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Vaccination against infectious diseases in dogs: what do you need to know and when should you vaccinate? How much does it cost?

A core vaccination is one that must be administered to all animals of a particular species. They contain protection against diseases that are very dangerous to health, in the case of dogs, it is: distemper, parvo, and Rubart's disease. Currently, preparations for this core vaccination in dogs also include parainfluenza antigens, which is an additional vaccination.

This service is available in Pethelp packages. Package prices start at 69 PLN /month.


Canine distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirosis - what do you need to know about them?

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects all canines. It is easily transmitted between organisms and can be highly severe and acute, even resulting in the animal's death. It usually takes a systemic form, attacking the digestive system first, then the respiratory and nervous systems, so the symptoms and course differ from animal to animal. Vaccinations are the most effective way to avoid disease development.

Parvo is a highly contagious viral disease that is especially harmful in puppies, but it can also affect unvaccinated adult dogs. Because the virus replicates in intestinal cells called enterocytes, the symptoms will primarily affect the gastrointestinal tract. Dogs with parvovirosis are lethargic, have no appetite, vomit, and frequently have diarrhea, occasionally with blood. Acute illness can cause rapid wasting and, as a result, even death in the animal. Vaccination does not provide complete protection against infection, but it does prevent the disease from progressing to a severe stage. Because the virus can persist in the environment for a long time, if the animal is infected, sanitize any surfaces with which the dog has come into contact to prevent the disease from spreading further.

Rubarth's disease, often known as infectious hepatitis in dogs, is the final viral disease covered by the basic dog vaccination. It is caused by a canine adenovirus, and thanks to vaccinations, it has been effectively eliminated, which is why it is rarely seen in clinical practice. However, since some owners refuse to vaccinate their animals, it is becoming increasingly common among dogs. Acute disease may be associated with: cough, ecchymosis, enlarged lymph nodes, vomiting, and diarrhea, however, there are overacute cases in which the pet dies unexpectedly. If a dog is diagnosed with Rubarth's disease, it should be recognized that he may shed the virus for up to 6 months after recovery, so proper precautions should be taken to reduce viral shedding.

Vaccination against infectious diseases in dogs - vaccination schedule 

It is recommended to administer the first such vaccination between 6 and 8 weeks of age. The veterinarian should determine the specific vaccination schedule based on the dog's medical history and physical examination because there are many factors that should be taken into account during the selection of vaccination dates: immune status, time with the mother, worming, origin, and future destination of the dog. Because maternal antibodies' duration of action is unclear, vaccinations are typically administered in series. Two further doses should be administered after the first, each spaced two to four weeks apart. Twelve months after the last vaccine in the series, a booster dose is administered. A veterinarian determines each animal's specific needs for further vaccine doses. Adult dogs are typically vaccinated every one to three years.

Vaccination against infectious diseases in dogs – contraindications 

The dog's uncertain immunological state makes vaccinations inadvisable. If the animal is depressed, weak, or has a verified infection, such as a urinary, digestive, or respiratory infection, or if immunological deficits have been found, the vaccination process should be suspended. In this case, schedule a visit with your veterinarian to have your pet examined and to choose a new vaccination schedule. 

Vaccinations should not be given to puppies under the age of six weeks. Maternal antibodies provide early protection for the majority of animals. These antibodies block the antigens in the vaccination, preventing the development of vaccine immunity. Ideally, the first two shots are given between 6 and 8 weeks of age. A veterinarian should assess each case separately since animals with weak maternal immunity may be more vulnerable to illness. 

During the appointment, please let the veterinarian know if you have seen your pet exhibit an unusual reaction to medicine or have reason to believe it could.

What is the procedure for vaccination against infectious diseases in dogs? 

The vaccination procedure includes a pre-vaccination visit, the vaccine, and its administration. The veterinarian will conduct a clinical examination and evaluate your pet's immunological condition during this visit. The vet will give the patient the proper dose of the vaccination if there are no contraindications. Any commercially available preparations may be used by the physician. The administration of vaccines for infectious diseases other than distemper, parvovirosis, rubart's disease, and parainfluenza is not included in this service. 

The veterinarian will ask you to stay at the clinic for the next 15 minutes after the vaccination to check for any possible allergic reactions. Swelling, which may or may not be in the area of the body where the preparation was administered, redness, scratching, or sudden weakness of the pet may indicate an incorrect reaction to vaccination. If any of these symptoms occur, please notify your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

The visit should conclude with the veterinarian entering the following information in the pet's health book: 

  • the date of vaccination; 
  • the identification data (name, initials, or code) of the person administering the vaccination; 
  • the vaccine label, batch number, expiry date, producer’s name
  • and the location and route of vaccine administration. 

Please remember that it takes about 21 days following vaccination for protective immunity to develop!


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