Vaccinations protect your pet from several highly contagious diseases such as canine distemper, parvovirus infection and respiratory tract infections. It also protects against transmissible diseases such as rabies that also pose a risk to humans. Vaccination will not cure a pet that is already sick. Only healthy pets should be vaccinated. A veterinarian or a veterinary nurse administers vaccines.
Are there any risks?
The majority of pets experience no adverse effects following vaccination. A small number of animals may become feverish and have a reduced appetite. These reactions are mild and of short duration. In extremely rare cases, an animal may experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. Such an animal can be treated successfully if attended to immediately. The possibility of such an event occurring does not justify considering not to vaccinate your pets, however, as that will leave them susceptible to a range of life-threatening infectious diseases.
Against what diseases should I have my pet vaccinated?
Vaccines used for the protection of pets are currently divided into core vaccines and non-core vaccines. The former are vaccines that should be given to all pets in all regions because they protect against diseases that are widespread and have serious effects. Non-core vaccines are only given strategically when a particular disease is prevalent in an area or when circumstances predispose to the appearance of the disease. Non-core vaccines are only administered after discussion with your veterinarian to evaluate the risks.
Core vaccines for dogs:
- Canine distemper
- Canine adenovirus infections
- Canine parvovirus infection
Non-core vaccines for dogs:
- Kennel cough
- Canine coronavirus
- Canine herpesvirus
The basic vaccination programme for dogs:
- First vaccination at 6 weeks
- Second vaccination at 10 weeks;
- Re-vaccinate at 12 weeks; includes the first rabies vaccination
- Re-vaccinate at 6 months of age; includes the second rabies vaccination
- Re-vaccinate thereafter every year, including rabies
Core vaccines for cats:
- Feline panleukopenia
- Feline herpesvirus infection
- Feline calicivirus infection
None-core vaccines for cats:
- Feline leukaemia
- Feline immunodeficiency virus
The basic vaccination programme for cats:
- First vaccination at 8 weeks of age
- Re-vaccinate at 12 weeks of age; includes first rabies vaccination
- Re-vaccinate at 6 months of age; includes second rabies vaccination
- Re-vaccinate thereafter every ear, including rabies