The one injection that can save your pets’ life

Did someone say it’s November? Where has the year 2020 gone?! The year has been one crazy rollercoaster hasn’t it! With COVID-19 being the biggest spanner in the works, no wonder we’re questioning the fact that the end of the year is already upon us. Mind you, it would be nice to say “See ya later!” to this year, and start afresh for 2021.

Sigh... It’s also crazy to think that Christmas is right around the corner! We all know Christmas is a TREMENDOUSLY busy time and often things are missed, or we say to ourselves ‘I’ll deal with that later!’ If it’s one thing to forgetting about getting everyone a Christmas present before it’s too late, I’m sure it may have slipped your mind about your pet’s vaccinations! And we wouldn’t blame you – we know the saying ‘when it rains, it pours!’ applies here!

But are you planning on taking your pooch along with you on a Christmas holiday? Or will they be spending their Christmas trip in a doggy and kitty hotel (aka. Boarding kennel/cattery)?

Most boarding kennels require cats and dogs to be vaccinated prior to boarding.  Vaccinations are extremely important when it comes to boarding our furry family members to ensure your own four-legged friends safe as well as their fellow boarders. Nonetheless, boarding is not the only reason we should make sure are four-legged friends are vaccinated!

Why should you vaccinate? 

Vaccinations are one of the most important tools we have available to keep our furry family members healthy. Vaccinations are safe, have limited side effects and they work!

  • Protection against preventable disease - Prevention is always better then cure! If a horrible disease can be prevented with a simple vaccination, why not vaccinate?
  • Protection for your pet from transmittable diseases– Obvious…. we know, but our pets can be at risk of contracting a disease even if they are not in direct contact with another animal. Most of the preventable diseases such as, Canine Parvo virus and Canine Parainfluenza virus in dogs, and Feline herpes virus and Feline calicivirus in cats, are environmental and airborne diseases. This means the diseases can be carried between our pets on clothing, footwear or in the environment. When visiting parks, going for walks and staying at boarding facilities this risk of our pets catching a disease increases.
  • You save money – Anything that saves money is great, right?! Vaccinations are substantially less expensive than the cost of treatment for the disease they prevent. When dealing with Parvo virus, for example, a vaccination cost about $115 compared to treatment which can cost up to $1000+ depending on how unwell they are. We know which cost we’d rather have to pay!
  • It’s a must for pets who have to board – If you ever plan to board your furry companions, they must be up to date with vaccinations – what would happen if you had a family emergency and boarding was the only option? Allow a minimum of 2 weeks after vaccinations before placing your pet into boarding to ensure they are fully covered.

What does my pet’s vaccination protect against?

‘Vaccination’ is a confusing topic and I am sure you have heard the words ‘C3’, ‘C5’, ‘Tricat’ and ‘FIV’ tossed around by your vet. What do they mean, you ask? Hopefully we can make this easier for you….. Let’s start with the pooch!

At Murray Bridge Veterinary Clinic we use two main vaccinations for dogs, what we call a C3 and a C5. The difference between the both is the diseases they cover.

C3 – Covers three main disease:

  1. Canine Parvo Virus - Is a severe gastroenteritis that causes severe vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. This disease is extremely common especially in unvaccinated puppies, is highly contagious and often fatal.
  2. Canine Hepatitis – a severe liver disease which can be fatal. It is uncommon now due to the widespread vaccination against it but ongoing vaccination is required to keep it this way.
  3. Canine Distemper Virus –a severe neurological disease that can result in a slow death. It is also uncommon now due to the widespread vaccination against it but ongoing vaccination is required to keep it this way.

C5 – Covers five main diseases:

The three diseases listed above (in the C3) are included in this vaccination along with coverage for:

  1. Canine Parainfluenza &
  2. Bordetella Bronchiseptica – These two diseases are part of the canine cough (also known as kennel cough) disease. In most cases canine cough is an irritating cough that lasts a few weeks however in server cases it may lead to pneumonia which can be fatal.

Now our feline friends!

At Murray Bridge Veterinary Clinic we use two main vaccinations for cats, what we call a F3 (Tricat) and a FIV.

F3 (Tricat) – Covers three main diseases:

  1. Feline panleukopenia infection – this is now an uncommon disease that causes a severe and often fatal gastroenteritis.
  2. Feline herpes virus &
  3. Feline calicivirus – these two disease are often know as Cat flu. These are common diseases in our feline friends which can cause long term problems including chronic and severe gum problems, chronic snuffling and permanent eye damage.

FIV: Covers Feline immunodeficiency virus: Also known as FIV or ‘feline AIDS’ – This infection is transmitted either through breeding or more commonly via a bite from an infected cat. It is extremely common and is prevalent in the stray cat population around Murray Bridge. This virus effects our kitty’s immune system in over a period of time which then leads to all sorts of other infections.

  • It should be noted that if your kitty has never had an FIV vaccination before and is over the age of 6 months, a blood test is required prior to starting the FIV course to check they aren’t already carrying the disease. If your pet has FIV, the vaccination is pointless.

What is involved in the vaccination appointment? 

It is important to not only have our furry companions vaccinated but also checked over by a veterinarian at least once a year. Having routine health examinations with our team of friendly Veterinarians and Nurses can help detect problems at their earliest so treatment or prevention can begin straight away.

While your pet is here we can give them the full pampering experience….. Just let us know what they need!

  • Nail clip
  • Anal Glands expressed
  • Puppy and kitten pack
  • Dental check
  • Parasite control advice and administration
  • Urine dipstick analysis

If there is one thing we can’t stress enough, is about the importance of keeping your pets up to date with their vaccinations. It’s the simplest measure you can do to protect them from getting life-threatening diseases, and to prevent the spread of them too.

We hope this blog helps clear up a few questions about vaccinations. Don’t worry about trying to remember what they are due for & when- we have your pets records and vaccination history on file so we will often know what they are due for even if you don’t.

Just remember if you are planning to board your pet over the Christmas holidays avoid the rush and make sure their vaccinations are up to date! Vaccinations require time before they are completely in their system so it’s important they’re given in plenty of time.

ALSO – think about getting your pets’ microchipped if you haven’t already! It is the law now that all pets are microchipped, which is easy because they don’t require an anaesthetic or anything to get one! It’s like giving them a slightly bigger needle just under the skin. We give them lots of cuddles and food to help distract them which usually works very effectively. It can be performed by one of our nurses so give us a Call at the clinic to make an appointment, or you can now book online!