Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious disease. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect the pet population as a whole.
Please give us a call to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet. If you have any questions or concerns, our experienced team will be happy to answer them.
Responsible pet care requires kittens to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult cats require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.
Kittens are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first couple of months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also interfere with vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary for a kitten.
Adult Cat Vaccination
The immunity from kitten vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.
A Guide to Cat Vaccination
Initial vaccination programs should provide at least three vaccinations 4 weeks apart against some, or all, of the following diseases; feline panleucopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis (F3), leukaemia (Felv), immunodeficiency (FIV) and chlamydia starting at 6 weeks of age.
After Vaccination Care
Following vaccination your cat may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.
Please give us a call to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet kitten or cat.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES OF CATS
Feline Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleucopenia)
It is very contagious and the death rate is high, especially under 12 months of age. Pregnant cats may lose their young or give birth to kittens with abnormalities, quite often with brain damage. Symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain.
The virus spreads so easily that heavily contaminated areas may need cleaning with a special disinfectant. Cats that do recover may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats.
Feline Respiratory Disease (Cat Flu)
It is caused by feline herpesvirus (feline rhinotracheitis) and/or feline calicivirus.
Feline respiratory disease affects cats of all ages, especially young kittens. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers.
Fortunately, the death rate is low, but the disease is distressing and may persist for several weeks. Recovered cats can continue to carry and spread the infection for long periods, and can show signs of the disease again if they become stressed.
Chlamydia (also known as Chlamydophila)
Feline Chlamydia causes a severe persistent conjunctivitis.
Kittens are more severely affected by Chlamydia when also infected with “Cat Flu”, and Chlamydia can be shed for many months following. Vaccination against Cat Flu and Chlamydia helps protects against clinical disease.
Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)
Feline Leukaemia is a disease of cats caused by feline leukaemia virus.
Two thirds of cats show signs of weight loss and apathy, pale or yellow mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhoea, reproductive problems, increased susceptibility to other infections, leukaemia and tumours.
One third may show mild disease and remain chronically infected and may shed virus in their saliva, tears, nasal secretions and urine. The disease is then spread to uninfected cats by mutual grooming, fighting, sneezing or even flea bites.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Feline AIDS is a disease caused by infection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and affects the cat’s immune system. Their natural defence against attack by other diseases may be seriously affected, much in the same way as human AIDS.
This disease is not transmissible to humans. It is highly transmittable between outside cats who fight.
FIV is almost always transmitted by bites from infected cats. The virus that causes the disease is present in saliva. While some infected cats show no sign of disease, others may display initial symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes.
As the disease progresses, symptoms may occur such as weight loss, sores in and around the mouth, eye lesions, poor coat and chronic infections.
Eventually, the immune system becomes too weak to fight off other infections and diseases. As a result, the cat may die from one of these subsequent infections.
Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect the pet population as a whole. Responsible pet care requires puppies to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult dogs require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.
Puppies are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first couple of months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also interfere with vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary for a puppy.
Adult Dog Vaccination
The immunity from puppy vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations, as required, will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.
After Vaccination Care
Following vaccination your dog may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.
Please give us a call to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet puppy or dog.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES OF DOGS
Canine parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of all ages but is most serious in young pups and older dogs. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care.
It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. The virus is so persistent that the infected dog’s environment needs to be cleaned with a potent disinfectant to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in summer.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.
Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may show permanent brain damage.
Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is highly contagious. Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.
Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, yellow gums, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. Dogs that recover may develop long term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.
Canine Kennel Cough
Canine kennel cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper.
Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is distressing for pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.
Canine coronavirus is another contagious virus and causes depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea nearly exclusively in young dogs. Diarrhoea may last for several days in some cases. Although most dogs will recover with treatment, coronavirus has the potential to be fatal, especially if other infectious agents such as parvovirus are present.
Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas. It is spread by the urine of rats and livestock and is usually transmitted to dogs by urine-contaminated food and water, or by rat bites.
There’s an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as rubbish dumps or green sugar cane cutting areas. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet weather, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate. Leptospirosis is an animal disease that can be passed to humans who may then suffer a persisting “flu like” illness.
Microchipping is a legal requirement for pets bred or owned in NSW. Responsible puppy/kitten breeding should include a microchip prior to sale. The microchip is embedded under the skin of the animal with a code unique to the pet and is the most effective form of permanent identification.
If a pet is ever lost and is handed in at a veterinary clinic or animal shelter a microchip scanner is passed over the animal to reveal the unique code. The vet or animal shelter can then refer to the database to identify the name, address and phone number of the owner, so they can be reunited.
If your pet is not microchipped please give us a call to make an appointment to have one inserted. If you find a lost pet please call us to arrange a scan; we can reunite microchipped pets with their worried owners.