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Doug Hall, owner of Cape Veterinary ClinicA beautiful blue-eyed cat.

Dog / puppy vaccinations

Here at Cape Vets we recommend vaccinations against the core diseases that affect the dog population in the UK. Core diseases are those that are particularly debilitating and potentially fatal.

The initial course comprises two vaccinations 2 to 4 weeks apart. These are usually given from 8 weeks of age, with a final vaccination given after 12 weeks of age. In some circumstances we may decide to vaccinate pups from 6 weeks of age. Some breeds of dog (mainly Dobermans and Rottweilers) should have a third (parvovirus) vaccination 2-4 weeks after the second vaccination. Following this initial course, we recommend an annual vaccination to ensure your dog remains protected against these diseases over their lifetime.

The Core Diseases covered by our vaccination regime include:

  • Canine Parvovirus: An aggressive disease that affects the dog's immune system and cells lining the intestines, causing serious vomiting and diarrhoea. Young unvaccinated pups are especially susceptible and the disease is often fatal.
  • Canine Distemper: This is a virus that affects the gut, lungs and nervous system and is often also fatal.
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis: This is a virus that rapidly attacks the liver, lungs, kidneys and eyes. Unfortunately, many cases are fatal but occasionally dogs can recover.
  • Leptospirosis: This disease is caused by bacteria. It can be passed on via watercourses, from the urine of infected rats (this strain can also affect humans) and also caught from the urine of infected dogs. Whilst antibiotics can help to treat Leptospirosis, the disease can be fatal or cause lifelong damage to the kidneys.
  • Kennel Cough Vaccination: There is also the option of vaccinating against the organisms involved in kennel cough. Kennel cough is a relatively common upper respiratory tract disease often involving both bacterial and viral agents. The vaccination is administered without the use of a needle, into the dogs' nostrils on an annual basis. If your dog ever visits a boarding kennel or training establishment this vaccination is likely to be a requirement by the kennel.