Veterinary vaccines have had, and continue to have, a major role in protecting animal health and reducing animal suffering. Vaccinations provide protection against certain diseases. and prevention is always better than cure. Vaccines and the recommendations for using them are constantly being updated. At Hills Vet Centre we constantly review our vaccination protocols to make sure we offer the best advice to out clients and their pets
For dogs, we recommend the C5 vaccine, which protects against the Canine Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvo viruses but also Parainfluenza and Bordetella, the major components of Canine Cough (also known as Kennel Cough). Your dog will need this vaccination to allow him into boarding kennels or dog day care.
The initial course for puppies comprises of a vaccine at 6 weeks, one at 10 weeks and then a 16 week vaccination.
From then on annual booster vaccinations are recommended for life. Not every component needs to be boosted every year and at Hills Vet Centre we offer a triennial C3 and an annual Pi/Bb vaccination. This reduces the risk of over vaccinating.
Viral infections cannot be treated by current drugs, so vaccination is the best way to protect your dog.
A new canine parvovirus has been reported in Australia. But don’t panic!
Researchers in Adelaide have recently reported the detection of a new type of canine parvovirus. Although this virus is new to Australia, it has been present in many overseas countries since 2000, and is very closely related to parvoviruses that have been present in Australia for the past 40 years.
Experience from other countries that have this particular virus, as well as specific scientific studies, have shown that the current vaccines we use are effective in providing protection against this new type. Similarly, although concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of tests used to detect infection, studies have shown these too are effective for the new type.
So what do you need to do? If your dog is up-to-date with its vaccinations – nothing! Take your dog for a walk.
However if your dog is unvaccinated, now is the time to schedule an appointment, as canine parvovirus, the old types and the new, can cause serious, and in many cases, fatal disease.
For cats there are also several vaccines available. The most commonly given vaccination is called the F3. This provides protection against feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus and feline panleukopaenia (parvovirus). The feline herpes and caliciviruses are major causes of respiratory disease and are commonly called 'cat flu'. This is the vaccination your cat will need to be able to stay in a cattery.
Kittens receiving their first vaccinations at 8-10 weeks of age require another booster 4 weeks later. They then need an annual booster. Adult cats that have never had vaccinations or are over due require the same protocol. Cats also don’t require all components every year and at present we are giving annual cat flu but 3 yearly panleukopaenia vaccines.
Any cat which will be going outside at any time without being under supervision should be vaccinated against FIV.
Three vaccinations against feline immunodeficiency virus are recommended at 2-4 week intervals. If the course is started as an adult a blood test may be recommended to check that your cat is not already infected with the disease which can have a very long incubation period. At this stage annual vaccination boosters are still recommended for this disease.
All of the diseases mentioned are specific to cats and dogs; there is no crossover to humans. For more information about the individual diseases please see the new puppy or kitten section under vaccination.