus to get rid of and can stay in the environment for many months. Although dogs of all ages can become infected with parvo it is most commonly seen in puppies and dogs under one year old. The signs of this disease appear quickly and the symptoms are depression, severe vomiting, high temperature, refusal of food and water, abdominal pain and profuse foul smelling bloody diarrhoea. As a result of these symptoms the dog can become severely dehydrated very quickly, it may collapse, and some can die within 24 hours of contracting the disease, even with veterinary treatment.
Canine Hepatitis is a disease which attacks the liver, kidneys, eyes and lungs of the dog. It is transmitted by direct contact with infected urine, saliva and faeces. Dogs that are recovering from this disease can still be infectious to other dogs for more than 6 months. Again dogs of all ages can contract this disease but they are most commonly infected in their first year. The symptoms of hepatitis most commonly includes lack of appetite, high temperature, pale gums and conjunctiva, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. As a result of this the dog can develop jaundice. The disease can develop quickly, between 24 to 36 hours, and can sometimes cause respiratory failure and death. However dogs which recover sometimes suffer from 'blue eye' which is a clouding of the cornea. This usually resolves itself through time.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease which can be picked up from contact with urine of infected animals. There are two ways in which it can be picked up. Firstly, it can be picked up from the urine of infected rats. Dogs can get it from rats if they drink or swim in canals or rivers that are inhabited by these infected rats, or even from sniffing where a rat has been. This is also known as Weil's disease. This disease affects the liver, sometimes the kidneys may be infected too. The symptoms of this disease are depression, high temperature, severe thirst, lethargy, increased urination, abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and jaundice. In severe cases death can occur within a few hours, at the very least serious liver damage can occur. This form of leptospirosis can be transmitted to people too. Secondly, it can be picked up from the infected urine of other dogs. The damage that this causes is mainly to the kidneys and may cause problems as the dog gets older. Jaundice can also be seen but this is not common and is not too severe. Dogs that recover from this can still excrete the bacteria in their urine for up to a year making them a source of infection. Cats are seldom, if ever, infected with leptospirosis.
Canine Parainfluenza virus is an infectious agent which causes kennel cough. It can be contracted anywhere where dogs meet, for example, at the park, training classes, boarding kennels and dog shows. It is passed on by contaminated airborne droplets or direct contact with infected dogs. It is highly contagious and can spread rapidly. The symptoms are a dry, harsh cough, which may cause retching. Owners refer to it as though the dog has something stuck in its throat. This coughing can last for several days or weeks, with treatment it can take up to 2 or 3 weeks for the dog to recover. If the dog has no treatment they can develop secondary infections which can lead to pneumonia.
Following the vaccination, your dog may be quieter than usual and possibly have a reduced appetite for 1-2 days. There may also be some tenderness around the injection site (as with humans) in a small number of dogs. If you have any concerns about your dog after vaccination, please consult with your veterinarian for advice.
Vaccination of your dog against these major infectious diseases is necessary to the health of your dog. The vaccine protects your own pet and prevents it from being a carrier of disease and spreading infection. Immunity to these diseases does not last indefinitely so regular boosters are vital to maintain this.
Once your dog has had its primary course of vaccinations your Vet will be give you record of a puppies vaccinations which will have your pet's details on it, the dates the vaccine was given and when the booster is due.
Microchipping your dog
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a tiny computer chip which has an identification number programmed into it. The chip is encased in a smooth, strong biocompatible glass made from soda lime, and is about the size of a large grain of rice. Once an animal is injected with the chip, he can be identified throughout his life by this one-of-kind number. Microchips are designed to last for the life span of a dog.
How does the Microchip work?
The microchip is generally injected deeply under the skin, between the shoulder blades under the skin with a needle. It sits safely there. A special scanner is used to send a radio signal through the skin of the animal to read the chip. The animal feels nothing as the scanner is passed over him. The microchip sends its number back to the scanner. Some microchips have been known to migrate from the area between the shoulder blades, but the instructions for scanning emphasize the need to scan the dogs entire body.
How does the Scanner work?
The handheld scanner sends a safe radio wave signal to the microchip. When the chip receives this signal, it sends data (the microchip number) back to the scanner to be displayed in a viewing screen.
What happens if my lost dog is found?
