Vaccination of dogs

After birth puppies get immunoglobulines from their mother. These immunoglobulines reduce slowly during the first weeks of life. That is why it is important to vaccinate a puppy during the first months of its life (6, 9 and 12 weeks); these vaccinations mean that the puppy will then produce immunoglobulines (antibodies) itself. To maintain enough antibodies it is essential to vaccinate your dog every year (for some diseases it’s enough to vaccinate every 2 or 3 years). We will give you specific advice on when to vaccinate your dog when you visit us in the practice. During the vaccination we will also do a general health check, clip nails and give advice about endo - and ectoparasites.

Because of the importation of dogs from countries in places such as Eastern Europe where people are failing to vaccinate their dogs, life threatening diseases like Parvo and Canine Distemper are once again becoming a problem. Please, let’s ALL vaccinate our dogs!

Canine Distemper
Canine Distemper is most common in young dogs. The symptoms are: fever, inflammation of the eyelids and nasal mucosa, coughing, diarrhoea and sometimes damage to the nervous system. Usually the animals are very sick and will die eventually despite treatment. The number of cases of this disease has decreased a lot during the past decade, but it is still common in some countries (e.g. parts of Eastern Europe). The disease is transmitted mainly through dog to dog contact.

Parvo is most common in young dogs. The symptoms are severe vomiting and diarrhoea, usually with blood in it. This will result in severe dehydration, decrease of proteins in the blood and anaemia, and a lot of puppies will die if they contract this disease. Certain breeds like German Shepherd, Rottweiler and Doberman are more sensitive to this infection. Transmission takes place through ingestion or contact with infected dog faeces.

This disease can give symptoms of kidney or liver failure like e.g. icterus ???, increase in drinking and urinating, reduced appetite, less active and loss of weight. Leptospires are parasites which are transmitted from the urine of rats to people or dogs through infected swimming water.

Infectious hepatitis is caused by a virus which results in damage and inflammation of the liver. We see this disease in animals of all ages and it does not have specific symptoms. Sometimes this disease is mild but in some cases dogs can die from it.


This disease is caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria. Usually we see this disease after a dog has been in with contact with a lot of other dogs (e.g. kennels, behaviour courses or dog shows). The dog will have a dry chronic cough which is sometimes accompanied by retching. A kennel-cough vaccination is required when you want to put your dog in a kennel. Ask your kennel what their specific requirements are. The kennel-cough vaccine can be administered by an injection or nasal drops.


In Holland we no longer have Rabies. It is a lethal disease in both humans and animals. A Rabies vaccination is required when you want to travel to a foreign country with your pet. For most European Union countries a Rabies vaccination must be given at least 21 days before travelling. There are also countries (such as the UK) with very strict rules so the total process before travelling can take at least six months.
Sometimes Rabies is carried by bats. Do not touch wounded bats. Rabies is transmitted through saliva.


Why do we need to vaccinate. My neighbour does not vaccinate his dog and the dog doesn´t get ill.
Off course not all animals get ill when they are not vaccinated, but that´s because most dogs ARE vaccinated! Because of the importation of dogs from the East of Europe and other foreign countries we sometimes see e.g. Parvo or Canine Distemper reoccurring. If we don´t all vaccinate our dogs, these life threatening diseases will become a serious problem once again!!!