Welcome Bay Vet Clinic 58 Welcome Bay Road Tauranga

Vaccination

Vaccinations and Annual Health Checks

 

Some vaccines need to be done yearly and some can now be done 2 yearly. If opting to vaccinate 2 yearly instead of yearly we would still recommend an annual health check in between as one year of a cat/dogs life equates to 7 humans years in terms of aging/disease onset therefore waiting 2 years between vet visits is equivalent to 14 years without seeing a doctor.

How Does Vaccination Work?

 

Vaccination does not cure disease – it helps prevent it by preparing the body’s own immune system. A vaccine contains a virus or bacterium that has been specially altered so it doesn’t cause disease. But when your cat receives a vaccine, its immune system is stimulated to produce substances called antibodies that will work against the virus or bacterium that causes the disease. Later if your pet is exposed to infection from that particular disease, the antibodies quickly destroy the disease-causing agent. It’s important to understand that once your pet has been vaccinated the protection provided by that particular vaccine will gradually decline. Therefore, regular booster vaccinations are recommended, along with regular health checks.

Cat Vaccines

Dog Vaccines

Rabbit Vaccines

The standard cat vaccination protects against feline enteritis and the two main causes of snuffles: calicivirus and rhinotracheitis.  See below for more information.

 

An initial course of two injections 3-4 weeks apart is needed.  Typically the first injection is given at 8 or 9 weeks of age, and the second at 12 weeks of age.  The kitten needs to be 12 weeks or older at the time of the second injection.  The age at which the initial course is given can vary depending on what age you get your new kitten at.

 

A previously unvaccinated adult cat beginning a vaccination course will also require two injections 3-4 weeks apart.

 

To maintain immunity we advise a booster one year later and then every two years.  In some instances  booster every year (annually) may be required.  Some boarding kennels or catteries require vaccinations be done yearly - it is worthwhile checking this out with your regular kennel or cattery.

 

If the time between annual or two-yearly boosters exceeds 3 years, the initial vaccination course will need to be started from scratch so it is important to keep vaccinations up to date.

 

  • Feline Enteritis

    Feline Enteritis is also known as Feline Panleucopaenia or “cat flu”  and is a highly infectious disease caused by the Feline panleucopaenia virus (FPV).  FPV is highly fatal to kittens.

     

    Symptoms include:

                             - Fever

                             - Vomiting

                             - Bloody diarrhoea

                             - Severe dehydration

                             - Lethargy

                             - Loss of appetite

  • Feline Calicivirus

    One of the two main causes of snuffles is feline calicivirus (FCV).  Around 90% of snuffles cases are caused by either feline calicivirus or rhinotracheitis.  FCV can cause fever and lameness and is particularly serious in young kittens.

     

    Most cats infected with FCV will become carriers for the virus - meaning they will continue to spread the infection among the cat population.

     

    Symptoms include:

                             - Fever

                             - Conjunctivitis

                             - Sneezing

                             - Nasal Discharge

                             - Mouth Ulcers

                             - Loss of appetite

                             - Depression

  • Feline Rhinotracheitis

    One of the two main causes of snuffles is feline rhinotracheitis or herpesvirus (FHV).  Around 90% of snuffles cases are caused by either feline calicivirus or rhinotracheitis/herpesvirus.  FHV is extremely contagious and is particularly serious in young kittens.

     

    Most cats infected with FHV will become carriers for the virus - meaning they will be prone to sudden flare ups for the rest of their lives.

     

    Symptoms include:

                             - Fever

                             - Conjunctivitis

                             - Sneezing

                             - Nasal Discharge

                             - Mouth Ulcers

                             - Loss of appetite

                             - Depression

Cats can also be vaccinated for feline AIDS.  This is not included in the standard cat vaccine and requires a separate course of vaccines.  This vaccine can, however, be given t the same time as the standard cat vaccine.  Feel free to contact us (or your own local veterinarian) to discuss the feline AIDS vaccine. See below for more information.

  • Feline AIDS

    Feline AIDS is caused by the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and it is reported that up to 29% of cats in New Zealand may test positive to the disease.

