Is your pet up to date with vaccinations for the holiday season?

By: Anne Shilston

Vaccinations protect against infectious and potentially life threatening diseases. It can be difficult to know what is recommended and when, so we’ve put together a brief summary:

Puppies and kittens usually need a series of three vaccinations to establish a good level of immunity.

The final vaccination is at about 14-16 weeks.

Adult cats and dogs need regular boosters to keep antibodies at a protective level.

Dogs must be vaccinated every three years against parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis.

Parvovirus causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and is often fatal.

Distemper was once very common but is rarely seen now thanks to vaccination and hepatitis damages the liver.

Additional vaccinations for kennel cough and leptospirosis require yearly boosters. Kennel cough, or canine cough, is caused by a viral or bacterial infection causing a harsh cough.

Dogs going to boarding kennels and daycare must be vaccinated against this as it is highly contagious.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease transmitted by rat urine and is potentially fatal.

The main vaccination for cats protects against two respiratory viruses - cat flu and pan leukopenia similar to parvo in dogs. Cats going into a cattery or those living in a densely cat-populated area need this annually, while other cats can be vaccinated every two-to-three years.

Feline immunodeficiency virus, or feline aids vaccine, is optional.

FIV affects about 15 per of cats and is transmitted by close contact with an infected cat.

The vaccinations your pet requires will be assessed at the time of their annual health check and is based on lifestyle and risk.

Check that your pet’s vaccination book is up to date before you check your pet into boarding facilities.

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