Keeping your pet vaccinated is a crucial part of being a responsible pet owner.
Not only does it shield your pet from various illnesses and diseases, but it also helps to maintain the overall health of the pet population by reducing the transmission of contagious diseases.
See below for information about the significance of pet vaccination, the advised vaccination schedule for cats and dogs, and the advantages of vaccination for both pets and their owners.
The standard 3-in-1 vaccination for cats covers
OPTIONAL – FeLV
As a responsible cat owner, it’s essential to ensure their health and well-being. One of the best ways to protect your feline companion from life-threatening diseases is by vaccinating them.
The standard 3-in-1 vaccination for cats is a combination vaccine that provides protection against three viral diseases: panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, and caliciviruses. Additionally, some vaccines may include an optional fourth component, feline leukaemia virus (FeLV).
Panleukopenia is a viral disease that affects cats and is also known as feline distemper. It’s a highly contagious virus that can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea, leading to dehydration and even death. The virus is transmitted through contact with contaminated faeces, urine, or bodily fluids of infected cats. Cats can also contract the virus through indirect contact with contaminated objects or environments.
Rhinotracheitis is another viral disease that affects cats, caused by feline herpesvirus. The symptoms include sneezing, nasal discharge, and fever, and in severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia. The virus is highly contagious and spreads through direct or indirect contact with infected cats.
Caliciviruses are a group of viruses that cause upper respiratory infections in cats. The symptoms include sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge, and in severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia. The virus is highly contagious and spreads through direct or indirect contact with infected cats.
The 3 in 1 vaccine is an effective way to protect cats against these three viral diseases. It contains inactivated or weakened viruses that stimulate the cat’s immune system to produce protective antibodies. The vaccine is administered in a series of shots, typically starting at six to eight weeks of age, with boosters given every three to four weeks until the kitten is about 16 weeks old. After the initial series, the vaccine is given annually or every three years, depending on the type of vaccine used.
FeLV, the optional fourth component in some vaccines, is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system of cats. It can lead to a variety of health problems, including anaemia, cancer, and other infections. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with infected cats, such as biting, grooming, and sharing food or water bowls.
The FeLV vaccine is recommended for cats who have outdoor access or live in multi-cat households with unknown FeLV status. The vaccine is administered in a series of shots, with boosters given annually or every three years, depending on the type of vaccine used.
The standard 5-in-1 vaccination for dogs covers
OPTIONAL – Leptospirosis and Bordetella
As a dog owner, one of your top priorities is keeping your furry companion healthy and happy. One of the most effective ways to ensure your dog stays healthy is by vaccinating them. The standard 5-in-1 vaccine is a combination vaccine that provides protection against five viral and bacterial diseases that commonly affect dogs.
The standard 5-in-1 vaccine includes protection against Canine distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Infectious hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. These diseases are highly contagious and can be life-threatening, especially in puppies and unvaccinated dogs.
Canine distemper is a viral disease that can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, respiratory issues, and neurological problems. It’s highly contagious and is transmitted through contact with infected dogs or their bodily fluids.
Adenovirus type 2 and Infectious hepatitis are viral diseases that can cause respiratory issues, liver damage, and other health problems. Both viruses are highly contagious and can spread through direct or indirect contact with infected dogs.
Parainfluenza is a viral disease that can cause respiratory problems, such as coughing and sneezing. The virus is highly contagious and can spread quickly in environments where dogs are in close proximity.
Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration. It’s transmitted through contact with infected dogs or their faeces and can be fatal, especially in puppies.
The 5-in-1 vaccine is an effective way to protect your dog against these five diseases. The vaccine contains inactivated or weakened viruses and bacteria that stimulate your dog’s immune system to produce protective antibodies.
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.
In addition to the standard 5 in 1 vaccine, there are two optional components that can be added to the vaccine based on your dog’s lifestyle and risks: Leptospirosis and Bordetella.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can cause liver and kidney damage in dogs, and it can also be transmitted to humans. The disease is commonly found in environments where there’s standing water or wildlife, and it’s transmitted through contact with contaminated urine or water. The vaccine is recommended for dogs that live in areas with a high prevalence of Leptospirosis or have exposure to wildlife or bodies of water.
Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is a bacterial disease that causes a persistent cough and can lead to pneumonia in some dogs. The disease is highly contagious and is commonly found in environments where dogs are in close proximity, such as boarding kennels or dog parks. The vaccine is recommended for dogs that have exposure to other dogs in these environments.
Bring your pets to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA in Grassy Park for their vaccinations.
You can also bring them to our Plumstead SPCA Vet Shop.
Pet owners need to ensure their pets are vaccinated and that their vaccinations are kept up to date.
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.
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.