Vaccinations and annual health checks

Annual health checks and vaccinations are a very important part of your pet’s healthcare program. On average, pets age about 7 times faster than humans, increasing the chances of health problems occurring in the past year. We recommend annual health checks for this reason. Before your pet receives their yearly injection, your vet will perform a physical examination which involves checking your pet’s eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chest, abdomen, skin, legs, spine and body condition for any problems. The vet will also discuss preventative care given at home and any concerns you have regarding the health of your pet. They will listen to the heart and check your pet’s temperature for signs of illness.

Vaccination is important for the protection of your pet against serious diseases. It is given as an injection under the skin and contains inactivate viruses/bacteria that stimulate the immune system to create antibodies against these diseases.

Dogs & Puppies

Annual C5 vaccination provides protection against

  • Parvovirus. A very contagious disease causing severe vomiting, loss of appetite, foul smelling bloody diarrhoea, weight loss, abdominal pain and can result in death, especially in young puppies.
  • Distemper. A disease which attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system. Signs include runny eyes and nose, coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea and after several weeks can result in seizures.
  • Canine Hepatitis. A very contagious disease which attacks the liver, but can also affect the kidneys, eyes and respiratory tract. Signs may include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain
  • Bordatella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza (also known as kennel cough). This is a highly contagious upper respiratory tract disease. Signs include a dry hacking cough, fatigue and loss of appetite.

We recommend puppies have an initial course of 2 vaccinations. The first vaccination is given at 6 – 8 weeks of age and is usually done by the breeder or owner before you pick up your puppy. Make sure you receive a certificate showing this vaccine has been given. The second vaccination is given at 10 – 12 weeks of age and is vital to boost the immune system to provide protection against all of the diseases listed above. A booster vaccination is then given every 12 months for life to provide ongoing protection.

Cats and kittens

Annual F3 vaccination provides protection against

  • Feline rhinotracheitis (also known as cat flu). This is an upper respiratory tract disease which shows ‘flu-like’ symptoms and affects the nasal and sinus passages, mouth, upper airways and the eyes.
  • Feline Enteritis. This is a very contagious disease similar to parvovirus in dogs. It usually causes diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite and sometimes seizures. In young cats this disease can be fatal.
  • Feline Chlamydia. This is a baceterial infection that causes ‘flu-like’ symptoms such as sneezing, clear nasal discharge, runny eyes or conjunctivitis.

We recommend kittens have an initial course of 3 vaccines. The first vaccination is given at 6 – 8 weeks of age and is usually done by the breeder or owner before you pick up your kitten. The second vaccination is given at 10 – 12 weeks of age and the third is given at 14 – 16 weeks of age. A booster vaccination is then given every 12 months for life to provide ongoing protection.

We also recommend protecting kittens and cats against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). This virus attacks the immune system reducing the cat’s ability to fight off infections and cancers, similar to HIV in humans. It is spread through saliva (often through bite wounds) and is species specific, so it doesn’t affect humans, dogs, etc. Signs of the disease can vary greatly due to the nature of the disease but can include lethargy, loss of appetite, fevers, swollen glands and weight loss. We highly recommend testing and vaccinating your kitten/cat if they are not going to be 100% indoors. Testing involves 1 drop of blood and is done in house, the test takes about 10 minutes to process. 3 vaccines are needed after a negative test and they are given 2 -4 weeks apart. Then one yearly vaccine with your cat’s annual health check is needed for ongoing protection

Rabbits

Annual vaccination provides protection against:

  • Calicivirus. This is a fatal and incurable disease. The virus infects many organs including the lungs, the bowel and the liver and leads rapidly to death. Signs include inactivity, loss of appetite and not drinking.

We recommend your rabbit have a vaccination at 10 – 12 weeks and a yearly vaccination booster to provide ongoing protection.