Vaccinations – what you need to know to make the best decisions for your canine companion
Vaccinations are designed to prevent your pet from contracting diseases. We have a few different vaccines available in NZ based on what diseases pose a risk to your dog.
DHP or DHPPi – There are several brand names for this vaccine that protects against multiple viruses. This vaccine protects your dog from Parvo virus, Distemper virus, Canine hepatitis and Parainfluenza virus. This is a core vaccine, which means it is essential that your pet is vaccinated with this, no matter where it is located in New Zealand – The two main/significant diseases this vaccine is preventing is Distemper and Parvo virus.
Vaccination has significantly reduced Distemper virus in New Zealand, but requires continued vaccination to prevent outbreaks occurring in unvaccinated populations of dogs. Parvo virus is still, and will likely always be, very prevalent no matter where you are in NZ. This virus lasts for years in contaminated soil, so unless your dog has been fully vaccinated, they are at risk of this often deadly virus. Parvo virus destroys the intestinal lining in your dog, resulting in a severely painful tummy, vomiting, anorexia and diarrhoea. Treatment is expensive, intensive and death is not uncommon. It’s just not worth it!
This vaccine is VERY effective, and once fully vaccinated as per our recommendations, it is almost impossible for your dog to pick up these diseases. What does fully vaccinated mean? That your puppy has had all of its puppy vaccines with the final one occurring at or after 16 weeks of age. They then require a booster at 12 months of age, and from there every 1-3 years, depending on the risk level for your pet as can be discussed with your vet.
Lepto (one strain or three strains) – This vaccine is to protect your dog from Leptospirosis. This is a bacterium they can pick up from urine and faeces of rats, pigs, sheep, cattle and deer. Leptospirosis is detected on nearly every farm in New Zealand and the different strains will live in their “host” animal (pigs or cows for example)without causing any issues, but if a dog contracts their strain, then this can cause kidney and liver failure. This can be life threatening, and if not treated soon enough, lead to irreversible kidney failure and sometimes death. We have two vaccines available, one covers a single strain (the most common strain that dogs contract), and one that covers the 3 most prominent strains on farms in NZ. Your vet will help to decide which is the most appropriate for your dog. Because of the different immune response created by this vaccine as opposed to the parvo virus– after its initial administration and booster in 4-6 weeks (no matter what the age of your dog is), it requires yearly vaccinations to be most effective. Any pet that loves playing in the rivers, lakes, romping around the farms or chasing after rats should be vaccinated. We can start this vaccine at any age – after the first vaccination, it requires a booster in 4-6 weeks, then yearly thereafter.
Kennel Cough – This vaccine is to aid in prevention of kennel cough – this is a contagious cough that dogs pick up from close contact with other dogs – hence kennels are a common place for dogs to pick this up. There are a number of different bacteria and viruses that can cause this cough. The vaccine contains the most common culprits – it is possible that your pet may pick up a strain not covered by the vaccine, or still get a slight cough despite vaccination. This vaccine is shorter acting, and offers best protection within 6 months of a “challenge” – and will reduce the severity and duration of the cough but not always prevent it occurring. Kennel cough (unless in a compromised or otherwise sick patient) is not life threatening and usually just requires rest and time to overcome, but sometimes your vet may need to prescribe antibiotics.
The vaccine that is most effective is given into the nostrils, so don’t be shocked if the vet vaccinates your pet in the nose!
Each pet is different and your veterinarian will work through a vaccination plan that suits your pet’s lifestyle and risk profile. Whatever their vaccination schedule, it is important to always have an annual health check.
Read more >Wednesday 27th of September 2017: It seems like companies are bringing out new flea products every few months these days, and even we find it hard to keep up! Here is an overview of the products we have in store.
Read more >Thursday 27th of July 2017: Some horse owners are still drenching their animals on a six to eight weekly basis regardless of age or worm burden. This was a traditional approach which is outdated and possibly detrimental in terms of developing resistance to drenches.
Read more >Thursday 27th of July 2017: The first five years of a horse's life are critical in regards to dental development. Like us, horses have two sets of teeth, the deciduous being shed from about two and a half years until the permanent teeth have erupted at around five years.
Read more >Tuesday 11th of July 2017: Kennel Cough (also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Dogs commonly contract kennel cough at places where large amounts of dogs accumulate, such as boarding and daycare facilities and dog parks.