     

    Cats infected with FIV may eventually develop feline AIDS, though it may take a long time to produce any ill effects.  An FIV-infected cat may remain in perfectly good health for up to 10 years after becoming infected so, when a healthy cat of any age is diagnosed as being FIV-infected, this is not usually a ‘death sentence’ or a reason for euthanasia.

     

    Cats usually contract FIV as a consequence of being bitten by another cat that is already infected. The virus is shed in high levels through saliva.  FIV infection is much more common in outdoor cats with a tendency to fight. The spread of FIV via water bowls or grooming is not common.

     

    Vaccination is the best way to prevent the disease in at-risk cats. There is no treatment or cure for a cat infected with FIV.

     

    Fel-o-Vax FIV vaccine can aid in the prevention of infection of FIV but does not guarantee that the cat will be 100% protected, so some vaccinated cats may still become infected.

     

    Cats 8 weeks of age or older require 3 doses at an interval of 2-4 weeks. Annual vaccination for FIV is then recommended.  It is recommended a test for pre-existing FIV infection be done before beginning a programme of FIV vaccinations.

     

    Though it may be a while before you see any symptoms, they include:

                             - Fever

                             - Swollen lymph nodes

                             - Diarrhoea

                             - Lethargy

                             - Loss of appetite & weight loss

                             - Sores in and around the mouth

                             - Chronic infections

The standard dog vaccination (DHP) protects against parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis.  See below for more information.

  • Canine Parvovirus

    Commonly known as "parvo", canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and often fatal disease causing sudden vomiting and diarrheoa and severe weakness. Signs appear very quickly and it kills a lot of puppies.

     

    The virus is very tough and can survive in the environment for many, many months.

     

    Symptoms include:

                             - Severe Vomiting

                             - Severe bloody & smelly diarrhoea

                             - Refusal of food & water

                             - Severe dehydration leading to death

                             - Lethargy

     

    If your dog or puppy is showing symptoms of parvo you should contact your veterinarian.

  • Canine Distemper

    Canine Distemper causes mucky eyes, nasal discharge, vomiting, ataxia, and eventual death.

     

    Symptoms include:

                             - Fever

                             - Discharge from the eyes

                             - Nasal Discharge

                             - Ataxia

                             - Coughing

                             - Vomiting

                             - Diarrhoea

                             - Loss of appetite

                             - Lethargy

                             - May also cause nervous signs such as twitching or fits

  • Canine Hepatitis

    Canine Hepatitis is a  serious and often fatal disease that can cause liver disease, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and coma.

     

    Symptoms include:

                             - Fever

                             - Vomiting

                             - Diarrhoea

                             - Loss of appetite

                             - Lethargy

                             - Pale gums

                             - Abdominal pain

                             - Loss of appetite

                             - May also develop clouding of the cornea or jaundice

Dogs can also be vaccinated for leptospirosis and kennel cough.  These are not included in the standard dog vaccine, and are each separate vaccines that require their own initial courses.  They can, however, be given at the same time as the standard vaccination

 

Feel free to contact us (or your own local veterinarian) to discuss the lepto and/or kennel cough vaccine. See below for more information.

  • Canine Kennel Cough

    Kennel cough (KC) is a contagious upper respiratory tract disease that is usually spread where dogs are in close contact. For example situations such as boarding kennels, shows and grooming shops etc all propose a higher risk and dogs of any age can be affected.

     

    The most common symptom is a severe, persistent dry cough although the dog may also present with retching, lethargy, loss of appetite, poor appearance and a raised temperature. Discharges from an infected dog releases disease causing organisms into the air causing other dogs to become infected. Very occasionally the disease may progress to pneumonia. Treatment may be required and recovery may take several weeks.

     

    Most, if not all kennels now require that your dog be vaccinated for kennel cough as well as the traditional parvo vaccine.

     

    Kennel cough protection requires an initial vaccine injection followed by a booster injections 3-4 weeks later. After this the kennel cough vaccine is only required once annually to maintain protection.  The Kennel Cough vaccination can be given at the same time as other vaccinations.

