At each vaccination visit one of our Veterinarians will complete a thorough physical examination and health check. This is also a good opportunity to discuss any other health care concerns you may have about your pet.
During these visits we hope to identify and make recommendations on how to best address any concerns early before they become a problem. For your convenience we have a reminder system in place to ensure that important vaccination dates are not overlooked.
Vaccinating your Dog or Puppy
Some major infectious diseases of puppies and adult dogs can be fatal, the most common being Canine Parvovirus which causes potentially fatal haemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Treatment can often be unsuccessful and so a planned vaccination program is the best way to ensure your puppy is kept protected. Vaccination programs involve an initial puppy series of three vaccinations followed by an annual booster. All puppies should be vaccinated against:
- Canine Distemper
- Canine Parvovirus
- Canine Hepatitis
- Parainfluenza & Bordetella ( Canine Cough component) – Read What you need to know about Canine Cough
Puppy Vaccination Series
Puppies require a series of three vaccinations at:
- 6-8 weeks: “C3” (Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus)
- 10-12 weeks: “C5” (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Canine Cough)
- We use the newest and fastest acting vaccination C4 + Oral Bordatella
- This allows your pup to start socialising and going for walks within 1 week of vaccination
- 16 weeks: “C5” Because the level of immunity derived from any single vaccination varies from pup to pup the complete series is needed to ensure the best immunity possible. Adult dogs require an annual “C5” booster to ensure their immunity is maintained.
When can I socialise my puppy?
With our newest vaccination pups are able to head out and socialise 1 week after their 2nd Puppy Vaccination.
For puppies it is a compromise between adequate socialising and preventing them from coming into contact with any of these diseases, particularly parvovirus. We believe that all pups should be well socialised so some things you can do to minimize the risks include:
- Avoiding public areas where unvaccinated dogs may visit
- Take them to friends or family who have vaccinated dogs
- Enrol in a good puppy school by 12 weeks of age
What is the latest update on vaccination Protocols?
At Brandon Park Vet we are constantly reviewing our vaccination recommendations as there is evidence that some disease may not need an annual vaccination. However the opinions are divided and it can be difficult to accurately test each dog’s individual immunity. The aim is not to over vaccinate whilst maintaining herd immunity.
Furthermore Australia’s stringent vaccination protocols have helped virtually eradicate, diseases such as Canine Distemper and Hepatitis and therefore continuation of regular routine vaccinations will prevent these diseases from returning.
For that reason we believe that at present, a puppy series and an annual booster is still the best option to help maintain adequate immunity for each individual pet, along with the pet community as a whole.
Vaccinating your Cat or Kitten
There are several infectious viral diseases that can affect cats and prove fatal in some instances.
Cats should be vaccinated against:
- Feline Calicivirus and Feline Rhinotracheitis
- Feline Panleukopenia
The standard vaccination that covers all three infectious diseases is called an “F3”
Most pet owners would have herd about cat flu, which can be passed on to kittens very easily. Unvaccinated kittens in particular can be highly susceptible to developing severe illness and even prove fatal.
Initial kitten Vaccinations can be protective during the first few months of life, and regular boosters can can continue to provide immunity throughout adulthood.
Many cats can still be carriers of cat flu which makes regular vaccinations very important.
Feline Panleukopenia is a highly contagious viral disease caused by the feline parvovirus. It is important to note that this different from canine Parvovirus. The Feline Parvovirus can in particular prove fata for young kitten. The virus causes damage to rapidly deviding cells sucha s those found in the intestines, bone marrow and foetus.
Kittens require a series of three vaccinations:
- 6-8 weeks: F3 (temporary)
- 12 weeks: F3
- 16 weeks: F3
Adults require a yearly booster
Read more about Cat Flu in our blog
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
There is also a vaccination available that can protect your cat from Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) or Feline AIDS. Thankfully FIV is only limited to cats and cannot be contracted by human or other pets. The latest statistics are alarming and show that FIV is on the increase in Australia. It is reported that between 14-29% of cats in Australia test positive (this figure is reported at 26% for Victoria)
If they have not had an FIV vaccination before, a simple test can be done and a series of three vaccinations given. Kittens do not need a test before starting.
