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Why Vaccinate your Dog?

There are lots of nasty diseases that can be prevented with a simple vaccination. Since there’s no cure for the following diseases, prevention – and vaccination - is the only way to care for your dog’s health.


This disease used to be fairly common in the UK, but thanks to vaccination, it’s seen much less often these days. Symptoms can include discharge from the nose and eyes, vomiting, diarrhoea and a high temperature. You might also see thickening of the skin on the nose and pads.

Distemper can prove fatal for very young or very old dogs, or those dogs with a poor immune system. Even dogs that recover from the initial symptoms can go on to have long-term problems such as seizures.


A highly infectious virus with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration, outbreaks of parvovirus are reported in the UK every year. Young, unvaccinated dogs can deteriorate rapidly and require intensive emergency care.

Canine infectious herpes

This disease affects the liver. Symptoms can vary from fever, anorexia and vomiting, to severe pain and jaundice. In extreme cases, it can be fatal.


There are four strains of this virus, each of which can cause different symptoms ranging from fever and vomiting, to liver and kidney disease. Leptospirosis is spread by rats, so dogs who are exposed to rats or rat urine could be at risk of catching the disease. Unfortunately, it can also be transmitted to humans.

Kennel cough

This is a nasty cough, which is unpleasant for both dog and owner. Occasionally, dogs will develop chronic bronchitis. As there are numerous viruses and bacteria that cause this cough, no vaccine is 100% effective. However, vaccinating your dog will mean the cough they develop will be mild.

Can I over vaccinate my dog?

Vaccination companies have reacted to recent discussion around this by changing the way we vaccinate our dogs. Distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus vaccines have been proven to last over 3 years, so annual vaccines aren’t necessary for these diseases. Annual vaccinations are still necessary for leptospirosis, however.

Are there any side effects from vaccinations?

Very occasionally, dogs may develop mild side effects after vaccination. These might include a slight fever or a small, temporary lump on the site of the injection. There are some reports that blame vaccines for the development of immune medicated diseases in dogs.

However, the risk of a serious reaction to a vaccination is far lower than the risk of your dog contracting a fatal disease if left unvaccinated.