We recommend a primary vaccination course for your puppy, starting from 6-8 weeks old, with a second vaccination at 10-12 weeks of age. Puppies are protected during the first few weeks of life by maternal antibodies passed through the mother's milk. This protection will fade and vaccinations protect and prevent against infections and potentially fatal diseases such as distemper, parvovirus and leptospirosis.
Distemper is a multisystemic disease of dogs caused by the canine distemper virus (CDV). The route of infection is by aerosol/droplet spread to the respiratory membranes. “Classic distemper” signs include conjunctivitis, dry cough, high temperatures, dullness and anorexia. There may be gastrointestinal signs. There are no anti-viral drugs effective in managing distemper infection, and treatment is supportive.
Parvovirus (CPV-2) is spread via contact with infected dogs or cats or environmental virus. Clinical signs include anorexia and depression, followed by vomiting and profuse, sometimes haemorrhagic, diarrhoea. High temperature and dehydration are also seen. Damage to the intestinal mucosa can result in endotoxic shock, with death occurring in severe cases.
Leptospirosis is a worldwide disease affecting many species of animals. It can be transmitted by direct contact with urine from infected animals, or indirectly through environmental contamination. This disease mainly causes kidney and liver damage in dogs affected. Leptospira species are also infectious to humans.
Kennel Cough is a common canine disease characterised by a honking cough and is seen in dogs that mix with other dogs e.g. in kennels, doggie day care, parks. Vaccination will cover the main strains of the disease and reduce the incidence of infection.
Travelling with your Dog
We would advise slowly get your dog used to being in the car, ideally going on short journeys and gradually increasing the duration spent in the car. Make sure there is good ventilation for your dog. All dogs must be restrained in the car, either by harness and seatbelt, cage or dog guard. This prevents your pet from distracting you whilst driving, as well as preventing injury if involved in a collision.
Always have drinking water for your dog. Lots of pet shops now sell pop up bowls or travel bowls designed for having in the car. Never leave your dog in the car in hot weather as they can very quickly overheat. If your dog is nervous in the car or gets travel sick, please call us for more advice and treatment options.
Due to Brexit the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) may be changing depending on the result of the negotiations. There is also a possibility that your current PETS passport will not be valied after Brexit therefore it is important to check before you travel.
Under the current scheme the PETS allows you to take your pet on holiday with you. It is advised to chat to us at least 2 months before you travel to a PETS-qualify country and 6 months before if travelling outside these countries. The DEFRA website will give you up to date information about the requirements of the country you are travelling to. In order to travel with your dog, it must be microchipped, vaccinated with rabies and have a PETS passport. Rabies blood tests may also be required. You may require an export health certificate prior to travelling.
We recommend neutering your dog if you are not intending to breed from them.
Ideally wait until your dog has had her first season. This normally happens between 6-9 months old but may be later in larger breeds. Seasons last around 3 weeks and we advise keeping your female dog on the lead and away from other dogs to prevent any unwanted litters. We would then advise spaying 3 months after the season had finished. At this point, most dogs will be fully grown. Spaying a female reduces the incidence of mammary tumours, and prevents uterine infections which can be fatal, as well as unwanted litters. It is a day procedure and we would advise strict rest for the following week, plus a buster collar if your dog is likely to lick at the surgical site.
We recommend castrating your dog once they are 12 months old. Again, most breeds are fully grown at this point. In larger breeds, we may advise waiting until 18-24 months old. Castrating eliminates the risk of testicular tumours and can reduce the incidence of prostate disease.
Fleas, Ticks & Worms
Flea and Worm Treatment
We advise using routine treatment to prevent against fleas, ticks and worms. Fleas and ticks are carried by wild animals such as hedgehogs and deer and other untreated pets. They are easily spread to your pet when they are outside and can be brought into the house on clothing. Due to their life cycle, fleas are notoriously difficult to get rid off once they are brought into the house. Preventative healthcare with routine treatment can help prevent infestation. Ticks are known to spread blood-borne diseases such as Lyme's disease.
There are four common types of intestinal worm found in dogs; hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms. Toxocara canis and Toxocara leonina are the main roundworms in dogs. Infestation of T.canis is most commonly transmitted to puppies from their mother, before they are born via the placenta and after birth during nursing. T leonina is acquired by ingestion of eggs or from eating an intermediate infected host such as a small mammal. Hookworms are short, blood sucking parasites which are not common in the UK. Whipworms inhabit the caecum and occasionally the colon. Tapeworms live in the intestines of dogs, and diagnosis is usually by observation of tapeworm segments in faeces.
Lungworm, although not an intestinal worm, can cause serious disease or even be fatal. Adult lungworms live in the heart and vessels that supply blood to the lungs. The larval form can be transmitted to dogs via eating slugs and snails. Small infected slugs and snails can also be accidentally ingested when dogs are playing with their toys or grooming themselves. We stock a range of treatments here at Adlington Vets and recommend routine prevention of fleas ticks and worms. If you require more information, please call us at the practice.
Chocolate contains a substance called Theobroma cacao which can cause vomiting, excess salivation, increased thirst and urination, increased heart rate and ataxia. More severe cases can show tremours or convulsions, irregular heart rates and renal dysfunction. Dark chocolate contains a higher concentration of theobromine than milk, with white chocolate containing the least. Treatment includes inducing vomiting to prevent absorption. If the dog has already vomited, anti-sickness drugs are given to aid the next step, which is giving activated charcoal to absorb the theobromine. Fluid therapy is also given.
Chocolate poisoning is an emergency so if you think your dog has eaten any amount of chocolate please contact us at the practice immidiately on 01257474800.