Vaccinating your pet

At Bakers Hill Veterinary Hospital, we consider vaccination against lethal and/or highly contagious diseases a regular part of your dog or cat’s annual health care program.

Dogs

  • C3 protects your dog against infection with parvovirus, distemper virus and hepatitis virus
  • A C5 protects your dog against the above diseases PLUS two agents that can cause kennel cough - Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus.

Kennel cough is highly contagious, but not fatal, and therefore an optional or “non-core” vaccination. The C3 is called a “core vaccination”. If, however, you plan on ever boarding your dog in boarding kennels, proof of vaccination against kennel cough will be required. We also recommend vaccinating against kennel cough in multi-dog households and if your dog is taken to places where other dogs have been i.e. the park, dog training etc.

The first vaccination (C3) is usually given at 6-8 weeks and is often done by the breeder. The second vaccination is either a C3 or a C5 and is given 4 weeks after the first vaccination. A third vaccination may be recommended by us, depending on your puppy’s age at receiving their first two vaccinations and also their breed, as there are “high risk breeds” for diseases such as Parvovirus, eg  Rottweilers and Dobermanns. Your dog will then need a C3 or C5 yearly for the rest of it's life.

You may be aware that there are C3’s that last 3 years and we do stock these, so make sure to ask us about this if you are interested. In this case the C3 is given every 3 years and an annual health check plus kennel cough vaccination, if required, is recommended yearly.

Cats

  • The F3 protects your cat against feline herpes virus, feline calicivirus and feline panleucopaenia virus
  • An F5 protects your cat against the above three diseases PLUS two additional diseases -  Chlamydophila felis and feline leukaemia virus
  • An F6 protects your cat against all of the diseases in the F5, plus feline immunodeficiency virus which causes FIV or Feline AIDS

Herpes and calici virus are commonly known as the “cat flu” viruses.

Panleucopaenia virus causes a fatal gastro-enteritis (it is the cat version of parvovirus).

Feline chlamydial disease contributes to “cat flu” symptoms.

Feline leukaemia virus goes into the bone marrow and suppresses the immune system. FIV is similar to HIV in people. In WA we have a very high rate of FIV disease amongst stray cats. It is transmitted between cats by fighting and causes suppression of the immune system.

ALL of these diseases are very debilitating for cats and some of them are deadly. If your cat is going to be strictly indoors, we recommend protecting your cat with a minimum of an F3 (considered the “core vaccination”), but if your cat goes outside at all, we recommend you include protection against feline leukaemia virus and FIV as well.

In cats, the first vaccination is generally given at 8 weeks, always followed by a booster 4 weeks later. The FIV vaccination course is 3 injections initially (e.g. at 8, 10 and 12 weeks). We then recommend vaccinating your cat yearly for the rest of it's life.  

Please note:

  • Your puppy or kitten, dog or cat will not be protected against these diseases unless they have the required boosters within the required time-frame
  • The current recommendation is still to regularly vaccinate our cats and dogs yearly or 3 yearly, depending on the vaccine
  • There are alternatives to vaccinating according to the above schedule and this includes titre testing to test your pet’s antibody levels against these diseases. Feel free to discuss this option with us at any time.
  • We always recommend an annual health check regardless of your chosen vaccination schedule
  • At initial vaccination, your puppy or kitten is not fully protected until 2 weeks after their last booster