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Vaccinations and Worming Your Dog

Hints & Tips

It is important to register your puppy with a vet as soon as possible. They will give you information on vaccinations, worming, diet and neutering. Knowledge of these risk areas is essential when owning a puppy, and your pet insurance company may require proof of such vaccinations should you need to make a claim.

As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. One of the best ways to control diseases that are found in dogs' is by vaccination.

In the UK, dogs are normally vaccinated against; parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis, hepatitis and kennel cough.

These diseases can be killers or they can cause permanent damage. Vaccination is vital to prevent, and in the long term hopefully eradicate, these diseases and the suffering that goes with them.

Although puppies get some immunity from their mothers, they and young dogs are especially vulnerable. It is important that they are regularly vaccinated and this continues throughout their life. The puppy's first course of vaccinations is normally given at about six to nine weeks old. These are usually repeated yearly, but your vet will advise you as to what is necessary.

Some people worry about vaccinating their puppys and dogs, but it should be remembered that serious side effects are extremely rare. Also, the decreasing incidence of these diseases is due, to a large extent, to owners arranging for their pets to be routinely vaccinated.

You may be surprised to learn that most puppies are born with roundworm. They are infected by their mother before they are born and afterwards via her milk. Roundworm, or Toxocara, causes diarrhoea and a distended abdomen and can cause 'fading puppy syndrome'.

By three weeks of age it is possible for a puppy to contaminate its environment. It is essential that they are regularly wormed. Your vet will advise you on the frequency of worming required to control infestation.

There are many worming treatments available. Choose one that tackles both the migrating larval and adult stages; your vet will advise you.