Why should I get my dog vaccinated?

17 Oct 2018

Every year dogs of all ages become seriously ill or die from infectious diseases which could have been prevented through vaccination. 

The micro-organisms' that cause these diseases are wide spread in the New Zealand dog population.  The expression 'prevention is better than cure' is very true since there is no specific treatment for the viral diseases and treatment is often lengthy, expensive and not always successful.

All dogs must be fully vaccinated against the core canine diseases before they can stay at a boarding kennel.

Infectious diseases that we vaccinate against:

  • Canine Parvovirus - Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs of all ages but is most serious in young pups and older dogs.  The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain.  Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care.  The virus is very tough and can survive for years in the environment meaning it is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread.  Outbreaks occur regularly throughout New Zealand, especially in summer.
  • Canine Distemper - Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.  Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.
  • Canine Hepatitis - Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal.  Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.  Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain.  In severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours.  Dogs that recover may develop long term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.
  • Kennel Cough - Kennel cough is a highly contagious condition caused by several infectious agents including the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper.  Kennel Cough can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, beaches, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Affected dogs typically have a dry hacking cough, but sneezing and a runny nose and eyes are also possible.  Symtoms can last for several weeks and are distressing for dogs and their owners. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.
  • Canine Leptospirosis - Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas of the North Island and northern South Island and can cause high death rates.  It is spread by the urine of rats and is usually transmitted to dogs by contaminated food and water, or by rat bites.  There’s an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as rubbish dumps or water ways. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet weather, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate.  Leptospirosis is an animal disease that can be passed to humans who may then suffer a persisting “flu like” illness.

Core Vaccination:

(Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis, Kennel Cough)

Primary course of 2-4 vaccinations 2-4 weeks apart followed by an annual health check and booster vaccination.

In puppies the number of vaccinations required will depend on your puppy's age at the start of the vaccination programme.  We recommend that puppies have their first vaccination at 6 weeks of age, followed by booster vaccinations at 9 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age.  The vet will discuss and recommend the best programme for your puppy at the first vaccination visit.

Non Core Vaccination:


Primary course of 2 vaccinations 2-4 weeks apart followed by an annual health check and booster vaccination.

Recommended for dogs travelling north of Kaikoura.

It will take about ten days following the final vaccination of the primary course for your dog to develop strong protection against disease.  During this time we recommend that your dog only has contact with fully vaccinated healthy dogs and is kept confined to your house and garden.

Click here to contact us or book in your puppy or dog for a vaccination.

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