Guide To Vaccinations

There can be a great deal of confusion about what vaccinations are required for our dogs. Often even the vets themselves seem in conflict with each other and this can be because there is new information that can come to hand which may change the recommendations.

Dr. Jean Dodds is considered one of the world experts in vaccination research, hence we have followed her recommendation since 2009, but as she has now made a change for the first vaccine to be used at 9-10 weeks, this does change our system slightly. Under Dogs Victoria regulations we need to vaccinate prior to dogs being re-homed - hence there is a slight conflict between her recommendations and our State Law… we are currently bound to consider the legal requirement and once the ANKC finally catch up with the latest research we have to compromise and try to fit in with both as much as possible.

Hence the following is our recommended Vaccination for dogs.

Core Vaccination

Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Adenovirus and Canine Parvovirus
(In Australia this vaccination is generally referred to as a C3 injection)

First Vaccination 8 Weeks
Second Vaccination 11 Weeks
Vaccination 14 Months old
Vaccinate 4 years
Vaccinate 7 years
Vaccinate 10 years

There is also a titre (blood) test that can be performed to see what the immunity levels are, however this is currently cost prohibiting in Australia. Hopefully this will change in future. No Further Core Vaccinations are recommended after 10 years of age.

NonCore Vaccination

Parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Leptospira interrogans
(In Australia this vaccination often added to the C3 and thus referred to as either the C4 & C5 injection)

These virus are commonly referred to as Kennel Cough (KC)… It is important to note that there are actually about 8 strains of KC but the vaccine only covers two. So even if your dog is vaccinated then it may catch a strain not covered. Current research indicates that the vaccination only has a life of between 6-12 months.

Kennel Cough

Risks - Firstly it is important to understand that Non Core virus are not life threatening. In fact there is no treatment needed for the KC virus as it will just run its natural course over a two week period. However remember that when a dog does have KC they may experience a secondary infection as their immune system may be compromised.

Symptoms - When your dog has Kennel Cough he/she may appear bright and bouncy but then have a definite hacking cough, much like they have something caught in their throat. Similar to a baby with a hooping cough.

Treatment - There is no particular need to take your dog to the vet… much the same as having a bad cold virus there is no need for antibiotics. Instead the aim is to make the dog comfortable. Which means to keep the dog in a warmer environment, reduce activity and perhaps provide something to soothe the throat. Also remember to avoid your dog having direct contact with other dogs, although it is somewhat random in which dogs are then affected.

We have only had once occasion of Kennel Cough so far, in my 40 years of having dogs. The virus can be airborne but spread thru the mucus so went from one dog to the next and we felt that they must have been contagious for about 3-4 days prior to showing symptoms. The virus seems to last 14-20 days and none of the dogs seemed unwell but perhaps just a bit more tired. Note: not all dogs at our location caught the virus.

Dog Cough Lollies - We tried to think of things to help the dog as it sounded as if they had a very sore throat. But instead of human cough medicine which may contain things that are not ideal for dogs. We tried to think of things that are good for dogs to eat….so we mixed Greek Yoghurt and Honey together and froze them into paper patties pans to make cough lozenges for the dogs… We did this to attempt to help cool and soothe their throat. They seemed to enjoy the lollies and in fact I was surprised how yummy they were.

Alfoxton & Inasense Recommendations:

This information is what we follow with our own dogs as we follow Dr Dodds research and we believe it is important to provide puppy owners with the tools to make an informed choice. However you must also talk to your own vet and they may have different opinions.

Make your own decisions!