‘Prevention is better than cure’ is an age-old saying, which holds true even today. Vaccination can protect our canines from several life-threatening diseases. Here are a few viral diseases which can be ably prevented by proper vaccines:
Canine Parvoviral Enteritis : Present worldwide, this disease mostly occurs in breeding kennels, animal shelters, and pet stores or wherever pups are reared and dogs congregate. Certain breeds like Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and English Springer Spaniels are reported to be at exceptional risk of severe disease. While the infection generally has no age predilection, the severest form of the disease occurs in pups aged 6-12 weeks of age, who may collapse in a “shock-like” state and die suddenly without enteric signs, after only a brief period of malaise.
Prevention : Although maternal antibodies confer protection to the new born pup, subsequent vaccination at 45 days of age is a must. A booster 21 days after primary vaccination is advisable followed by yearly vaccinations. However, control of parvoviral infections requires strict hygiene, isolation of affected pups and efficacious vaccines.
Canine Distemper (CD) : A dog contracts the disease by airborne and droplet exposure. The disease is worldwide in distribution and has no breed or sex predilection, though young animals are more susceptible. The disease is usually present in certain areas of India, especially the south. Contact with non-vaccinated carnivores increases the risk of the disease.
Prevention : Vaccination at 45 days of age with booster after 21 days and yearly vaccination subsequently can prevent CD. Also, avoid contact of your dog with stray animals.
Rabies : Unarguably the most talked about disease, the name comes to ones’ mind synonymously with dogs. And why not, it is extremely dangerous and transmissible to humans in whom, as in the case of dogs, it is 100% fatal. Although present worldwide certain countries like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Japan and parts of Scandinavia are free from rabies. In developing countries like ours, it is quite prevalent.
Prevention : Vaccination is a must!! Vaccinate at 12-14 weeks of age (and not before 3 months) followed by yearly vaccinations. Keep your dog on a tight leash if the stray dog population in your area is high. Even bites by animals such as cats, monkeys and rats are potentially hazardous. If bitten, consult your vet immediately.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis : This disease usually affects dogs under one year of age and has no breed or sex predilection. The virus primarily causes the inflammation of the liver and may also affect the eyes.
Prevention : Vaccination at 45 days of age with a booster 21 days later followed by yearly vaccinations.