Vaccinations are important not only for ourselves but also for our pets. Consistent and widespread vaccination not only protects your pet but also vulnerable pets in our community. But there are many different types of vaccinations, how do you know which one you will need? And how often does your pet need to be vaccinated?
What are vaccinations?
Vaccinations are basically dumb versions of the real thing, all gooped up into a liquid. When we vaccinate your pet, we are essentially introducing this version of the disease to your pet’s immune system so that when the real deal comes along; your pet can fight it off nice and easily. The reason we need to vaccinate your pet yearly is that, after a little while, the immune system forgets what the germs look like and needs a reminder.
How often do my pets need vaccinations?
It very much depends on the disease which is being vaccinated against. For instance, canine parvovirus vaccines can be safely administered every three years, however canine cough vaccinations must be administered yearly.
Which vaccination does my pet need?
Minimum accepted vaccinations for dogs and cats are usually referred to by the term ’core vaccines’. Without these core vaccines, not only are pets vulnerable to common and debilitating disease, but they will also be denied access to puppy schools, boarding facilities and daycares.
The minimum accepted vaccination standards for dogs in Victoria is protection against hepatitis, parvovirus, distemper and contagious canine cough.
If your dog is in contact with vermin, such as rats or mice, and enjoys a swim in the local lake or muddy parks, you should consider vaccination against leptospirosis. Whilst Leptospirosis is uncommon in Victoria we still see several cases through the hospital every year.
The minimum accepted vaccination standards for cats in Victoria are against panleukopaenia, calicivirus and herpes virus.
Cats who lead a lifestyle where they may come into contact with other cats, through fighting or mating, should discuss vaccination against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) with their veterinarian. FIV is a virus which causes a disease similar to HIV in humans and is prevalent in Victoria.
Are they really necessary?
Yup. They are. It’s really as simple as that. Just like they are for yourself! You can find more information as to why regular vaccinations are essential here.