Vaccinating your Pet

When should my pet be vaccinated?

Most puppies and kittens get their first vaccination between 6- 8 weeks of age and their last vaccination close to 14 weeks of age (as recommended by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's vaccination guidelines). The vaccines are given 3-4 weeks apart until the vaccination course is complete.

The protection that a pet gains from its mother's milk begins to reduce sometime after 6 weeks of age. So vaccinations can be started from this time unless other health issues prevent this. As an adult, your cat or dog will require repeat vaccination at regular intervals over his or her life.

What to expect

At each vaccination your pet will receive a full examination. This is an opportunity to identify any health issues and to talk about any concerns or questions you may have.

We are here to help with advice regarding diet, behaviour, health issues and any other concerns you may have.

After your pet has had a health check, the vaccine will be administered. It is usually given in the loose skin (scruff) of the back of the neck. This will not interefere with your pet's microchip. Some types of vaccines may also be given in other sites on the body depending on manufacturer's recommendations.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines contain small quantities of altered/modified or "killed" viruses, bacteria or other disease-causing organisms. When administered, they stimulate your pet's immune system to produce disease-fighting cells and proteins – or antibodies – to protect against disease

Does it hurt and What are the Side Effects?

We will do our very best to make your pet's visit as stress free and pleasant as possible. Often the injection can be given without your pet noticing much discomfort at all and treats can often distract them from the wee needle. Occasionally some sensitive souls may be a little unsettled with the needle but this usually passes quickly.

After the vaccination some animals, especially young pets, may be quiet and sleepy for up to 24 hours.

'Other side effects include a firm, non painful swelling at the injection site which resolves over time.

Allergic reactions are possible but fortunately rare.

Any adverse reactions should be reported to the clinic.

Which vaccinations should my pet receive?

Your pet should be protected against those diseases which are most common, highly contagious and which cause serious illness. Our routine vaccination includes Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus and Canine Tracheobronchitis (Infectious Canine Cough) for dogs and Feline panleukopaenia, Calicivirus and Rhinotracheitis for cats. Other vaccinations may be recommended, based on current risks or your future travel plans. These include discussion on FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) for cats and Leptospirosis for dogs. Please feel free to discuss your pet's individual vaccination requirements as it is important to tailor vaccination programs to suit your pet's individual needs.

How effective is vaccination?

Like any drug treatment or surgical procedure, vaccinations cannot be 100% guaranteed. However, used in conjuction with proper nutrition and acceptable sanitary conditions, vaccination is clearly your pet's best defense against disease. Plus, when you consider what treating a serious illness can cost you and your beloved pet in terms of both distress and money, prevention through vaccination is extremely cost-effective.

If you would like to know more about the diseases that are covered in the vaccine then click here.