Some canine diseases are very serious and can be fatal even with treatment. To prevent your dog from getting these diseases, vaccination is essential.

  • At 6-8 weeks of age puppies should receive their first vaccination.
  • A second injection is required at 12 weeks, a third injection at 16 weeks, and then each year for the life of your pet.
  • Puppies should not be taken out to public areas until 2 weeks after their final injection.

Vaccinations will protect your pet from the following diseases:

  • Parvovirus – a highly contagious viral gastroenteritis. Depression, loss of appetite, severe vomiting and diarrhoea containing blood are some of the symptoms. Death can occur very quickly and young puppies are particularly at risk. CLICK HERE to read more about Parvovius.
  • Distemper – a highly contagious disease producing symptoms such as conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, convulsive seizures and spinal cord damage. Treatment is often ineffective.
  • Hepatitis – in puppies can cause sudden death, whilst adult dogs can experience, weakness, fever, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and bleeding.
  • Canine Cough – a complex disease caused by bacterium and a virus. Affected dogs will have a hacking cough persisting for weeks. In puppies and old dogs the disease can be devastating.


The most common intestinal worms that affect dogs in Australia are roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm.

Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and in severe cases even death are just some of the symptoms a dog can experience from a worm infestation.

Common worms are readily controllable with a routine worming treatment.

Puppies should be wormed every two weeks until twelve weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age. After six months all dogs need to be wormed every three months for effective protection.


If there are fleas about, they will find a way onto your dog’s coat. Whether they exist as eggs, larvae or young fleas they will soon invade your pet and their environment, your home, too.

There are excellent flea control products available that are safe, effective and easy to use.

Your regular vet or a reputable petstore will be able to advise you as to what product will best suit your pet.


A dog affected by Heartworm will have an infestation of long thin worms (up to 30cm in length!) lodged in the heart and vessels that feed on surrounding blood.

Heartworm is passed to dogs via mosquito bite and can be a fatal condition.

Prevention is possible through a monthly or annual preparation, and puppies need to be started on heartworm prevention from 12 weeks of age.

Written by Sharon Stevenson

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