Vaccinations can be a contentious issue with many concerns in both animal owners and the human population regarding over-vaccination and the necessity of vaccinations. Vaccinations are developed to help prevent disease in both humans and animals that in the past have had disastrous consequences. For our companion animals, we have a number of vaccines available. The ‘core’ vaccinations are those recommended to prevent against the most common diseases that are both deadly and easily prevented.
Some people will say that they’ve never vaccination and have never had problems. This is due to the concept of ‘herd immunity’. Herd immunity simply means that a majority of people are vaccinating and/or parasite preventing, thus the risk of infection is much lower. Herd immunity varies depending on the area you are frequenting.
There have been numerous studies about the safety and merits of vaccinations in animals. We strongly recommend vaccinating your animal as described below, and we are happy to discuss vaccines with you.
An example in animal populations of vaccines working is the fact that in Australia, we now rarely see distemper virus – a horrible deadly neurological virus in dogs – whereas before vaccines, it was a reasonably common disease.
New vaccine technology is being developed constantly, and we now have the option of intranasal (up the nose) vaccines. We also have vaccines that provide 3 year immunity in dogs. In the future, readily available testing may be available to check your individual animal’s antibody (immune level) for certain diseases, and therefore can give even less vaccinations. These antibody testings are available in Australia, however cost much more than the vaccines themselves!
The diseases we vaccinate for in dogs are:
- Canine Parvovirus
- Canine Distemper Virus
- Canine Infectious Hepatitis
- Bordatella Bronchiseptica
- Canine Parainfluenza Virus
Treatment for these diseases can be difficult, expensive and often unsuccessful. They can result in death. The only effective means of protection is vaccination.
A C5 vaccination is required for all reputable boarding facilities for your dog.
For puppies, vaccine schedules may differ depending on their initial vaccine given by the breeder or shelter. Please bring in all paperwork on your first visit so we can ensure we are providing you and your pet with the correct vaccines.
In Australia, we have a number of diseases to vaccinate against for cats. The core vaccination for cats is called an F3. This includes panleukopaenia, calicivirus and herpesvirus. This vaccine should be given yearly as there is currently no research to say that immunity is longer than this.
There are options of additional vaccines for cats. We recommend the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) vaccine for cats that spend time outside. Current data shows that 20% of cats are infected with FIV. This virus is usually spread through fighting and is most common in non-desexed male cats, however any cat that spends time outside and potentially getting into fights may be affected. The virus itself doesn’t directly cause problems, but will lower your animal’s immune system as they age, making them more likely to succumb to other illnesses such as HIV.
Kitten vaccinations depend on their initial vaccination from the breeder or shelter.
In Australia, there are two main viral diseases that are preventable by vaccinations. However, there is only one vaccine available in Australia. Myxomatosis is spread by mosquitos, direct contact or aerosols. We have no vaccine, and the disease is 100% fatal. The only real protection is trying to keep your rabbits indoors and away from mosquitos and other creepy crawlies. The rabbits that spend time outdoors, avoiding outside time in dawn and dusk and using mosquito proof enclosures is encouraged.
Calcivirus comes in different strains, however we only have one vaccination present in Australia. This vaccination should be administered every 6 months for life, to cover for the strains we are now seeing.