Sophie Bell Senior Vet
Dr Sophie Bell

Did you know that viruses are common in dogs and can cause serious illness? Vaccines help protect your dog from these viruses, and it is important to educate yourself about dog vaccinations and the choices you can make. There are some side effects of dog vaccines that you should be aware of, but with a few simple tips, you can minimise the risk of your furry friend contracting a virus.

In this podcast summary, LWDG Featured Expert and Vet Sophie Bell breaks down the basics of canine vaccinations and helps you decide what’s best for your working dog.

What viruses are common in dogs and can cause serious illness

Canine Parvovirus (Parvo) is a highly contagious and potentially fatal virus that affects puppies and young dogs. It attacks the gastrointestinal system, causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

Canine distemper is a severe and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of dogs. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, watery eyes, and vomiting.

Canine adenovirus is a virus that can cause respiratory illness in dogs. It is often associated with kennel cough. Symptoms include a dry hacking cough, fever, and runny nose.

These are just some of the viruses that can affect dogs, and it is important to keep your dog’s vaccinations relevant for your area and lifestyle choices.

“Vaccinating your dog can be one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect them from a serious illness. It is important that you talk to your vet about what vaccines are recommended for your dog, based on their age, lifestyle and risk factors.”- Sophie Bell, Featured Expert Vet.

How vaccines help protect your dog from these viruses

The viruses that canine vaccines help protect dogs from can cause severe illness and even death in some cases. Vaccines work by protecting your dog against infection with the virus. They are made from a ‘dead’ or ‘modified’ form of the virus, which means they can’t cause disease. When your dog is vaccinated, their immune system produces antibodies against the virus. These antibodies help protect your dog if they come into contact with the actual virus.

It is important to note that no vaccine is 100% effective and that there is always a risk that your dog could still contract the virus, even if they are vaccinated. However, by keeping your dog’s vaccinations up-to-date, you can reduce the risk of them becoming ill from these viruses.

“No vaccine is 100% effective, but by keeping your pet’s vaccinations up to date, you can reduce their risk of becoming ill from these viruses.” – Sophie Bell, Featured Expert Vet.

Keeping your dog’s vaccinations relevant

It is important to keep your dog’s vaccinations relevant to protect them from the risk of contracting a virus. Vaccines typically last for one year, after which time your dog will need a booster shot to keep them protected. It is important to consult your vet about when booster shots are necessary, as this will vary depending on the vaccine and the virus it protects against.

“It is important to consult your vet about when booster shots are necessary, as this will vary depending on the vaccine and the virus it protects against.” – Sophie Bell, Featured Expert Vet.

Side effects of dog vaccines

Like all medications, there is always a risk of side effects associated with canine vaccines. The most common side effect is mild fever, and some dogs may also experience temporary stiffness or reduced energy levels after getting vaccinated. More severe side effects are rare but can include allergic reactions and infections at the injection site.

“The most common side effect is mild fever, and some dogs may also experience temporary stiffness or reduced energy levels after getting vaccinated.” – Sophie Bell, Featured Expert Vet

Tips for minimising the risk of your dog contracting a virus

There are a few things you can do to help reduce your dog’s risk of contracting a virus. Some of these include:

– Keeping your dog away from other animals that may be sick

– Avoiding taking your dog to places where there is a high concentration of dogs, such as dog parks or kennels

– Washing your hands thoroughly after handling your dog and before eating or touching your face

– Disinfecting surfaces that your dog has come into contact with an appropriate pet-safe disinfectant

Thank you for joining us today as we explored the world of dog vaccinations. It is essential to be armed with information to make the best decision for your furry friend. We hope you enjoyed this summary and can find time to listen to the full episode. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry when your dog’s health!

You can also find more helpful tips on our website or consult with your local vet. We wish you and your dog all the best in keeping them safe and healthy!

More About Sophie…

Sophie is a business owner and Senior Vet at Animal Love in Salisbury. Having worked as a vet for 9 years, and currently specialising in Emergency and Critical Care. With a genuine passion for animals, Sophie started Animal Love to help owners to help their pets. Sophie has kindly produced this short video for the Ladies Working Dog Group to help you put together a first aid kit for your working dog. Sophie has a brand new range of online courses available from the end of next week. Get a 10% discount if you sign up beforehand. Subscribe to find out more about Sophie’s online and live courses here.


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