When to vaccinate? Puppies and kittens are usually protected from infectious diseases by their mother’s milk provided she has been adequately vaccinated. However this protection only lasts for a short while. Puppies should be vaccinated at 8 and 10 weeks. Kittens should be vaccinated at 9 and 12 weeks.
Boosters should be given 12 months after the date of the first vaccinations. If you have an older pet then your veterinarian will be able to advise the correct vaccination protocol that you should follow.
Dogs should be routinely vaccinated against:
• Canine distemper
• Canine parvovirus
• Infectious canine hepatitis
If your dog is going to spending time in kennels then you should also enquire about getting them vaccinated against kennel cough. The vaccine is usually given via the nostrils and protects against bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus. Dogs going abroad will also need a rabies vaccination.
Cats should be routinely vaccinated against: • Feline calicivirus • Feline herpes virus • Feline infectious enteritis • Feline leukemia virus
(Current guidelines recommend that only ‘at risk’ cats are vaccinated against feline leukemia virus. Those deemed at risk include kittens and immune- compromised cats). Rabbits Rabbits should be routinely vaccinated against:
• Rabbit (viral) hemorrhagic disease (RHD)
If your pet is having single vaccines then the myxomatosis vaccine should be given from 6 weeks of age, and the RHD vaccine from 8 weeks. Single vaccines cannot be given simultaneously. After this time myxomatosis boosters should be given every 6 months. Combined vaccines offer annual protection against both diseases and can be given from 5 weeks of age. If you are unsure about anything to do with pet vaccines, consult your veterinarian who will be advise you on the best vaccination protocol to follow.