Vaccinations provide protection to our pets from a number of different diseases. Vaccination programs in Australia have dramatically reduced the chances of our animals contracting some very serious and potentially fatal diseases, however we do still see cases so it is important to keep our pets up to date.
What do we actually vaccinate them for?
Dogs are routinely vaccinated for Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus (C3 vaccination). These can all be fatal diseases and are very unpleasant for the animals affected. All viruses, distemper affects the nervous system, hepatitis the liver, and parvovirus the gastrointestinal system.
When you come in for your dog’s vaccinations, we will also discuss whether a C5 vaccination is recommended. C5 also includes Parainfluenza and Bordetella, the causes of kennel cough. Kennel Cough (or canine cough) is fairly common but the vast majority of patients fully recover, and similar to the human flu, the very young puppies, or the elderly dogs with other illnesses are more susceptible. This vaccination is mandatory if your dog will be attending a boarding kennel, and recommended if they are mixing regularly with other dogs, for example through dog training, grooming or at public areas.
Cats are routinely vaccinated for Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopaenia virus (F3 Vaccination). The rhinotracheitis and calicivirus are forms of cat flu, and panleukopaenia affects the gastrointestinal tract or the brain of young kittens.
FIV vaccination will be discussed for kittens in particular, or young adult cats. FIV is the cause of feline AIDS (9-26% prevalence in Victoria), and vaccination is recommended for outdoor cats who are more likely to be involved in fights with another cat (or indoor cats with a housemate who is FIV positive).
What happens during a vaccination?
All vaccinations include a comprehensive check-up with one of our veterinarians. We check the patient from nose to tail, and this is just as important as the vaccination as we can assess general health, and often pick up problems which aren’t obvious externally, such as heart issues. The injection is very quick with a small needle, and the many patients don’t notice it at all. We always invite you to raise any concerns or questions you have had about your pet including preventative health care such as flea control, ongoing medical issues or medications, or behaviour.
How many vaccinations does your pet need to have?
Adult dogs and cats are generally vaccinated annually to maintain their immunity.
Puppies and kittens undergo a course of 3 vaccinations at 6-8 weeks of age, 10-12 weeks of age, and 14-16 weeks of age.
Organising the vaccination:
Please give us a call on 5461 4466 to book a time. We can usually arrange this within the next few hours, but make sure you give us a few days notice if you need a particular time of day, or if you are bringing multiple pets in at once.
When your pet has had a vaccination with us once, we will automatically send a reminder in a year’s time, when the next one is due.
You are more than welcome to request a particular veterinarian of your choice, who may be the most familiar with your animal’s health.