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?

It is usually some part of the pathogen (bacteria or virus) that alone does not cause the disease but initiates immune response. The immunity then ‘remembers’ the pathogen and readily reacts to it. This means that if your pet comes to contact with infected animal at some point in the future, their immune system will recognise it and produce antibodies in order to protect them.

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:

  • Distemper
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parvovirus
  • Hepatitis

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, with the second vaccination being given 2-4 weeks later.

After the primary course is completed, your dog needs annual booster vaccinations for 5 years onwards.

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

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, with the second vaccination being given when they are 12 weeks old.

After the primary course is completed, your cat needs annual booster vaccinations for 4 years onwards.

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!