The vaccinations are split into 2 parts,
- “core” vaccines which are distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus (C3)
- “non-core” vaccines which are Parainfluenza 2 virus and Bordetella bacterial vaccine which together make up the “canine cough” vaccine.
When protection is being provided by both “core” & “non-core” vaccines (i.e. C3 plus canine cough vaccine), it is called a C5 vaccination. C5 is the recommended level of vaccination. Recommended schedules are:
|1st vaccination||at 6 to 8 weeks (C3)|
|2nd vaccination||at 12 weeks (C5)|
|3rd vaccination||at 16 weeks (C3)*|
|1st annual vaccination||at 15 months|
*Some vaccines are registered for completion in puppies at 10 weeks. This may mean the third vaccination in puppies is not required however this decision should be made in conjunction with your veterinarian taking into account local disease prevalence.
|Canine Cough vaccination||every year|
|C3 vaccination||every 3 years*|
* In June 2009 the Australian Veterinary Association adopted a new policy on vaccination of dogs and cats to reflect the latest scientific literature recommending less frequent vaccination for adult cats and dogs.
The policy states that once puppies and kittens have received a full course of vaccines, they may only require triennial (rather than annual) vaccination for core diseases. You should check with your vet if this is true in your dog’s case.
Your dog will still need an annual canine cough vaccination to confer C5 level protection.
Annual Health Check
An annual health check should be done in conjunction with the annual non-core vaccination. Remember that you dog has aged by the equivalent of five years in human terms since this time last year.
Worming Your Dog
Worms are parasitic organisms that can cause a lot of health problems, especially if the immune system of your dog is not strong enough to check their population. There are several types of worms that can affect your dog. Depending on the types, the symptoms can vary considerably.
Causes of Worms in Dogs
Some dogs are born with worms, passed on from their mothers, and even if they are not born with them, they can easily come into contact with these parasites by consuming worm infested foods. This may be a result of feeding on uncooked or half-cooked meat or fish. Besides this, dogs are omnivorous and will eat almost everything, including dead animals and faeces, from which they can easily contract intestinal worms. Some mosquito bites can also spread worms, especially heartworms, from an infected animal to a healthy one.
Symptoms of Worms
Loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhoea, vomiting, low energy or lethargy, anaemia, dull coat and bad breath are some common symptoms.
Apart from this, you can also observe your dog frequently rubbing or dragging his rear end on the ground.
Protection Against Worms
Common worms are readily controllable with a routine worming treatment. Puppies should be wormed every two weeks until twelve weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age. After six months all dogs need to be wormed every three months for effective protection.
Note – General-purpose intestinal worming treatments do not always offer protection against heartworm. If your dog has not been vaccinated against heartworm you will need to ensure that your chosen worming treatment includes protection against heartworm.
Fleas can make a dog’s life (not to mention its owner’s) miserable. They can cause skin allergy in sensitive breeds. To give you an indication of products that are available and their uses we have listed just some of the many products available below. Consult your vet about the best treatment for you and your dog.
- Capstar® Tablets – provides fast relief from fleas. It starts working within 30 minutes and 95-100% of fleas are dead within 7 hours. Very useful if your dog is already flea-ridden.
To keep you dog flea-free, use ongoing treatments such as:
- Comfortis® – covers fleas, it’s available as a monthly chewable tablet for dogs
- Frontline® Plus will kill fleas (when applied every four weeks) and paralysis ticks (if applied every two weeks). It is suitable for dogs that occasionally swim, but never apply it to cats.
- Frontline® Spray will kill fleas (when applied every twelve weeks) and paralysis ticks (if applied every three weeks). If you use Frontline to control paralysis ticks, you must use it at the “high” dosage rate.
- Sentinel® – covers heartworm, fleas and all intestinal worms, it’s available as a monthly chewable tablet for dogs
- Advantage® – covers fleas, will kill fleas (when applied every four weeks). It is suitable for dogs that occasionally swim
- Advantix® – covers fleas and ticks, will kill fleas (when applied every four weeks) and paralysis ticks (if applied every two weeks). It is suitable for dogs that occasionally swim, but never apply it to cats.
The paralysis tick does become resistant to insecticides, so no tick control can ever claim to be 100% effective. Even if you use one (or a combination) of the repellents described below, you should still search you pet(s) every night during tick season. This becomes even more imperative after your animal has been in bushy terrain. A small tick missed one day is often found the next.
Some products available are listed below. Consult your vet about the best treatment for you and your dog.
- Advantix® – will kill fleas (when applied every four weeks) and paralysis ticks (if applied every two weeks). It is suitable for dogs that occasionally swim, but never apply it to cats.
- Frontline® Plus – will kill fleas (when applied every four weeks) and paralysis ticks (if applied every two weeks). It is suitable for dogs that occasionally swim, but never apply it to cats.
- Frontline® Spray – will kill fleas (when applied every twelve weeks) and paralysis ticks (if applied every three weeks). You must spray the whole animal in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. If you use Frontline to control ticks, you must use the “high” dosage rate.
- Tick collars – will kill paralysis ticks. On the plus side, they are relatively inexpensive and can work well, particularly at preventing larval and nymph tick attachment. On the minus side, they must be replaced every 6 to 8 weeks depending on type, they’re unreliable for dogs that swim and they have a rather pungent chemical smell which puts some people off. Not recommended in situations where there are young children or multiple dogs that play rough.
- Proban® – will kill fleas (when applied twice a week) and paralysis ticks (when applied every other day), and control demodectic mange. It is essential that Proban is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. The dosage varies depending on the parasite the owner is attempting to control and the size of your dog. Do not combine with a tick collar (it may use the same insecticide, thus increasing the total to danger levels).