By Zakhona Mzelemu
By vaccinating your pet, you help protect your family friend from various diseases including rabies, distemper, parvovirus, infectious hepatitis, bordetella, feline leukemia and others.
A puppy should have its first vaccination at six to eight weeks of age. This first vaccination is the five-in-one. Thereafter they will need two sets of boosters four weeks apart.
Whereas kittens are normally given two initial vaccinations at four weeks apart, starting at nine weeks of age. This is the four-in-one vaccination.
Rabies vaccinations are only given with the booster vaccination after 12 weeks of age, and followed by a booster vaccination. All adult dogs and cats must be vaccinated yearly.
There are other vaccinations your vet might consider including into your pet’s vaccination protocol but this will depend on your pet’s daily life and the risk of the disease. These may include:
- Dogs: Kennel cough and leptospirosis.
- Cats: Bordetella bronchiseptica and feline leukemia virus.
It is recommended to have your pets checked by your vet at least once a year as they will be able to detect any diseases in advance, saving you a lot of heartache and expense in the long term.
Diseases affecting cats and dogs and clinical signs:
Five-in-one for dogs
- Parvo virus (cat flu): Diarrhoea, vomiting ,dehydration, fever, and loss of appetite, depression.
- Canine distemper: Eye or nose discharge, coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures muscle twitches, skin abnormalities.
- Infectious canine hepatitus (adenovirus1): Loss of appetite, fever, jaundice, diarrhoea, abdominal pain(diseased liver).
- Leptospirosis: Depression, fever, dehydration, muscular stiffness, (diseased kidney).
- Bordetella (kennel cough): Coughing, gagging, retching, fever (diseased trachea and lungs).
- Coronavirus: Diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, fever (dehydrated puppy).
Four-in-one for cats
- Rhinotracheitis: Sneezing, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, mouth ulcers.
- Calicivirus: Mouth ulcers, eye and nose discharge, salivation lameness (ulcerated tongue).
- Parainfluenza(adenovirus2): Mild fever, nose discharge, coughing, (diseased lung).
- Feline parvovirus: Fever, diarrhoea, vomiting depression, weakness.
- Chlamydiosis: Severe conjunctivitis, eye discharge, excessive tears.
- Leukemia: Weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, depression, loss of appetite, diarrhoea or constipation.