Vaccinations are given to help protect our pets from disease. Although some of the diseases have not been seen in Australia for years, there is always the chance that one day it will appear again. These diseases are not as prevalent due to compliance of pet owners with vaccinating their animals.
Both puppies and kittens are covered by the antibodies passed on by their mothers and will also be given an immune boost through colostrum (the first drink they receive from mum). The idea of starting them on a group of booster injections at a young age comes from the numerous studies showing that as the maternal antibodies subside, we can provide the body with a substance that triggers a natural response to build its own antibodies. The vaccination involves injecting a small quantity of antigen (protein found on the surface of disease causing organism) into the animal. On occasion, an animal may have a reaction to the vaccine and may show some clinical signs associated with the disease but these normally subside within 24-48hrs and often has no need for concern.
During your pets first visit to the vet, a booster protocol will be discussed that will suit your pet best. He/she may already have their first vaccination before you pick them up so keep your records handy for each visit.
Canines are vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis/adenovirus, and parvovirus. These diseases are vaccinated against using the C3 vaccination which is now available in an annual prevention or tri-annual meaning it only needs to be given every 3 years. It is still important to have an annual health check up if you choose the tri-annual vaccine.
You also have the option, though highly recommended, of vaccinating against kennel cough which is normally not considered as dangerous as the other diseases but can still cause serious illness in young puppies and senior dogs and is highly contagious. This vaccine is currently only available in an annual form and can be included in your annual health check up.
The kennel cough vaccination is a necessity if you will be using boarding kennels for your dog or going to obedience clubs.
Coronavirus and leptospirosis are other canine diseases that you may have heard of. These diseases are not on our routine vaccination protocol but vaccines are available.
Cats will be protected against Feline leukaemia virus (FelV), feline upper respiratory disease, feline Chlamydia and feline Panleukopenia. These diseases will be protected against using the F4 vaccine. The optional but highly recommended vaccine in cats is the FIV. For more information on FIV, read our article “FIV and your cat”. https://gisbornevets.com.au/article/fiv-and-your-cat