4 Paws Veterinary Clinic

(07) 4723 1988

Dog Vaccination



Vaccination helps prevent and control some infectious diseases in our pets.

It is important that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help keep them healthy but also protect the pet population as a whole. Responsible pet care requires puppies to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult dogs require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.

Puppy Vaccination
Puppies are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first few months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary in a puppy. Due to the high incidence of Parvo Virus in Townsville, 4 Paws Veterinarians recommend a course of vaccines given to the puppy at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age.

Adult Dog Vaccination
The immunity from puppy vaccination decreases over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease if they are not given a booster. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations are required. This will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.

After Vaccination Care
After a vaccination your dog may be off-colour for a day or two. Sometimes they maybe abit sleepy or unsettled. Some dogs may have some soreness or mild swelling where the vaccination injection was given. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the dog is very unsettled, unwell, having difficulty breathing or is developing wheals or a swollen face, you should contact one of our clinics for advice.

Please give us a call at 4 Paws Vets to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet puppy or dog.


Canine Parvovirus
This is the big disease we see in Townsville. Canine parvovirus can affects dogs of all ages. It is seen more commonly in pups that haven't completed their vaccine course but we see it in adult dogs that are not up to date with the vaccinations. The Parvo virus mainly attacks the intestinal lining causing bloody diarrhoea, vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Left untreated most dogs die and unfortunatley despite intensive vet treatment, some of these pets will not make it.

Your dog doesn't have to have direct contact with other dogs to pick up Parvo Virus. The virus can persist in the environment for years and often in rental properties it is unknown if the property is contaminated. The virus can also been brought in to your yard on shoes, clothes etc... Outbreaks do occur regularly in Townsville so we strongly recommend vaccination.

Canine Distemper
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.

Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.

Canine Hepatitis
Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.

Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. In severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. Dogs that recover may develop long term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.

Canine Cough
Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious viruses and bacteria. It is easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as dog parks,  dog shows, dog obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2..

Affected dogs develop a dry hacking cough which can last for weeks. It can be uncomfortable and distressing for the dog and their owners. A complication of canine cough is pneumonia which can be very serious especially in the very young or older dog.

Canine Coronavirus
Canine coronavirus is another contagious virus and causes depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea especially in young dogs. Diarrhoea may last for several days in some cases. Although most dogs will recover with treatment, coronavirus has the potential to be fatal, especially if other infectious agents such as parvovirus are present.

Canine Leptospirosis
Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas and can be fatal. It is spread by the urine of rats and is usually transmitted to dogs  who drink or eat contaminated food or water. There are different strains of Leptospirosis. The strain we find around Townsville and surrounding areas is Lepto australis

There’s an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as rubbish dumps, cane fields and banana plantations.. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet weather, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate.

Dogs which spend time around cane fields, banana plantations or swampy areas should be vaccinated.

Leptospirosis can also be passed to humans who may then suffer a “flu like” illness which lasts a long time.