Vaccinations form an essential part of your dog’s preventative care. Since their inception, vaccines have saved the lives of countless animals around the world, who would have otherwise succumbed to the many infectious diseases that can affect our canine companions. The creation of vaccines is one contributing factor to the ability of domestic animals including dogs to live longer than ever before.
Vaccines work by introducing an artificial infection into your dog’s body that masquerades as the real, infectious disease. In doing so, the vaccine prompts the creation of antibodies to fight it, despite it being unable to harm her. Her body then remembers how to fight it so that if she comes into contact with the real illness, her body will respond immediately and protect her from becoming sick. Each vaccine is effective for a period of time before they must be re-administered.
There are a number of ‘core’ vaccines that should be given to all dogs regardless of their breed and age, and then a selection of ‘non-core’ vaccines that are provided on the recommendation of our vet, based upon specific circumstances surrounding your pet. Our vet will work with you to create a personalized vaccination schedule that ensures that your dog remains protected against these serious and deadly infectious diseases at all times.
However, it is not just infectious diseases that you need to worry about. Parasite infestations can also affect our pets, with one of the most prevalent being parasitic worms.
About parasitic worms
There are many different parasites that can affect our dogs, with worms being one of the most common. This is largely because most canines are fairly unfussy with where they put their nose and mouth, making it very easy for them to pick up the parasite infestation. Once the eggs or larvae are inside their body, the worms will grow, mature and eventually reproduce, all while deriving the nutrients that they need to thrive from your dog. As the number of worms living inside your pet grows, the effect that the infestation is having on her body will become more serious and the symptoms more obvious. Unfortunately, in many instances the infestation becomes fairly severe before the symptoms become obvious and veterinary intervention is sought.
Types of parasitic worm
There are various types of parasitic worm that can affect dogs including:
Deworming is a process that involves destroying internal parasitic worms that may be affecting your dog. In doing so, you can alleviate the symptoms that your furbaby is suffering from, prevent any further damage to her body and potentially even save her life.
Fortunately, there are a variety of very safe and effective ways in which you can de-worm your furbaby. Our veterinarian will be able to advise you which is likely to the best option for your dog, and this will normally depend on her size, age and health. Most medications for de-worming are administered orally or via an injection and are classified as ‘broad spectrum’ since they target a number of different types of parasite including internal worms.
Do I need to deworm my pet before she has her vaccinations?
Some people believe that you should deworm your pet ahead of any vaccination appointments that she may have. One of the reasons for this is because vaccinations can have a number of side effects and your dog may feel a little under the weather for a few days after her shots. If she is also currently battling a worm infestation, the combination of the two could make her much more unwell. In these instances, it would be better to deworm and give her supportive treatment for several days before undertaking the vaccination process. This way she will be stronger and less likely to suffer ill effects from her vaccines.
If you would like more information about vaccines, parasites and preventative care for your dog, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced veterinary team.