Please consult your vet for advice and guidance in this area, there are a number of vaccines available which will cater for your Border’s health and protection. Infectious diseases for which vaccines are available:


Because there is a large reservoir of dogs who have not been inoculated in certain communities where distemper is rife, it is important to inoculate puppies and to keep up boosters throughout adulthood. Symptoms include: raised temperature, runny eyes and nose, loss of appetite, vomiting, coughing, diarrhoea, depression. Veterinary treatment is essential and a long period of quiet convalescence if the dog survives, otherwise the after effects may be severe and permanent.


This is a disease of the liver. Symptoms include a raised temperature, a cough, increased thirst, lack of appetite, being generally “down’. Veterinary treatment is essential.


There are two types of this disease, one passed from rats to dogs through drinking from puddles and water bowls in which rats have urinated; the other is passed from dog to dog. It can be passed to people. The symptoms include the temperature raised to start with, then becoming subnormal as the disease progresses, vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, dullness and depression, loss of appetite, possibly with increased thirst. Jaundice may occur. Again, veterinary treatment is essential.


While this is not normally more than a mild illness in otherwise physically robust adults, it can seriously affect young puppies and old dogs. An intra-nasal vaccination may he effective hut as there are many strains of kennel cough. as with flu or the common cold in humans, it is impossible to cover them all. The symptoms include the dog appearing to clear the throat, maybe bringing up a little frothy mucus, which may develop into a more chesty cough, sneezing or snuffling; there may be a drop of discharge from the eyes. and the whites of the eyes may become shell-pink. The dog will not otherwise appear to be ill, normally, and will remain bright and cheerful, with a good appetite.

The condition usually clears alter several weeks. Cough medicine or honey may relieve the symptoms. The dog should be kept quiet, dry and at a constant air temperature because excitement and changes in air temperature irritate the cough. Should the animal appear to be really unwell, and in the case of puppies or old dogs, veterinary advice should he sought. The coughing will gradually decrease but will be noticeable first thing in the morning and when the dog is excited, or pulling on a lead, for some weeks. This inconvenient illness is highly infectious, so dogs should be kept away from other dogs and gatherings for several weeks. Dogs do not have to have been in kennels to contract kennel cough – the single pet may also get it.


This is a potentially deadly disease, now mostly confined to young puppies. but any dog who has not been inoculated is at risk. The onset of the symptoms is acute, with violent and persistent vomiting together with profuse watery diarrhoea. Both are particularly foul-smelling and may contain blood. Urgent veterinary treatment is essential. Time is of the essence because this disease can kill within twenty-four hours.

An alternative manifestation may occur in young puppies who drop dead in the nest, without other symptoms, or a puppy which has had the disease, without showing symptoms, may drop dead later in life, it is important to inoculate early against this disease. Follow veterinary advice. keep up boosters. Should the disease strike, the premises must be thoroughly disinfected afterwards using a specific disinfectant. The virus is resilient and can live on the premises for months.


This disease is not present in the British Isles but is endemic in many countries, where inoculation is routine. Dogs exported to such countries must be inoculated, as must those being imported into the British Isles. The symptoms are that either a normally placid dog becomes ferocious or a normally aloof dog becomes dependent and affectionate. A dog hangs the head over water; there is salivation. The disease is passed through saliva entering a bite or wound. It is a fatal disease, transmissible from dog to human.

(an extract from “Border Terriers Today” by kind permission of Anne Roslin-Williams)