Vaccinations are a vital part of any pet’s preventative health plan and work by stimulating the body to produce a protective immune response. Individual vaccination recommendations will be made on your dog or cat based on their lifestyle, activity and history.
All puppies and kittens should receive their first dose of ‘core’ vaccines around 8 weeks of age. Puppies are boosted monthly at 12 and 16 weeks and then every 3 years with a distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus vaccine. Kittens receive a booster at 12 weeks, then every 3 years with a herpesvirus (rhinotracheitis), calicivirus, and panleukopenia vaccine. All animals should receive a rabies vaccine around 16 weeks of age as it is a fatal and zoonotic disease with great public health implications.
Lifestyle vaccines for dogs include kennel cough (bordetella and parainfluenza – for dogs socializing at parks, boarding or grooming facilitates), leptospirosis (shed by wildlife urine and primarily affects liver and kidneys), and Lyme disease (spread by ticks after a blood meal, which can cause joint pain, fever, weakness and loss of appetite).
Lifestyle vaccines for cats include FeLV (feline leukemia virus), which is important for every outdoor cat, or cats who live in a multi-cat household or have exposure to cats that have not been tested for the virus. It is administered in a series of 2 vaccines, 1 month apart, then every 2 years as a booster.
Annual vaccine titres are also options to ensure your pet is protected from these diseases. This involves taking a blood sample and sending it to a laboratory to check immunity levels. A rabies titre (FAVN) is a special titre that is required for travelling to certain countries. More information about FAVN testing can be found on the International Travel page.