Undoubtedly the basis of good health for our dogs should concentrate on good nutrition, proper hygiene, a good environment where the animal can exercise stress-free and of course a good programme of vaccination, flea treatment and de-worming.
Vaccine Programme In Dogs
There are different vaccines on the market against major infectious diseases of dogs. This is more or less the vaccination protocol that is followed by most vets:
6 weeks – Early Primary Vaccination that does not interfere with the colostral immunity against Parvovirus and Distemper.
8 weeks – Revaccination with heptavelente vaccine for Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus viral hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis.
10 weeks – Third vaccine including heptavelente.
In breeds with racial predisposition to Parvovirus, such as Rottweilers, German Bulldogs, or dogs predisposed to have had contact with the virus in accommodation such as kennels or shelters, it would be advisable to give two doses,with an interval of two weeks, with bivalent vaccine Parvo-Coronavirus.
3 months – Rabies vaccine must be vaccinated annually in the Autonomous Community of Murcia, although if the dog is vaccinated and revaccinated, puppy vaccinal antibodies from most vaccines are effective for three years
Other Recommended Vaccines:
The vaccine for Kennel Cough has two components; virus type 2 Parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica. This vaccine is essential when dogs are going in to kennels. These vaccines are very effective and have active immunity after only 48 hours of inoculation.
We also recommend vaccination against Babesiosis, which is a vector-borne disease ticks. Unfortunately, there is still no effective vaccine against Ehrlichiosis, which is the disease transmitted by ticks in the South of Spain.
There are also vaccines against Canine Herpesvirus which is responsible for infertility, abortions and neonatal mortality in pregnant dogs, especially those living on farms or kennels with large numbers of individuals. Two doses of the vaccine should be given to pregnant bitches.
Finally, the vaccine against Leishmaniasis has been available for some years now. This disease comes from a parasite, as with malaria in humans and the effectiveness of these vaccines is like those designed to prevent infection from viruses or bacteria, with a level of protection of 70%. This vaccine should be applied in animals older than six months. Firstly we do a blood test to confirm the absence of antibodies against Leishmania and then we start vaccinating the animal. There will be three initial doses spaced at three week intervals and then an annual booster dose. At first the appearance of this vaccine triggered euphoria among veterinarians, but over time we have seen animals that were vaccinated still become ill and it is difficult to interpret the results of serological tests. This vaccine can also accelerate some autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Perianal Fistulas etc and may be contraindicated in those animals suffering some immune-mediated processes such as Atopic Dermatitis.
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