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  • Vaccinating Your Puppy

This information sheet contains advice regarding vaccination of puppies to ensure that they are protected from major diseases.

Your puppy’s first visit to the vet

When you first get your new puppy, your vet will need to perform a health check to make sure that they are fit and well. Your vet will be able to give you advice and discuss vaccination in particular as well as parasite control, insurance and diet.

When your puppy is 8 weeks old

Your puppy is now old enough to start their vaccination course. Puppy vaccinations are very important to protect against a number of diseases and to limit the spread of disease in the dog population. Vaccination has been very successful in decreasing the number of animals we see suffering from these diseases. At your puppy’s vaccination appointment you will receive a free puppy pack containing information on how best to care for your puppy.

Your puppy vaccination course

The puppy vaccination course requires two injections: the first at 8 weeks and then a second injection at 12 weeks of age. These protect against Distemper (Hardpad), Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus and ParaInfluenza.

Puppies get some short term immunity to infections from their mother’s first milk (maternally derived antibodies).These antibodies can interfere with their response to vaccination but by 12 weeks of age most puppies will have low enough levels of these antibodies to allow a good immune response to vaccination.

There are some vaccines available that allow a second injection at 10 weeks. However, we recommend that your puppy vaccination course should not finish before 12 weeks since earlier finishes will require detailed knowledge of the level of maternal antibodies present which is impractical.

Puppy Socialisation

Earlier vaccination course finishes were introduced to allow earlier socialisation of puppies. However, this process starts from around four weeks of age and continues into adulthood and a programme of increasing puppy exposure to various experiences is ongoing from birth. Soon after the first vaccination, puppies can have a degree of socialisation with other dogs where the risk of infection is very low, for example, at puppy parties or with fully vaccinated older dogs.

Onset of full immunity will vary for individuals but is typically 1-2 weeks after the second injection. Thus a 12 week second injection offers an ideal balance of socialisation and maximum protection against diseases.

Please discuss this with your vet at your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets.

We hope you enjoy looking after your new puppy.