Vaccinations are important in helping protect your pets from many common diseases. They do this by inducing an immune response by the body to a safe version of the injected virus administered through vaccines.
When we talk about vaccinations we take take into account your pet’s health status, vaccination history, lifestyle and living environment.
Cat and Dog Vaccinations fall into 2 Main Groups. These are:
- Core Vaccines and
- Non – Core Vaccines
Core vaccines protect against disease causing organisms that are prevalent in the environment and which are irrespective of your pet’s lifestyle. Dogs and Cats do NOT need to come into direct contact with other animals to be at risk of catching these diseases.
For dogs these diseases are:
- Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus – Commonly called a C3 Vaccination
For Cats, these are:
- Feline Herpes Virus, Feline Panleukopaenia Virus and Feline Calicivirus – Commonly called a F3 Vaccination
We recommend all dogs and cats are protected from these core diseases through regular vaccinations and health checks.
Non Core Vaccines
Non core vaccines protect against diseases that are more lifestyle based and mostly include some direct contact with other animals. This includes Canine Cough for Dogs and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) for Cats.
Common Vaccinations for Dogs
Social Dogs that interact with others or need to be boarded need to have both C3 as well as Canine Cough Vaccine. This combination of vaccines is called a C5 Vaccination.
Annual or Triennial?
The C3 Vaccine is available as a triennial vaccine which means it has been proven to provide adequate immunity for dogs for at least 3 years.
This means your dog only needs to be vaccinated every 3 years instead of annually.
The Canine Cough vaccine is NOT available in a triennial form therefore this must still be given every year along with your dog’s annual health check.
Common Vaccinations for Cats
There are no triennial vaccines available for cats therefore cats must be health checked and vaccinated annually for optimal protection from core diseases.
For outdoor cats or cats which have some access to the outdoor environment we also highly recommend vaccination against Feline Immunodeficiency disease (FIV) – Commonly called “Feline Aids.” This is most often transmitted by fighting with infected cats. FIV is found all across the world however its prevalence in Australia is particularly high.
We recommend all cat parents to consider FIV Vaccinations for cats with access to the outdoor environment. Particularly in areas where stray cats abound.
At our practice we recommend the 2 Puppy Vaccine Protocol. This means vaccines given at these specific ages:
- 1st Puppy Vaccination – C3 at 6 – 8 weeks of age
- 2nd Puppy Vaccination at 12 weeks of age. C3 Vaccine + Intranasal Canine Cough Vaccine
The final vaccination at 12 weeks provides protection for 12 months after which the next set of of Vaccinations become due.
Core Kitten Vaccinations are recommended at the following ages:
- 1st Vaccination – 6 – 8 weeks of age. F3 Vaccination
- 2nd Vaccination – 10 – 12 weeks of age. F3 Vaccination
- 3rd Vaccination – 16 – 18 weeks of age. F3 Vaccination
To protect your cat or kitten from Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) a series of 3 injections is required given strictly 2-3 weeks apart.
Testing for FIV (Feline Aids)
Kittens under 6 months of age starting Vaccinations against FIV do NOT require blood testing to rule out a positive result however all adult cats over 6 months of age will require testing for FIV prior to the vaccine being given. FIV Vaccinations cannot be given to cats already infected with FIV.
Please note: Vaccine recommendations may vary between clinics and location.