If a lost dog is found and is taken to a Veterinary or the Police, it will be scanned. Once a microchip is located in the dog, the relevant person/s will be contacted.
Microchips are obligatory for dog, horses, cats, and ferrets in Andalucía
New Laws for Pet Passporting from 1st January 2012
Follow this procedure now and your pet can travel from the 1st of January 2012
The scheme that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine.
The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the correct procedures. It also means that people in the UK can take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other European Union (EU) countries and return with them to the UK. They can also, having taken their dogs, cats, and ferrets to certain non-EU countries, bring them back to the UK without the need of quarantine. These procedures are to keep the UK free from rabies and certain other diseases.
Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets
The UK does not permit the import of dogs, cats and ferrets that have not been vaccinated against rabies. The Pet Travel Scheme only applies to dogs, cats and ferrets travelling between the UK and certain countries. Dogs, cats and ferrets must not have been outside any of these countries in the six calendar months before entering the UK.
Before travelling, you must make sure that your pet dog, cat or ferret meet all the correct procedures of the scheme.
Dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK under PETS may only do so, on certain sea, air and rail routes.
Dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK from non-qualifying (unauthorized) countries must spend six months in quarantine on arrival.
Background information about PETS
PETS was introduced for dogs and cats travelling from certain European countries on 28 February 2000. The scheme was extended to Cyprus, Malta and certain long haul countries on 31 January 2001, Bahrain joined on 1 May 2002. Mainland USA and Canada joined on 11 December 2002. The EU Regulation on the movement of pet animals extended the schem to include ferrets, increased the number of qualifying (authorized) countries and introduced an EU pet passport.
The Correct Procedures from the 1st of January 2012
To enter or re-enter the UK from other EU countries without quarantine a pet must, in this order, be micro-chipped, two vaccines against rabies. It must also be issued with an EU pet passport. Your pet may then enter after 21 days from the rabies injection.
Your pet must be first fitted with a micro-chip. Ask the vet fitting the microchip to check that its number can be read before and after it has been fitted.
First Rabies vaccination.
wait one month
2nd Rabies vaccination
When your pet is vaccinated, make sure that the vet accurately records the following details on its vaccination record and passport:
wait 21 days from last vaccine
your pet can travel
After your pet has been vaccinated from rabies it will need a yearly booster vaccine. If the booster date is missed, your pet will have to be vaccinated again and wait 21 days before travel.
You must get an EU passport book.
Entering the UK
To enter the UK, the passport must show that your pet has been microchipped, and has had two rabies vaccination.
Keep your documents safe because the transport company checking your pet will need to see them. If you lose the passport you may obtain a new one by producing your pet's vaccination record both of which must show your pet's microchip number. You are responsible for ensuring that you have the correct documents for your pet to enter the UK. Make sure that they are correctly completed and your pet meets all the procedures. If you do not your pet may not be able to enter the country or may have to be licensed into quarantine on arrival. This will mean delay and cost you money.
The PETS Check
Before you board a Eurotunnel train or a ferry travelling to the Uk on an authorized route, you must present your pet to the transport staff so that its microchip and official documentation can be checked.
After being check, pet owners travelling by Eurotunnel or ferry will be given a sticker or badge which should be displayed as instructed by the transport staff. This should not be removed until you have left the port of arrival in the Uk.
If your pet fails the check, it will not be allowed to travel until the problem has been resolved unless you arrange for it to enter quarantine in the UK. For pets travelling by air, the check will be carried out on arrival in theUK by staff at the Animal Reception Centre.
If your pet fails the check, it will either have to go into quarantine or be re exported.
Yet again the hunting season is upon us.
And yet again some of the hunting fraternities are laying bait, containing poisons, which will kill any animal within a very short period of time, in most cases not long enough to get them to the vets for an antidote.
If you notice that your dog is sick and vomiting a black substance which has a strange smell, the dog unable to stand and keeps falling to the floor,
you need to make the dog \ animal sick using milk or salt water. Continue with this until only the fluid ie milk, salt water is being returned. The Dog House has had a 95% success rate using this method. If you require any further information please contact The Dog House Foundation..
Information on the the Dog House Foundation website is offered as a guide and not as a substitute for seeking Professional Veterinary prevention,diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your Veterinarian who can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your pets unique needs or diagnosis for your pets particular medical history.