Emerald is an area that has a high incident of Parvovirus. Some vaccine protocols stop at 12 weeks, (or the 2nd vaccine needle), but in a high risk area such as Emerald, the Maraboon Vet Surgery strongly recommends all puppies receive a 3rd Vaccine at 14 -16 weeks or older.
Our vaccination protocol includes a 1st vaccination at 6 - 8 weeks, 2nd vaccination at 10 – 12 weeks and then the 3rd vaccination at 14 – 16 weeks.. For "at-risk breeds", we may recommend a 4th vaccination at 6 months. Discuss this with your vet to determine whether your pup is an "at risk" breed.
It is important to remember that your pup still may become infected with parvovirus any time before his last vaccination. Young pups, "at-risk breeds", (Rottweilers, Dobermans and Greyhounds), and elderly dogs are particularly sensitive to the virus.
Parvovirus causes lethargy, vomiting, (often severe) and later in the disease, diarrhoea which often contains mucous or blood. Death can be rapid and treatment often needs to be aggressive, and requires intensive-care hospitalisation.
Parvovirus is very contagious - it is spread by faeces or vomit from affected dogs. Even dogs not showing signs may carry the virus and shed it into the environment. Parvovirus is very resistant in the environment - strong bleach can kill it, but if present in the soil it can remain infective for months to years. High risk areas include rental properties and high dog traffic areas including public parks, dams and walkways.
We strongly recommend either: Waiting until the pup is fully vaccinated before taking your pup visiting, walking or outside your yard, or :- Visiting family/friends only if you know they have a parvovirus risk free yard.
It is very important to keep up to date with intestinal worming, as any gastrointestinal disease may worsen a parvovirus infection. Pups need to be wormed, for intestinal worms, every two weeks until 3 months of age. They are then wormed every month until 6 months of age when you start their lifetime routine of worming every three months.
We would also like to take this opportunity to tell you about heartworm. This worm is different from intestinal worms. It is carried by mosquitoes, the larvae develops in the dogs tissue which is then carried by the blood to the heart where it grows to adulthood. This can be fatal. Your puppy can be protected in two ways. You can choose to give a tablet or chew monthly, or you can have your puppy protected using the heart worm injection called the SR12.
If you choose to give your puppy tablets for heartworm, there is a tablet that covers both the heartworm and intestinal worms. This tablet has to be given monthly. A good idea is to give the tablet on the same day each month.
If you choose to give your pup the heartworm injection, this will be given when they are 12 weeks old. Your puppy is still growing so they will need to be given a booster three months later, at approximately 6 months of age, which correlates with the recommended age to de-sex your pup. Your pup will then only need to have a yearly Proheart SR12 booster, when coming in for their yearly vaccinations.