Vaccinations

Whether your dog or cat has already started their vaccinations or if you are a new pet owner who wants to learn how to best protect the new puppy or kitten that has joined your family, all of your burning questions about vaccinations are answered below!

What is a vaccination?

A vaccine is a preparation of either killed or altered microorganisms that is administered into the body. It works preparing the immune system to fight back the microorganism if comes into contact. The body will already recognise it and start producing Antibodies, this rapid response usually stops the new infection before it can cause serious illness.

What are the benefits?

Vaccinations protect your pet against many diseases, some of them being deadly. Vaccinating your pet will help you avoid costly treatments, while most importantly, ensuring your pet lives a healthy and long life. The immunity from vaccinations is however limited in time, hence regular booster immunisations are required.

What diseases will my dog be protected against?

Common diseases which can be vaccinated against include:

  • Canine Distemper Virus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis
  • Kennel Cough- recommended 1-2 weeks before going into boarding kennels, shows, daily care, or anywhere else where your dog will be in contact with many other dogs.

On top of these, vaccination against Rabies can be done, mostly for traveling abroad (mandatory).

When to vaccinate your dog

Your puppy should have the primary vaccination course which includes two separate vaccinations. The first should be given when your puppy is between 6-8 weeks old (8 weeks recommended), with the second vaccination being given 2-4 weeks later. Final dose should be given at 10 weeks or older.  It is important not to allow your puppy to be with other dogs until completed the vaccination course. 

After the primary course is completed, your dog will need a “booster”. Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus will last for 3 years after the first booster, however, Leptospira and Kennel cough need annual vaccinations.

Rabies immunity will last 1 to 3 years, depending on the brand. 

If it has been more than 15 months since the last booster your dog should restart the vaccination course.


What diseases will my cat be protected against?

Common diseases which can be vaccinated against include:

  • Feline leukaemia (FeLV)
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline panleucopaenia virus
  • Feline rhinotracheitis

On top of these, vaccination against Rabies can be done, mostly for traveling abroad (mandatory).

When to vaccinate your cat

Your kitten should have the primary vaccination course which includes two separate vaccinations. The first should be given when your kitten is between 8-9 weeks old (9 weeks recommended), with the second vaccination being given when they are 12 weeks or older.

After the primary course is completed, your cat will need a “booster”. Immunity against Leukaemia will last for 3 years after the first booster, however, Calicivirosis, Rhinotracheitis and Panleukopenia bill need annual vaccinations.

Rabies immunity will last 1 to 3 years, depending on the brand. 

If it has been more than 15 months since the last booster your cat should restart the vaccination course.

What are the side effects?

The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the side-effects and we recommend you to vaccinate your pet in order to give them the greatest protection possible. Although there are some side-effects you need to be aware of when considering vaccinating your pet, most are harmless and do not last very long.

Common side-effects include:

  • Lethargy (a lack of energy)
  • Sleeping more
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever (a high temperature)
  • A lump at the injection site, (although this will more than likely disappear itself after approximately 2 weeks)

Less common side-effects include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Itchiness

Although it is very rare, your pet could suffer from a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms include swelling, particular in the face, breathing difficulties. They usually develop within minutes post application. If you think that your pet is developping any such signs, you must see us immediately. 

If you have any questions about the process of vaccinating your pet, we are always here for you to answer all your queries!