Read more >Tuesday 11th of July 2017: As our pets age dental disease can start to set in. We often start noticing signs from around the age of 5 (which equates to around 35 in human years). Dental disease can affect the internal organs and the overall health of your pet. There are some measures you can take to help slow or prolong the effects of dental disease at home.
Read more >Friday 23rd of June 2017: It is important to Vet Services that you understand what happens to your pet when they come to us for surgery. We appreciate that you may feel anxious leaving your pet and we hope the following will help ease any concern you may have.
Read more >Friday 23rd of June 2017: A common emergency condition that we see at a vet clinic is the cat with a 'blocked bladder' (urethral obstruction). They often present to us as a cat that is in pain due to an unknown cause. The owner may find them hiding in the garden or under a bed and suspect that the cat has had some sort of trauma.
Read more >Friday 23rd of June 2017: In recent weeks we have been presented with several cases of rabbit haemorrhagic diseases. This is a viral condition which is unfortunately deadly to pet bunnies.
Read more >Tuesday 28th of March 2017: General stiffness, slowing down, difficulty rising... Is it just old age? Our senior pets may show subtle signs or be quite obvious in their attempts to tell us about their problems. One of these problems that we commonly see is arthritis.
Read more >Tuesday 28th of March 2017: A few months ago I was presented with a 7 year old male cat Beau who had been weak, lethargic and drinking more than usual for about 3 weeks at home. Closer examination revealed very weak and floppy muscles with an almost distended abdomen. Blood and urine tests then showed elevated blood glucose confirming my suspicion that this boy had developed diabetes mellitus.
Read more >Tuesday 28th of March 2017: Being from South Africa it was relatively easy diagnosing the cause of severe anaemia in dogs as almost always it was due to a blood parasite called Babesia (which we don't have in New Zealand), and if it wasn't that then the chances were good that it was due to an auto immune disease called Auto Immune Haemolytic Anaemia or IMHA for short.
Read more >Tuesday 28th of March 2017: What is wellness testing?
Wellness testing is the term given to a group of tests that is performed specifically to detect signs of early disease in a pet that is apparently healthy.
Read more >Friday 20th of January 2017: The 'New Zealand Cattle Tick' or 'Bush Tick', as an adult, is a red-brown, 8-legged tick visible with the naked eye from 3x2mm to around 9x7mm (whne it's full of feed). Larval and nymph (juvenile) stages are much smaller (but still visible) with 6 legs and a dark to black colour. It is known as the three-host-tick as it transitions through three stages from larvae to nymph to adult by attaching to a host, engorging by sucking blood, then dropping back onto the ground and repeating through the stages.
Read more >Tuesday 13th of December 2016: The case of an overweight pet visiting the vet clinic is an all too common theme. Furthermore, the majority are visiting for health reasons that could be prevented if these animals were at their ideal weight.
Read more >Thursday 8th of December 2016: With summer just around the corner we thought it appropriate to give our clients some information on heat stroke, what to look out for and what to do should it happen.
Heat stroke occurs when your pet's internal temperature rises abnormally high above 39 C. because he/she is unable to lose excess heat through normal processes: mainly panting and radiation of heat into the surrounding environment.
Read more >Thursday 8th of December 2016: Summer is here and so are those nasty seeds that stick into anything, anywhere, any time.
Apart from it being painful to our four footed companions when these seeds burrow into them, it can pose important health risks too. In clinic we have experienced their migration into different areas of the animal, each with their own complications.
Read more >Thursday 8th of December 2016: Cushing's is a hormonal disease state caused by the excessive production of cortisol, one of the "fight or flight" hormones produced by the adrenal glands.
Normally, when the cortisol level of blood is low, a gland in the brain (called the pituitary gland) secretes a stimulating hormone (ACTH) to tell the adrenal glands to produce and release more cortisol. Once blood cortisol levels are high enough again, it inhibits further secretion of ACTH by the brain. In this way the body keeps blood cortisol levels balanced.
Read more >Tuesday 1st of November 2016: With the warmer months just around the corner it's time to once again consider the dreaded flea. Fleas can be a real problem over the warmer months, but it all starts now!
Read more >Monday 12th of September 2016: With spring arriving we are starting to see more itchy dogs through the clinic doors. The main cause of this seasonal itch is allergy. Skin allergies can be divided into a number of causes including contact allergy, flea allergy, atopy and food allergy/intolerance.