Vaccinations – What do we need to know?

At Cranberry Hill Animal Hospital we believe every pet should be treated individually as to their needs for vaccines. A pet that is out hunting seven days a week will require a different vaccination protocol from a pet that lives most of its time in the house or being carried around. Age will also play a role in deciding on the best course of vaccines to give. A young animal will need a series of vaccines to prepare their immune system, unlike the fifteen year old cat who has had vaccines nearly all its life.

We do believe a kitten requires vaccines at eight weeks or age then repeated again at twelve weeks of age and sixteen weeks of age. A booster vaccine is strongly recommended for the following year. At this point titer testing and a specific vaccine protocol for your pet would be introduced.

The following explains the diseases we can protect our pets from. A discussion with the veterinarians can help you decide what is the best course to follow for your pet.

Rabies is a fatal viral disease of all mammals including dogs, cats, livestock and humans. Rabies is a major health hazard so it is extremely important that your pet be vaccinated against it. In our particular area it is required by municipal law and for travel outside of Canada.

Feline Panleukopenia this is an uncommon disease today because of widespread vaccination, but the risk remains widespread. When disease occurs it is a severe and often fatal gastroenteritis, with profound depression, dehydration and collapse. It is very contagious to other cats.

Feline respiratory virus this is caused b Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, which is also known as FHV-1 or Feline Herpes or Calicivirus (FCV). The syndrome is commonly termed Upper Respiratory Infection (URI). It causes symptoms similar to our common cold.

Feline leukemia Virus (FeLV) this virus is widespread and infection of outdoor cat or cats in infected catteries is common. The vast majority of persistently infected cats will die either from tumors or as a consequence of the immunosuppressant caused by the viral infection.