Virbac India

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Dog vaccines: What diseases to protect him from?

Serious diseases

All dogs should be immunized against distemper, contagious hepatitis (also known as Rubarth hepatitis) and parvovirus.


Parvovirus causes acute haemorrhagic gastroenteritis and is highly contagious. This disease causes major epidemics and many puppy deaths. Parvovirus is very resistant in the external environment, which facilitates contagion. This is why all dogs must be vaccinated.


Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease that can also affect humans. Dogs are most often infected in water contaminated with rodent urine. If you have a hunting dog or if you often go to wet areas with your dog, it is essential to have your dog vaccinated against leptospirosis.


Rabies is a deadly viral disease that affects all mammals including dogs, cats and humans.

France is considered free from rabies, but vaccination remains valid. If you want to travel abroad with your dog, vaccination is mandatory. The more we vaccinate, the less likely it is that the disease will reappear in France. Rabies vaccination also protects your dog or cat when imported rabies cases occur in France.

The rabies vaccine can be given from the age of 3 months.

Kennel cough

Kennel cough is an infectious tracheobronchitis that affects dogs. The vaccine is recommended for dogs that live in community, that go in kennels, to expositions or to canine clubs. The kennel cough is due to several bacteria and viruses including parainfluenza virus.


Leishmaniasis is a disease that affects the dog, but also humans. It is caused by parasites that are transmitted by flying insect bites called sandflies. In Europe, leishmaniasis spreads all around the Mediterranean, and therefore all the south of France. It is a potentially life-threatening disease for which there is no definitive cure. Once the dog is sick, a lifetime treatment should be given to limit relapses. To protect dogs from this disease, asndfly bites should be avoided by applying repellents to dogs and to the environment, and by bringing dogs indoor at night. Vaccination also limits the risk of developing this disease in dogs and is therefore the best way to control it.


The goal of vaccine recalls is to maintain protection over time. Indeed, with time, the dog’s immunity decreases and may become insufficient. The booster vaccines help to re-stimulate the immune system so that protection remains effective.

* Robinson N. The vaccination consultation: a simple injection or a complex interaction. BSAVA Congress Proceedings 2012: 527