Vaccinating your dogs and cats is an easy and simple way to prevent serious, and even fatal, diseases. Your young pets should start their vaccinations at 6-8 weeks old.
Puppies and Dogs
This is the core vaccine that all puppies and dogs need. The main disease that it prevents against is parvovirus. This is still a common disease in NZ that causes puppies to get bloody vomiting and diarrhoea. It’s a very serious disease that requires intensive vet care and has a high mortality rate.
This also protects against distemper virus, hepatitis, parainfluenza and adenovirus causing respiratory disease.
Puppies require their first vaccine at 6-8 weeks of age, again at 10-12 weeks old and the final vaccine at 14-16 weeks old. They then require yearly boosters.
Kennel cough is highly contagious, and spreads quickly from dog to dog. It causes a hacking cough which may last for weeks. It is not usually life threatening, but makes dogs miserable and makes them a real pain to live with! It will also cause working dogs to be off work for several weeks.
The disease is easily prevented by an intranasal vaccine. It takes affect after 3 days and requires yearly boosters.
Kittens and Cats
Cats are very susceptible to viruses that cause respiratory disease and this is very common in Kaikoura, often seen in young kittens. It’s very important to vaccinate young kittens as some of these viruses will remain for the lifetime of the cat and can flare up during their life. You should also vaccinate kittens that have had signs of cat flu, as this will reduce the frequency and severity of the disease as the cats get older.
Another disease that you can prevent your cat against is FIV (similar to human HIV/AIDs). This is transmitted often between fighting cats, especially in areas where there is a wild cat population.
This is the vaccine we use at VetCare Kaikoura to protect cats against respiratory disease caused by feline herpes-virus and feline calicivirus and it also protects against feline panleukopenia (which is the cat version of canine parvovirus).
We vaccinate healthy kittens at 8 and 12 weeks of age, with yearly boosters after that.
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
This is a potentially fatal disease in cats and once the get the virus, you can’t cure it, so vaccination is the key. If your cat is older when starting this vaccination protocol, then we will often do a quick test in clinic to see if they have already been exposed.
We start vaccination at 8 weeks old, with three doses required every 3 weeks. They then need boosters every year.