Vaccinations are the best way to protect your best friend against common deadly diseases. Pets are curious by nature and can be exposed to infected pets, wildlife and materials. Even if your dog, cat or rabbit is kept indoors at all times, they may be exposed to mosquitoes that may fly into your home, spreading disease. This can make prevention difficult, so vaccinations are the best way to prevent certain diseases.
At 8 weeks of age, puppies should receive their first vaccination; this is temporary and needs to be followed up with another one at 10-12 weeks. A final booster at 14-16 weeks helps ensure your dog’s immunity for the full first year. A week after the 10-12 week vaccination, you can then take your puppy out in public areas for socialisation.
Your dog will then need yearly booster vaccines to ensure their continued resistance to disease.
Kittens follow the same vaccination schedule, with different vaccines.
Rabbits are first vaccinated at 10-12 weeks of age, and require booster vaccinations every 6-12 months.
- Parvovirus – a highly contagious and potentially fatal viral gastroenteritis. Clinical signs include lethargy, inappetence, vomiting, and bloody diarrhoea.
- Distemper – a highly contagious disease producing conjunctivitis, nasal disease, spinal cord damage and convulsive seizures. Treatment is often ineffective.
- Hepatitis/Adenovirus – causes weakness, fever, diarrhoea, inappetence and sudden death.
- Canine Cough – caused by both viruses and bacteria, your dog may show harsh hacking or honking coughs that can persist for weeks. In vaccinated dogs, these signs are mild and can resolve with medications. In unvaccinated dogs, this disease can be fatal.
If you are traveling north into NSW or QLD, leptospirosis vaccinations may be required (C2i). Please discuss this when you come in, or give us a call.
- Feline Calicivirus – this highly contagious respiratory disease causes sneezing, nasal and eye discharge, lethargy and can be fatal. This is particularly devastating in cat shelters.
- Panleukopaenia – this disease can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, neurological disease and can result in sudden death in kittens. The only treatment is supportive care.
- Feline Herpes Virus – a virus spread by eye, nasal and oral secretions. Once infected cats can remain as chronic carriers and become diseased again following stress. Infected cats may have a fever, sneezing, discharge from their eyes and nose and corneal ulcers/disease.
Additional vaccinations, such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV), may be necessary for your feline. One of our veterinary team members will discuss this with you at your appointment to see if they are also required.
- Calicivirus / Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus – This virus was released in Australia to control wild rabbit populations. Several strains are present in Australia. Your rabbit may show signs of lethargy, fever, seizures, restlessness, diarrhoea and death.
Peninsula Vet Care uses only the highest quality of vaccines provided by specialist vaccine manufacturers. All vaccines go through rigorous testing by the manufacturers to ensure they not only work effectively, but also have minimal side effects.
Similar to human vaccines, your pet will be given a small amount of disease or virus in a modified and safe form. Vaccination stimulates the immune system to recognise and fight off the infection before severe clinical disease occurs. Your pet can feel a little under the weather for a day or so afterward, and a small amount of inflammation can be seen around the injection site. These effects are usually gone within a day or so. It is not uncommon for pets to be off their food during this time, so it is important to ensure they have plenty of freshwater, and they will be back to normal in no time! If you have any concerns with your pet after vaccination, please call and speak to our team.