August 28, 2016

Vaccination: Dog, Cat, Rabbit & Ferret


Vaccination (also known as immunisation) is an important part of protecting your pet from harmful diseases. Vaccines have been developed to prevent disease in companion animals and vaccinating is one of the most common veterinary procedures undertaken in small animal practice. Immunisation programs play an important role in preventing diseases not only from the vaccine itself but they also facilitate regular clinical examinations during the life of your pet. Regular visits

to the vet also enable early detection and treatment of any health problems that may arise. We recommend owners discuss the latest recommendations with their vet, to ensure your pet has the best protection provided by vaccines.

Why Vaccinate?

Some animal diseases are very serious and sometimes fatal, even with treatment. Appropriate use of vaccines will prevent your cherished pet from contracting these diseases in the first place. To maintain immunity, booster shots will be required at regular intervals.

Core vaccines should be administered to all animals to protect them against severe, life-threatening diseases that have a global distribution.

Non-core vaccines are required by only those animals whose geographic location, local environment or lifestyle places them at risk of contracting specific infections.

Dog Vaccination

When should you vaccinate your dog?

At 6-8 weeks of age puppies should receive their first

vaccination; this is temporary and needs to be followed up with another one at 10 weeks. 10 days after their 10 week shots you can then take your puppy out in public areas.

Core Vaccines

  • canine distemper virus
  • canine adenovirus
  • canine parvovirus

Non-core vaccines

  • parainfluenza virus
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Leptospira interrogans

Cat Vaccination

When should you vaccinate?

We recommend kittens receive their first vaccination at 8 weeks of age. This is temporary and needs to be followed up with another one at 12 weeks. In some cases a 16 week vaccine may be required. A kitten can safely go outside ten days after the final vaccination. To maintain immunity, all adult cats require annual boosters.

Core Vaccines

  • feline parvovirus
  • feline calicivirus
  • feline herpesvirus

Non-Core Vaccines

  • feline leukaemia virus,
  • Chlamydia felis and
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica.
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus vaccines may also be classified in this group.

Rabbit Vaccination

Rabbits should be vaccinated for Calicivirus at 10 – 12 weeks of age, followed by annual boosters to maintain immunity throughout life. Calicivirus (along with Myxomatosis) is a disease that was introduced in Australia to help control the wild rabbit population. Whilst there are no vaccines available to prevent Myxomatosis, rabbits should be vaccinated against Calicivirus which is spread by insects.


Ferret Vaccination

Vaccinating against distemper is very important. It is recommended they receive two distemper vaccinations when less than 12 weeks of age then annually. This comes as the C3 vaccination typically given to dogs. Ferrets that catch distemper become depressed, they develop a skin rash, nasal and eye discharges and eventually nerve degeneration. There is no successful treatment. Distemper is normally always fatal to ferrets so ensuring they are kept up to date with their shots is a good idea.