At Cranberry Hill Animal Hospital we believe every pet should be treated individually as to their needs for vaccines. A pet that is out hunting seven days a week will require a different vaccination protocol from a pet that lives most of its time in the house or being carried around. Age will also play a role in deciding on the best course of vaccines to give. A young animal will need a series of vaccines to prepare their immune system, unlike the older dog that has had vaccines nearly all its life.

We do believe a puppy requires vaccines at eight weeks of age then repeated again at twelve weeks of age and sixteen weeks of age. A booster vaccine is strongly recommended for the following year. At this point titre testing and a specific vaccine protocol for your pet would be introduced.

The following explains the diseases we can protect our pets from. A discussion with the veterinarians can help you decide what is the best course to follow for your pet.

Rabies is a fatal viral disease of all mammals including dogs, cats, livestock and humans. Rabies is a major health hazard so it is extremely important that your pet be vaccinated against it. In our particular area it is required by municipal law and for travel outside Canada.

Distemper virus attacks many body organs in addition to the nervous system. Symptoms include listlessness, fever, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting and discharge from the eyes and nose. Death may occur one to three weeks after infection. Vaccination for distemper virus is strongly recommended.

Parvovirus is a highly contagious and debilitating virus that is spread through fecal material. In severe cases it can lead to shock and death. Vaccination for parvovirus is strongly recommended

Hepatitis virus is spread between dogs by contact with urine, feces and other secretions from infected animals. The liver is the organ affected and death is possible in severe cases.

Para influenza/Adenovirus. These types of bacteria and viruses are known to cause infection and inflammation of the lungs and respiratory passages in dogs. These are not usually fatal unless pneumonia develops. However, it may cause appetite loss, lack of energy and coughing.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of mammals, including humans. Many organs can be attacked by these bacteria. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, coughing and increased urination. Leptospira is found in surface water which becomes contaminated by urine from wildlife, rodents and livestock.

Coronavirus can cause serious disease if combined with parvovirus. Puppies are particularly susceptible to severe symptoms. It is passed in the environment through feces.

Giardia is the most common waterborne parasite in North America. Surface water contaminated by infected fecal material from wildlife, birds and livestock is our source. Vaccines are still being perfected for this disease.

Kennel Cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica) is a bacteria that is stress associated. A hoarse, dry cough is heard, and lethargy may occur. This vaccine is often required if you are boarding your pets in a kennel. Please enquire at the kennel if this vaccine is necessary as we do not use it as a routine core vaccine and you will need time for it to take effect.

Our usual vaccine protocol is as follows:


  • initial series at 8, 12, 16 weeks of age
  • give booster 1, 2 and 3 years later
  • give every 3 years thereafter


  • initial series at 12 and 16 weeks of age
  • give annually thereafter


  • initial vaccine between 12 and 16 weeks of age
  • give booster 1 year later
  • give every 3 years thereafter


  • we believe in splitting vaccines as much as possible to decrease possibilities of reactions
  • split vaccines should be done no closer than 2 weeks apart due to vaccine interference
  • along those same lines, vaccines should be done at least 2 weeks prior to being admitted for surgery