     

    Alternatively, the Kennel Cough (KC) vaccine can be given intranasally (via nasal drops).  When nasal drops are used, a booster 3-4 weeks later is not required.  This has the advantage of providing rapid immunity (within 72 hours) before going into boarding kennels if a KC vaccine has not already been given.

     

    Some dogs, understandably, resent having a liquid dripped down their nose.

  • Canine Leptospirosis

    Most often referred to as simply "lepto", leptospirosis is a serious disease in some areas and can be fatal to dogs of any age.

     

    Rats and pigs are the source of this disease and there is an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as farms, rubbish dumps or rivers. It is usually spread via contact with infected rat or pig urine and is usually transmitted to dogs by eating infected material, drinking contaminated water, or by rat bites.

     

    An infected dog can spread lepto bacteria for months after showing symptoms, and other dogs may also pick up the disease from the infected dogs urine.

     

    The liver and kidneys are the main organs affected.  Leptospirosis is usually fatal if not treated during the early stages.

     

    Symptoms include:

                             - Fever

                             - Severe thirst

                             - Vomiting

                             - Diarrhoea

                             - Lethargy

                             - Abdominal pain

                             - Jaundice

     

    Vaccination of your dog may also help protect your family as humans can contract leptospirosis through contact with infected rats or dogs, or their urine.

     

    In order to protect your dog from lepto an initial vaccine followed by a booster one month later is required. A lepto vaccination is then required annually to ensure your dog maintains protection.

     

    The Lepto vaccination can be given at the same time as other vaccinations.

When a puppy starts a vaccination course, normally 3 injections are given 3-4 weeks apart, starting from 6 weeks of age.  It is important to keep your pup away from public places frequented by dogs such as parks and footpaths until at least a week after their final injection.  The parvovirus can survive for many months on the ground and can remain a potential risk to your pup.  To maintain immunity a booster one year later, then every two years.

 

If vaccination for DHP is started in an adult dog, then a single initiation vaccine only is required (not a course of three, then one a year later, then every two years.

 

A typical full vaccination history for a dog may look like this:

 

              • 6 weeks
              • 9 weeks
              • 12 weeks
              • 1 year
              • 2 years
              • 3 years

and so on...

 

Of course the vaccinations you give your pup will vary depending on when you get your pup and what, if any, vaccinations the breeder has already given.

 

It is important to keep vaccinations up to date.  Lapsed boosters may require to course to be restarted.

Standard Vaccine (DHP)

Standard Vaccine (DHP) + Lepto + KC

Standard Vaccine (DHP) + Lepto + KC

Standard Vaccine (DHP) + Lepto + KC

Lepto + KC

Standard Vaccine (DHP) + Lepto + KC

Rabbits can be vaccinated against calicivirus, which is a highly fatal disease.

 

Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD)

 

Also known as Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD), Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD), Rabbit Haemorrhagic Viral Disease (RHVD), and other variations on this theme.

 

Rabbit calicivirus was illegally introduced in New Zealand circa 1997 in at attempt to control the growing population of wild rabbits in the South Island.  Unfortunately our family pet rabbits are just as susceptible to calicivirus as their wild counterparts and it can be a highly fatal disease.

 

Rabbits affeted by calicivirus may:

 

                                             - appear to be depressed or be lethargic

                                             - eat or drink less or show a lack of appetite

                                             - have difficulty breathing

                                             - shake or spasm

 

In some cases symptoms may appear to improve only to rapidly deteriorate 1-2 days later.

 

Because the disease can very swiftly result in the rabbit's death, if you think your rabbit is exhibiting any of these symptoms then do not hesitate to consult your local veterinarian.

 

There are various ways a rabbit can come into contact with calicivirus:

 

                                             - through fleas or other insects

                                             - through infected faeces or urine

                                             - by coming in contact with infected bedding or an infected environment

 

Remember that the calicivirus can survive in the environment for several months, so bear this in mind when housing your own pet rabbits.

 

The best form of protection from calicivirus is vaccination.  Rabbits can be vaccinated from 6 weeks of age.