Vaccination can help to prevent certain diseases in your pets. Although the protection offered by vaccination is not 100% effective, in almost all cases, diseases in vaccinated animals are milder than in unvaccinated animals.
Parap Veterinary Hospital provides you with a wide range of vaccination options, from the basic F3 or C3 vaccination to a series of needles that help prevent the most common and serious diseases.
In general puppies and kittens should be vaccinated when they are between six and eight weeks, twelve weeks and sixteen weeks old, and annually thereafter. Should you have an unvaccinated older dog or cat, or should you want to upgrade the current vaccination status, a booster vaccination is required four weeks after the initial vaccination. After the booster, the vaccination can generally be given annually. On this page you can find information about the different vaccination options we can provide you with, but of course your vet will be happy to discuss which vaccinations are most suitable for your animal’s specific situation.
This is the most basic and probably most important vaccination your dog can get. It covers three viral diseases, all of which can be potentially fatal, especially in young dogs. The three diseases concerned are canine parvovirus, canine distempervirus and infectious hepatitis. The former mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract, while distemper is a multisystemic (i.e. can affect more than one organ system, for instance the respiratory and the neurological system) disease and infectious hepatitis damages the liver. None of these diseases is very common in the Top End but this is mainly thanks to the fact that most dogs are vaccinated these days. Despite this there are still outbreaks of these diseases noted in unvaccinated dogs.
KC (C5 in combination with C3)
Kennel Cough (KC) is a very contagious upper respiratory tract infection. While rarely fatal it can be a very stubborn disease that can be quite hard to get rid of. Symptoms are (as the name suggests) mainly coughing and wheezing. Many kennels require both a C3 and a KC vaccination. When the two are combined, they are called a C5 vaccination. The KC vaccination doesn’t offer complete protection against KC, as the disease is multifactorial (i.e. it caused by different types of organisms and different conditions affect an animal’s predisposition to the disease) but it has a preventive effect and should a vaccinated dog get sick, the disease will generally be less severe than in an unvaccinated dog.
Leptospirosis is a very serious disease that is caused by the bacteria leptospira australis. The bacteria is in most cases transmitted to pets via the urine of wild animals such as rats and possums. The disease causes damage to the kidneys and liver (sometimes causing jaundice) and it can also be transmitted to humans. If your dog enjoys swimming and/or has a high chance of being in contact with rats or possums or their urine, vaccination against leptospirosis is highly recommended. If your dog is vaccinated against leptospirosis for the first time, a booster will be required in 4 weeks, Half yearly boosters are recommended for this vaccination.
The F3 vaccination protects against three viral diseases namely feline calicivirus, feline parvovirus & feline herpesvirus. Feline parvovirus (feline panleukopeniavirus) is the most common viral disease in unvaccinated populations of cats. It is fortunate that these days most cats are vaccinated against this often fatal disease because it can cause a cat to lose most of his or her white blood cells (and thus be very immuno-compromised) and can also cause severe illness of the intestinal tract. Feline calicivirus generally affects the respiratory tract (and can cause pneumonia or arthritis in occasional cases. Feline herpesvirus causes feline rhinotracheitis, an infection of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. The virus can persist throughout the life of infected cats and problems can recur, especially during periods of stress.
This vaccination can only be given in combination with an F3 vaccination. It offers protection against feline chlamydiosis, a bacterial infection of the eye and the respiratory tract. This disease generally can be treated with antibiotics but recovery can take quite a while.
Feline leukemia is caused by a virus (FeLV) which causes suppression of the immune system, leads to a lack of different types of blood cells and can cause tumour growth. The disease is transmitted by close contact with other cats (e.g. sharing food-bowls or bite wounds) which means that it is especially important for cats that spend time outdoors. More than 50% of persistently infected cats succumb to FeLV related disease within 2-3 years.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes a disease in cats that is similar to AIDS in people, and thus is frequently called cat AIDS. Cats generally are infected with FIV through bite wounds. FIV results in immune suppression which increases the risk of respiratory or intestinal infections. It can take a couple of years before an infected cat starts to display symptoms, but once the late stage of the disease has been reached, life expectancy is less than 1 year. Unlike most other vaccinations, FIV requires 2 boosters each 2 weeks apart.