It is essential to have your pet vaccinated as soon as they are old enough in order to protect them from contagious and potentially fatal diseases. Even pets that are kept indoors are at risk of catching diseases as many are airborne and there is always the risk that your pet may escape and risk infection. Remember that even after your pet receives their vaccinations, they can take a matter of weeks to become effective so speak to your vet about your pet’s vaccination schedule to get all the facts.

Your pet’s vaccination schedule, including their booster vaccinations, will depend on the type of vaccine used, your pet’s age, medical history, location or risk of infection of certain diseases. Speak to your vet about what vaccinations your pet requires and what is recommended for their booster vaccinations.

 

Puppies and dogs

Every puppy or dog should receive a set of core vaccines as recommended by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). These are vaccines that protect animals from “severe, life-threatening diseases that have a global distribution” and include:

  • Canine Distemper Virus
  • Canine Adenovirus (Canine Infectious Hepatitis)
  • Canine Parvovirus Type 2 (Parvo)
  • Rabies

Non-core vaccines may be determined to be necessary by your veterinarian if your puppy or dog is at risk of contracting the diseases. Non-core vaccines include:

  • Leptospirosis strains
  • Parainfluenza Virus
  • Kennel Cough

 

Kittens and cats

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) recommends the following core vaccines for kittens and cats:

  • Feline Panleukopenia virus (also known as feline parvovirus or feline infectious enteritis)
  • Feline Herpes virus
  • Feline Calicivirus Infection
  • Rabies

Non-core vaccines may be determined to be necessary by your veterinarian if your kitten or cat is at risk of contracting the diseases. Non-core vaccines include:

  • Feline Leukaemia
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus

 

Most pets show no side-effects following vaccinations however some may develop one or more of the following:

  • Sensitivity or swelling where the vaccination was administered
  • Mild fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Reduced activity or disinterest in play/activity
  • Sneezing, nasal discharge or coughing

If any of the above signs persist for more than a few days, consult your veterinarian.

 

Seek IMMEDIATE veterinary attention if your pet displays any of the following signs following a vaccination:

  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Swelling of the muzzle (nose), face, neck and/or eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe cough
  • Persistent scratching and/or skin that feels or looks bumpy
  • Collapse