Kittens require a series of three vaccinations:
- 12 weeks: 1st FIV
- 14 weeks: 2nd FIV
- 16 weeks: 3rd FIV
Adult cats require an annual booster to maintain adequate immunity. This is timed with their annual F3 vaccination.
Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)
Thankfully FeLV is not a common disease in Australia. It is a viral disease that can be spread from cat to cat via saliva, sharing of food and water bowls, grooming and cat bites. FeLV cause. The virus does not live long outside the cats body which greatly reduced the risk of environmental spread.
Whilst there is a vaccine available, it is not used routinely used for all cats. Any cat living in a household with a cat who may be FeLV positive should be vaccinated.
Vaccinating your Rabbit
IMPORTANT VACCINE UPDATE
With the dominance of new deadly virus strain and poor protection from older vaccines please see our latest information regarding RHDV, and up to date Vaccination protocols with the newest vaccine (FILAVAC).
Rabbit Harmorrhagic Disease Virus
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV), also known as Rabbit Calicivirus is widespread throughout Australia. RHDV was introduced as a biological control agent to reduce feral rabbit populations in Australia in 1996. Once infected there is no cure, with vaccination being the only way to protect our pet bunnies.
How is RHDV / Calicivirus spread?
The virus is spread in saliva, nasal secretions and excreta of infected rabbits. It can be direct rabbit to rabbit spread, or through other means like green feed, on clothing or objects. Insects are also thought to be able to spread the virus. meaning that Indoor rabbits are equally at risk.
The virus is very hardy and can survive in the environment for extended periods. There is new evidence to also suggest that RHDV 2 may not always cause death but infected rabbits will continue spreading the virus.
What are the clinical signs of infection?
The time between being infected and bunnies becoming sick is very short, usually from 12 – 18 hours. The Virus causes internal bleeding, and infected rabbits quickly become quiet and lethargic and stop eating. Sadly nearly 100% of rabbits who become infected die within 1-2 days.
It is highly contagious and unvaccinated rabbits are at very high risk.
Because of the new release and newly detected viruses the protocol for rabbit vaccinations have been revised.
There are a number of RHDV strains present in Australia,
- RHDV 1 – Original virus released in 1995, and K5 Variant (release 2017)
- RHDV 2 – First recorded in mid 2015 in Australia, 2010 in Europe
- RCV – A1 Non pathogenic virus present in wild population
Up until a few years ago RHDV1 had been the predominant strain, however RHDV2 has been on the rise and as of 2022 many Rabbit doctors have been seeing increased cases of RHDV2, fearing we are on the verge of an outbreak.Current
Rabbit Vaccination Recommendations
The Australian Veterinary Association recommends that for best protection against the current virus about to be released (RHDV1-K5), previously released variants (RHDV1, RHDV1A) and the variant that emerged in parts of Australia in 2015 called RHDV2, the following protocols should be followed in consultation with your local veterinarian.
There are two vaccines available in Australia, Cylap and Filavac.
- CYCLAP is the older vaccine and only offers protection for RHDV1, and may provide partial cross-protection for the new strain (VHD2). Vaccinations every 6 months had also been recommended.
- FILAVAC is the newest vaccine and the only one that protects against both RHDV1 and RHDV2.
Given the current predominance of RHDV2 and the recent availability of FILAVAC we are recommending all rabbits to be vaccinated with the new FILAVAC vaccine.
When Should I Vaccinate My Bunny?
Kitten Over 10 weeks old
- Single dose Filavac
Less than 10 weeks old
- Filavac is Not registered for use in Kits less than 10 weeks of age, but may need to be used in case of a widespread outbreak.
- Single Filavac dose every 12 months
If your adult bunny has not recently been vaccinated with a Filavac booser please contact us at your earliest convenience so we can organise one.
Vaccinating your Ferret
Ferrets need an annual booster vaccination for Distemper.