Vaccination gives protection against a number of different diseases, many of which can be fatal. Once an animal has become ill it can be difficult and expensive to treat so it is better to prevent the disease in the first place. There are a number of different vaccines available for dogs; your vet will select the one that best suits your pet. Here is a brief description of the diseases against which dogs can be vaccinated. – Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that causes severe illness with fever, coughing, seizures and eventually death. – Hepatitis affects the liver and causes fever, diarrhoe thirst or even death. Fortunately, it is not very common. – Parvovirus causes vomiting and diarrhoe that can lead to dehydration and in many cases death. It is most common in puppies. – Leptospirosis can affect many different species of animals including man. The symptoms can include high fever, vomiting, jaundice and bloody urine. Puppies should be vaccinated when they are around six weeks of age and a series of three or four vaccinations is needed. An annual booster vaccination is recommended for adult dogs to ensure that the immunity is maintained.