Vaccination is an important part of disease prevention for your pet. Along with annual health check-ups at the vet, vaccination help to keep your furry family member protected from the most serious of diseases.
Vaccination is a common medical procedure, it assists your pets immune system to build a resistance in their body. It will naturally responds by producing antibodies to fight the disease.
This means that, afterwards, if your pet encounters germs or viruses carrying the disease, the vaccination antibodies in your pet’s body can fight disease before the infection can overtake it and cause the animal harm. Vaccines lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection all together. This immunity will protect your pet’s health.
Disease prevention in your pet
In Australia, certain viruses and diseases that are dangerous to domestic animals become prevalent in outbreaks or “waves”, every few years. This can be devastating when pets contract these viruses and fall very ill, and even die.
Different animal species are vulnerable to different diseases. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and international bodies have made recommendations as a guideline for pet owners, regarding vaccinations. They emphasize the importance of core vaccines.
Core vaccines should be administered to every animal to protect them from severe, life-threatening diseases, and should be boosted and used in adult animals throughout the course of their life to protect their health.
Non-core vaccines may not be necessary for your pet. This may be because they cover diseases that are not serious or life-threatening, or because you and the vet have agreed that your pet’s lifestyle or geographical location mean they have very little risk of being exposed to the disease (for example, if your pet never goes outside).
It is important to discuss with your veterinarian the most suitable vaccinations and vaccination schedule for your pet.
Vets4Pets recommended core vaccines:
- Canine distemper virus
- Canine adenovirus (causes infectious hepatitis)
- Canine parvovirus
- Bordetella Bronchiseptica
- Feline panleukopaenia (sometimes called feline enteritis or feline parvovirus)
- Feline calicivirus
- Feline herpesvirus (sometimes called rhinotracheitis virus)
When to vaccinate your pet
Dogs and cats
We are lucky that in Australia, we have far less highly contagious diseases that infect dogs and cats, than are common in other countries around the world. However, there are still occasional outbreaks of some of these diseases, but a pet that is cared for with a correct vaccination program has a much better chance of surviving an outbreak.
Core vaccines need to be administered as per manufactures instruction to puppies and kittens. Vets4Pets is as follows:
- 6 weeks old – C3 (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus)
- 9 weeks old – C3 (as above)
- 12 weeks old – C5 (as above, plus Parainfluenza & Bordetella)
- Adult 1 year or over –C5 (as above)
- 8 weeks old – F3 (panleukopaenia, calicivirus, & herpesvirus)
- 12 weeks old – F3 (as above)
- Adult 1 year or over F3 (as above)
A booster vaccine should be given to the animal then annually.
Rabbits and ferrets
Calicivirus is a very severe disease that has been introduced in Australia to help control the wild rabbit population, and poses serious threat to domestic pets. Rabbits should be vaccinated against calicivirus at 4, 8, and 12 weeks of age, and then receive 6 monthly boosters to maintain their immunity.
Vets4Pets recommend ferrets are vaccinated for distemper at 12 weeks of age. A booster is required then every 12 months.
Vaccinate for a healthy life
At Vets4Pets, our approach to veterinary care is focussed on disease prevention. We want your pet cared for in a way that minimises any exposure to sickness or disease. Of course, animals require socialisation and exercise, and it is so beneficial to you both when your pet can be a part of day-to-day life.
Vaccinating your pet is the safest way to protect your pet, the animal population of Australia, and avoid the expense and heartbreak of illness. Bringing them in for annual health checks can help with this care. It allows us to identify issues before they become bigger and costlier, and it might even save your pet’s life. It is also the perfect opportunity to discuss with our experts any questions or concerns you may have about your pets’ health and welfare.
If your pet is going into a boarding kennel, or will be attending obedience school, be aware that they will not accept an unvaccinated animal. To book your pet into a kennel or a school, the facility will usually request proof of up-to-date vaccinations.
To make an appointment for a vaccination update we offer the convenience of online bookings. Alternatively, call any of our hosptials. We’re always available to offer advice and provide information on any of your pet health care enquires. If you have any questions about vaccinating your pet, don’t hestate to contact us.