Animal Vaccination – What You Need to Know

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Why is animal vaccination important?

Pet owners need to ensure their pets are vaccinated and that their vaccinations are kept up to date. This helps to improve the resistance of the animal against specific diseases such as life-threatening canine Parvovirus and Distemper. Vaccination against the parvovirus is done at an early age because puppies are especially susceptible to parvovirus. The booster dose for each vaccine needs to be given at the prescribed time intervals which help to build up immunity. Early vaccination is encouraged and is usually started at the age of five to six weeks. It is always better to deworm the animal before vaccination.  

For Dogs

The standard 5 in 1 vaccination for dogs covers

  1. Canine distemper
  2. Adenovirus type 2
  3. Infectious hepatitis 
  4. Parainfluenza
  5. Parvovirus

OPTIONAL – Leptospirosis and Bordetella

The vaccine is administered in three doses with one dose given every three weeks and thereafter once annually for the duration of your dog’s lifespan.

For Cats

The standard 3 in 1 vaccination for cats covers

  1. Panleukopenia
  2. Rhinotracheitis
  3. Caliciviruses.


The vaccine is administered in two doses given every three weeks and thereafter once annually for the duration of your cat’s lifespan.

Frequently asked questions

Is there any need to give rabies vaccine to dogs? 

Yes. It is a must to go for the anti-rabies vaccine for dogs. 

It is a legal requirement in South Africa for all cats and dogs to be vaccinated at 12 weeks against rabies virus and to have a booster before 12 months age. Thereafter yearly or every third year depending on the specific manufacturer.


Is there any need for canine distemper vaccination in case of dogs? Yes, this is a very important vaccination against a highly contagious, potentially fatal disease with high prevalence in South Africa. The standard core 5-in-1 includes distemper.


Is there any vaccination against Leptospirosis and at what age, the dog is to be vaccinated?  

Yes, this is not part of the core 5-in-1 vaccine. Given at 8 weeks, boosted 3 weeks later and then annual vaccination. 


Can the parvoviral vaccine be used in the first week of life? 

No. This will interfere with maternal antibody levels. 


Can a pregnant animal be vaccinated? 

Yes, however, only certain vaccines can be used safely in pregnant animals. These include, vaccines with inactive viruses are safe in pregnant animals, not live weakened virus vaccinations.


Please call our hospital directly on 0217004145 or email

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