Just like humans requiring vaccination against infectious diseases Bullmastiffs need to be as well. As a new born Bullmastiff puppy receives his antibodies from his mother puppies don't require vaccinations (unless the mother has not been vaccinated) until Bullmastiff puppies have been weaned from their mothers at around six weeks of age they are usually required to be vaccinated again at 12 weeks and again if required by your veterinarian at 16 weeks then annually. Vaccination requirements vary from country to country generally because of different infectious diseases.
Bullmastiff puppies and adults are vaccinated against many different highly contagious diseases. It is important to vaccinate rather than run the risk of your Bullmastiff becoming infected as some diseases can be very expensive to treat and leave you helpless in hope for a full recovery or worse still fatal.
I have listed what vaccinations are given and what it protects Bullmastiffs from as well as given symptoms of these diseases.
Distemper is a viral disease. Distemper outbreaks usually occur in cities kenneled situations and shelters. There are two forms of Distemper acute and sub acute, signs of infection are inflammation of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts and nervous system. Unvaccinated puppies between the age of 3 months and 6 months are most susceptible to distemper and if infected are most likely to die than an older infected dog that has been vaccinated. Dogs can be effected by two means bodily secretions from another infected animal distemper is also an airborne virus and can effect a whole kennel of dogs. Please visit links at bottom of page for further reading.
Canine hepatitis targets three tissues the liver, lymphoid tissue and the vascular endothelium. Complications with canine hepatitis also include Nephritis and corneal oedema or "blue eye". Mortality from canine hepatitis is high especially in unweaned puppies where Canine hepatitis is often present. Sudden deaths are uncommon with vaccinated dogs over the age of two. Symptoms of infections are lethargy and appetite loss to depression, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and even death.
There are two main components of kennel cough Canine Para influenza virus and a bacterium Bordatella bronchiseptica. Being another airborne virus dogs can be infected where there are numbers of dogs e.g. dog shows, kennels, training classes and parks. Like the human flue kennel cough is not fatal but can persist A harsh dry cough is noticeable in an infected dog and in some cases a secondary infection can cause an infection to the upper respiratory tract to the lungs which can cause further complications and a more serious diseases like pneumonia or bronchitis. If your dog does have a harsh dry cough that does persist it is wise to have your dog looked at by your veterinarian who will usually prescribe antibiotics to prevent or treat a secondary infection.
Canine Parvovirus is transmitted through an infected dog feaces, hair and or feet Parvovirus is accountable for many deaths in dogs. Dogs under the age of twelve months are more susceptible to this virus. Symptoms are depression, vomiting, high temperature, refuse to eat or drink and bloody diarrhoea. Unfortunately most dogs die within 24 hour of being contaminated.
Fortunately leptospirosis is not common in Australia but infection is possible where large numbers of rats live. Leptospirosis is transmitted through rats urine, the particular problem with rats are they are attracted to left over scrapes that maybe left in your dogs bowl or even in your dogs drinking water dogs can even be infected from sniffing where an infected rat has been to a creek or pond where a rat swam. Symptoms are depression, high temperature, severe thirst, lethargy, increased urination, abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and jaundice. Leptospirosis can also be transmitted by another infected dog and if a dog that has been infected and has recovered it can still be in the dogs system for a year making that dog a threat to others. Fatality is common.
Worming is very important to your dogs health. Different worms can cause varied complications. Transmission of worms can be from the mother of new born puppies to infected faeces of another animal and can live within the ground for a long period of time. The worm hatch in humid periods of the year are usually at there worst in spring and Autumn. De-worming should be routinely done at the begging of each season e.g.. spring summer. There are many broad spectrum wormers that are readily available to treat the below:
Hookworm usually infects puppies in utero. The hookworm is a blood sucking parasite that can cause anemia in young puppies symptoms of infestation are dull dry coats, poor condition as well as gale mucous membranes of the mouth due to anemia. The hookworms appearance is rarely seen due to being so small usually as small as 1- 1.5 inches and appear like a thread of cotton.
Heavy infestations of roundworms can be fatal, unlike the hookworm the round worm is more visible and can grow as large as 6-8 inches. Signs of roundworm infestations are pot bellied puppies, scrawny looking puppies that do not have the ability to thrive, dry coats and loss of appetite. In heavy infestations round worms can be transmitted through vomit and faeces.
Unlike roundworm and hookworm whip worm isn't common in new born puppies. Therefore it is not necessary to de-worm a puppy against whip worm until around the age of 3-4 months. Signs of whip worm infestations are unable to gain weight, dull coat and blood in faeces. The whip worm is found in the large intestine and rectum thus the blood appearing in faeces.
Fleas are the host of the tapeworm. Where flea tapeworm infestations are common worming should be carried out every 6- 8 weeks then every three months should be adequate. Tape worm can grow several feet and do not cause trouble unless an heavy infestation is likely. Signs of infestation of tapeworm bottom wiping or scooting, chewing and licking anal area, unable to gain weight and a dry coat. If you do suspect a tapeworm infestation you should de-worm your dog using a wormer specially formulated for de-worming of tapeworm as wormers for hook round and whip worm rarely treat and remove tapeworm infestations.
Heartworm is transmitted through a bite of an infected mosquito injecting infected larva. The heartworm is a blood parasite and that lives as the name suggests in the heart usually within the greater vessels of the right side. Heart worm has also been found to live in lungs and liver. Heartworms cause considerable damage to the heart and can obstruct the blood flow through the heart. Signs of infestation are a slight cough, weight loss, poor coat conditions and tires easily. Daily and or monthly treatments can be given and treatment should be given all year round.