• Dr. Claire

All you need to know about vaccinating your pet

Updated: May 2

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are made using dead or weakened viruses or bacteria in order to stimulate an immune response from the body without making your animal feel sick. Because of the weakened viruses the vaccine allows your pet to recognise the disease, so if your pet picks up the disease naturally, their body can quickly deal with the infection without actually getting sick. This is very important for a number of diseases which can otherwise cause severe sickness and death.



Why Vaccinate?

By vaccinating you are providing your dog or cat with protection from these highly contagious diseases. This allows you to allow your animals to mix with other animals without having to worry about them catching an illness. This is especially important for puppies and kittens, as well as older animals over 6 years, as like in people, these groups are naturally more susceptible to picking up diseases due to weakened immune systems and are also at a disadvantage at fighting them off, meaning they are at increased risk of death.




What are you vaccinating for?

The common vaccines for dogs include vaccinating for:

Parvo-virus which can cause fatal vomiting and diarrhoea and is highly contagiousDistemper which affects the lungs, gut and brainAdenovirus which causes severe infection of the liver Parainfluenza virus which causes a cold-like illness and coughing and is extremely contagiousLeptospirosis is a bacteria which affects the liver and kidneys and is often fatal. It is very prevalent in certain areas of Fiji.

The common vaccine for cats vaccinates for Feline Herpes Virus and Feline Calcivirus which are the 2 most common causes of cat flu. Cat flu is very contagious and can be fatal, especially to kittens. It also vaccinates for Feline Panleukemia Virus which affects the gut and the ability of the cat to make blood cells, it is usually fatal.


How often should you vaccinate?

For dogs and cats, we recommend a primary course of 3 vaccines. This ensures good immunity from disease. This means after your puppy or kitten has received their first vaccine, the must return in 1 month for their booster, and 1 month later for their second booster. This will provide protection to them for 1 year, it is important to get your pet their booster yearly in order to maintain their immunity. It is best to begin vaccination when your puppy or kitten is 8 weeks old, but any animals older than that can come in to start their vaccines also, it is important to protect your adult pets too!

Vaccines cost $80 for dogs and $60 for cats which includes a health check and a vaccination record.




Benefits of Vaccination?

You are providing your dog or cat with good protection from disease from the environment or other animalsIt is far cheaper in the long run to vaccinate your dog than to pay for expensive treatment to try to save their livesYearly vaccinations are a good health check for your pet and it allows you to discuss with your vet any questions or concerns you may have

All dogs and cats adopted from the SPCA have begun their vaccine protocol already.

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