Vaccination: Sense or Nonsense? How, when and with what?

Vaccination: Sense or Nonsense? How, when and with what?

Vaccination causes a lot of controversy amongst its supporters and opponents. This article will provide some clarity when it comes to vaccinations. Which ones you’re your pet need, and when? And what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Why Vaccinate?

Vaccination against certain pathogens is mainly done for the purpose of prevention. Both to protect an animal against a particular disease and to prevent the spread of the disease. If your pet is infected with a viral infection, there is usually no virus-specific medication available to treat them. Because of this, we mainly vaccinate against viruses, as well as bacteria which can be fatal without rapid treatment. Additionally, if you want to travel with your pet, it is important that they are up to date with their vaccinations. Different places have different diseases and opportunities for infection.

How the Ark vaccinates your pet:

For the greatest effectiveness, we only vaccinate healthy animals. Vaccinations build up resistance to a pathogen in your pet by creating antibodies. For this to work, your pet’s immune system must be working efficiently. Illnesses, worm infection or poor nutrition can stress the immune system and make vaccination less effective. Therefore we always perform a health check and recommend that you give your pet the correct deworming treatment a few weeks before we vaccinate them.

When should I vaccinate my pet? Do I need to repeat vaccinations?

To ensure optimal protection throughout your pet’s life, we recommend to start vaccinations at an early age. For puppies, first vaccinations should be from 6 weeks of age. For kittens, the first vaccinations should be from 8 weeks of age.

When your pet is more than 1 year old, vaccinations need to be repeated yearly. Some important vaccinations only provide one year of protection, as the immunity towards the pathogen decreases over time. Response to vaccinations can vary between animals. Therefor we recommend a yearly booster vaccinations to ensure that there are enough circulating antibodies in your pet to protect them in the case of infection.

Vaccination Schedule:

 Dogs:

  Age Protection from:
1st Vaccination 6-8 Weeks Distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus
2nd Vaccination 10-12 weeks Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and canine cough
3rd Vaccination 14-16 weeks Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and canine cough
Annual Vaccination Canine cough
Triannual vaccination Distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus

Your puppy can be taken for walks 14 days after their second vaccination. Socialisation is critical for the first 14 weeks of your puppy’s life. We recommend avoiding beaches and dog parks until they are completely vaccinated. During this time they are vulnerable to catching diseases or passing them on to other dogs.

 Cats:

Age Protection from:
1st Vaccination 8 Weeks –       Feline Enteritis

–       Rhinotracheitis

–       Calicivirus

–       Chlamydia

2nd Vaccination 12 weeks Booster shot against feline enteritis, rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia and leukemia
3rd Vaccination 16 weeks Final vaccination against feline enteritis, rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia and leukemia
Annual Vaccination Feline enteritis, rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia and leukaemia

Misconceptions about Vaccinations:

My cat stays indoors and so does not need vaccination:

Infectious diseases can be transmitted from animal to animal in many different ways:

  • Direct contact (sniffing, licking, biting)
  • Airborne transmission (coughing and sneezing)
  • Through the environment (floor, door handles, taps)
  • Through contact with people (hands and clothing)

Viruses such as calicivirus (in cats) and parvovirus (in dogs) can spread easily through people’s hands and clothing and can survive even after hand washing. Your cat can get cat flu through contact with you or any visitors, or at the vet, if your cat comes into contact with other sick animals in the waiting room. It is therefore important to vaccinate both indoor and outdoor cats.

Vaccinations are unnatural and dangerous.

Vaccinations protect your pet against very dangerous diseases which may prove fatal or can even be dangerous for humans. Vaccinating your pet can prevent them from contracting serious illness which can have a significant impact on their quality of life. The side effects of vaccination, such as allergic reaction, are rare, and the small risk of a reaction in a healthy pet is outweighed by the many benefits of vaccination.

Vaccinations are expensive

Even though it costs money to get your pet vaccinated properly, the cost of treating your pet if they contract a serious infectious disease is much higher than the cost of vaccination. Vaccinating your pet significantly reduces their treatment costs overall.

Do you want to know more about vaccinating your pet? Read our FAQ page about vaccination or call with one of our friendly staff members at: 02-9416-1300. If you want to make an online booking to vaccinate your pet click here.