Vaccinations and your Pet

With the growing concern of infectious disease, especially parvovirus in dogs in the Albury-Wodonga area, it is a good time to talk about pet vaccination. Part of owning a pet is the responsibility to maintain their preventative health care via vaccinations.  As a young puppy or kitten, a course of vaccines is required to give them protection against potentially deadly diseases, including parvovirus and distemper.  These initial vaccinations are time sensitive in that they need to be given after the first eight weeks of life and boostered at monthly intervals, for a further two injections.  Prior to eight weeks, the puppy or kitten is protected from disease via their mother’s immunity which is passed on via her milk.  

Vaccinations are recommended annually to maintain protective immunity throughout your pet’s life.  They are also essential for entry into boarding kennels and participation at many puppy classes and kennel clubs.  Vaccinations in breeding females should be kept up to date in order to pass this immunity onto their offspring.  

Pets affected by preventable diseases often become seriously unwell and need high level medical care for a chance at survival. Unfortunately, not all of these cases get better therefore prevention is a very sensible way of avoiding a very debilitating time for your pet.

Testing is available to see if your animal has developed a level of protective immunity and thus does not require vaccination during that particular year’s annual check up.  This type of testing can be done in cases where there is a reasonable suspicion of adequate immunity after a consistent vaccination history over a number of years.  If inadequate protection is identified, vaccinations are then given as required. The disadvantage with testing is that it is only measuring one of the many parts of immune defense required to insure protection against the disease and may give a false sense of safety for your pet’s immunity.

 

Petfocus Pharmacy

 

These days, many veterinary clinics and hospitals use vaccine that doesn’t need to be administered as often and administered directly to where it is needed. This means we are able to limit the amount of vaccines your pet receives during it’s lifetime.

It cannot be denied that the first line of defense against disease is vaccination as recommended by your vet.  The outcome of disease in an unvaccinated pet could be deadly, whereas less severe and usually prevented, in vaccinated animals.     

Written by Dr Renee Pigdon

Petfocus Vetcare