Vaccinating Your Pet

Vaccinations are given to your pet to prevent certain diseases and illness. These diseases are difficult or impossible to treat and can be fatal. These days we have more opportunity than ever before to make sure our pets lead a healthy life. Vaccinating your pet will prevent and control the spread of several serious diseases, unfortunately many pets are still not vaccinated leading others exposed and vulnerable to infection and serious illness. 


Protecting your pet helps protect everyone else’s pet as the more animals that are immune to diseases the more difficult it is for them to spread. Prevention is better than cure. Diseases can be spread by physical contact, bodily fluids or may be picked up from the environment or contaminated water. They can also be airborne and pass from one animal or person to another. 
Most common disease you can protect your pet against:


Dogs:

  • Canine Parvovirus (Parvo) – This causes severe, life threatening gastro-enteritis. Up to 50% pf affected animals will not survive.
  • Canine distemper Virus (Hardpad) – The causes fever, digestive and breathing symptoms.  Its then affects the nervous system, commonly causing convulsions and then death.
  • Leptospirosis – The causes severe kidney and liver problems. Some strains are also infectious to people and can be potentially fatal.
  • Infectious canine hepatitis – The causes digestive problems, fever and jaundice. 50% of young dogs affected die.
  • Infectious cough also known as kennel cough – Not life threatening but if your dog is mixing with others then vaccination is recommended. It causes a hacking cough and can cause other breathing problems and is a requirement for many boarding kennels and doggie day care centres.
  • Rabies - This is still a common disease in many parts of the world and kills tens of thousands of animals and people. Rabies cause an invariably fatal infection in the brain when and animal is bitten by an infected animal. If you are taking your dog abroad you must vaccinate against rabies as part of the PET passport scheme.

Cats:

  • Feline infectious enteritis – This causes severe, life threatening gastro-enteritis.
  • Feline herpes virus – Causes upper respiratory problems and is often called ‘Cat Flu’. Infected cats become carriers of the virus which can flare up and cause the disease again potentially lifelong.
  • Feline Calici virus – Another ‘Cat Flu’ like virus which can flare up again and again.
  • Feline leukaemia virus – This virus causes severe disease which usually affects the immune system and can cause cancer. The vaccination is recommended for cats that may come into contact with other cats (cats that go outside). House cats that never leave the owners home are at lower risk.

Rabbits

  • Myxomatosis – This causes skin tumours and in some cases blindness followed by fatigue (tiredness) and fever. It is a fatal disease.
  • Haemorrhagic enteritis – This causes a highly infectious and often fatal disease.

The procedure usually involves an initial course of injections and then a booster at regular intervals throughout your pet’s life. As with people there can be some side effects but these are usually mild and short lived. Serious or allergic reactions are rare.


Speak to your vet to find out which is course is best for you and your pet.