Pet Advice Categories

Why vaccinate? 

In common with human medicine, the introduction of immunisation against several serious and often fatal diseases

in dogs has provided a widespread reduction in the incidences of these infectious conditions. It is tempting to assume that because we hear little of these diseases they are no longer a threat to dogs. However, these infections have not gone away and are still present in our area. All cause distressing illness, which may be fatal despite veterinary treatment, and can leave surviving dogs with permanent health issues.

How does vaccination work?

Vaccines contain harmless (either weakened or dead) variants of the viruses and other infectious agents. When the animal is vaccinated the immune system in the body responds by generating a protective mechanism through the formation of antibodies. If exposed to the actual germ at a later date the antibodies in the vaccinated animal will prevent the disease from developing. Animal immunisation mostly uses combined vaccines so that protection against multiple diseases may be given with one or two injections. However, vaccines don’t give lifelong immunity and that is why regular booster vaccinations are recommended.

Immunisation against all 6 of the major diseases is given in an injection of a combined vaccine. (DHPPi + L4)

Annual Health Check and Booster

Our vaccination protocols are guided by scientific evidence collated by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Our vets will assess your pet’s lifestyle and risk of infection to ensure that your dog’s boosters are balanced to maintain protection while not over-exposing them to vaccines.

To maintain continued and effective immunity we recommend an annual booster of the Parainfluenza/ Leptospirosis component of the vaccine (Pi + L4) and a 3 yearly booster of the complete vaccine (DHPPi+L4) plus an annual kennel cough booster.
At Avonvale we book a full health check for every dog having a vaccination to ensure that your pet is in good health to receive the injection.

Your vet will check your dog’s heart and respiration, and examine his or her eyes, ears, mouth and coat. Your dog will be weighed and physically examined for any unusual lumps or swellings. Your dog’s medical records will be updated for future reference and the vaccination card signed.

Dogs’ faster metabolism means that they are often described as aging 7 years for every 1 calendar year. An annual health check for your pet is like a human visiting the doctor once every 7 years. This is an ideal opportunity for you to mention any concerns about your dog’s health and care in general. If your dog is insured evidence of annual health checks is often required when claiming for illness or dental problems. We will send you an annual postal or email reminder for boosters for your pet.

We recommend an annual (12 monthly) booster vaccination in line with the manufacturer's clinical data.

Distemper (D)

This is a virus that spreads mainly by direct contact between dogs. It causes pneumonia, meningitis, and death or permanent brain damage.

Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus) (H)

This is a virus causing severe liver damage and jaundice. It can lead to death or ongoing liver problems.

Parvovirus (P)

This is a highly contagious and very resistant virus with several strains. It can live in soil and on the streets for up to one year and can be brought home on footwear and clothing. It causes vomiting and diarrhoea with blood. Without treatment, it is fatal within days. Even with treatment, many puppies die or take weeks to recover and may have permanent damage.

Parainfluenza (Pi)

This is one of the many causes of cough. It can lead to bronchopneumonia.

Leptospirosis (L4)

This is a bacterial disease with several strains causing severe liver and kidney damage. It can be spread by rats, dogs, horses, and pigs in their urine and is common around watercourses both in towns and countryside alike. Affected dogs become jaundiced and it can be transmitted to people with fatal consequences.

Kennel Cough

These infections are highly contagious especially in situations where dogs have contact with each other. Many boarding kennels insist upon proof of vaccination.


This is the main cause of kennel cough. It can cause pneumonia and is a bacterium similar to whooping cough in children.


This is another cause of coughing and can lead to bronchopneumonia.
Vaccination will not prevent all coughs, just these particular causes. There are many other cough bugs that aren’t as serious.

Kennel Cough Vaccination

The vaccine dose is given as drops up the dog’s nose every 12 months. It may be given, at a reduced cost, at the same appointment as the Annual Booster. Full cover takes a minimum of 3 days.

To maintain immunity an annual booster of the kennel cough vaccine is required.

Book a vaccination appointment

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