Dog (Canine) Vaccinations

At Brighton Vet Hospital we recommend vaccinating all dogs with a C5 vaccination which protects your dog against five diseases: canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, canine respiratory disease complex (kennel cough) and parvovirus.

This annual vaccination is also a great opportunity for a comprehensive health check with a member of our veterinary team, as well as to have any questions or queries you may have regarding your dog’s health and wellbeing answered!

Our vets are also equipped with the latest evidence regarding preventative healthcare, not limited to worming and external parasite prevention, nutrition, and dental prophylaxis. We know that our canine friends age faster than us, so these annual check-ups are paramount to identify and assess any changes over the past year in a timely manner, with the goal of keeping your pets comfortable and happy.

When do we recommend vaccinating your puppies/dogs?

At the Brighton Vet Hospital, we recommend vaccinating your puppy at 8, 10-12 and 14-16 weeks of age, and then annually after the 16 week vaccination for life.

puppy vax wallchart a3 scaled

If your puppy has been vaccinated prior to 8 weeks of age with their breeder, there is no adverse consequences to your puppy, however, the final puppy vaccination should be as close to 16 weeks or older and thus four puppy vaccinations as opposed to three may be recommended by your veterinarian.

Each primary course vaccination must be given less than six weeks apart, if more than six weeks had lapsed between vaccinations, it is recommended the primary course is restarted.

For unvaccinated adult dogs we recommend a C5 vaccination, and then another vaccination 4 weeks later. Your pet will then be due one year from this booster vaccination, and annually ongoing.

If your dog is more than 6 months overdue for their annual vaccination, they will also require another vaccination 4 weeks later.

adultdog vax wallchart a3 scaled

What are we protecting your dog against and why?

The core vaccination for dogs in Australia is the C5 vaccination, which covers the five diseases listed below. This is what we administer at the Brighton Vet Hospital.

  1. Canine distemper virus: Distemper is a highly contagious virus, which can be spread from direct contact between dogs, especially whilst the infected dog coughs, or from sharing food and water bowls. Clinical signs of canine distemper can range from the respiratory signs of sneezing, nasal discharge, and coughing, to gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting and diarrhoea with appetite reduction, to neurological signs such as seizures, and is unfortunately oftentimes fatal. Canine distemper is now considered a relatively rare disease in Australia, which can be attributed to effective and widespread vaccination against the disease.
  2. Canine infectious hepatitis: Caused by adenovirus I and II, this virus is shed in urine, faeces and saliva of the infected dogs and can hence be transmitted by consumption of, or mere contact with these fluids, or by direct contact between dogs. Young dogs are most commonly affected. Clinical signs include depression, fever, lymph node and tonsil enlargement, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and effusion, and in severe cases, death within 1-2 days. Dogs can recover if early intensive management is implemented, however, if the affected dog does survive, they are contagious for a period of months and the virus has the ability to survive in the environment for prolonged periods. Infectious hepatitis albeit present, is rare in Australia due to a widespread vaccination campaign with effective vaccinations.
  3. Canine parvovirus: This virus is defined by profound depression, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea with or without blood, decreased food, and water intake, decreased white blood cells, and without intensive therapy being instituted, potentially sepsis and death. Parvovirus can be transmitted by direct contact between dogs, contact with their faeces, or by contact with infected surfaces or people’s hands or clothes who have touched the infected dog and can survive in the environment for prolonged periods.
  4. Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex: There are many agents involved in this disease, the two of particular importance which we vaccinate against being parainfluenza virus and Bordatella bronchiseptica. This disease is characterised by the sudden onset of a severe dry hacking cough which may be mistaken for vomiting as some dogs retch and pass foam. In rare cases, dogs can develop a fever, lethargy, anorexia, and can develop pneumonia or struggle to breathe. This disease is spread by contact between dogs where airborne droplets are exchanged between dogs, or contact with surfaces coated by these infectious droplets.
Cat (Feline) Vaccinations

At Brighton Vet Hospital we recommend vaccinating all cats with an F3 vaccination which protects against three diseases: feline panleukopaenia/parvovirus, feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus.

This annual vaccination is also a great opportunity for a comprehensive health check with a member of our veterinary team, as well as to have any questions or queries you may have regarding your cat’s health and wellbeing answered!

Our vets are also equipped with the latest evidence regarding preventative healthcare, not limited to worming and external parasite prevention, nutrition, and dental prophylaxis. We know that our feline friends age faster than us, so these annual check-ups are paramount to identify and assess any changes over the past year in a timely manner, with the goal of keeping your pets comfortable and happy.

When do we recommend vaccinating your kittens/cats?

At the Brighton Vet Hospital we recommend vaccinating your kitten at 8, 10-12 and 14-16 weeks of age, and then annually after the 14-16 week vaccination, for life.

 

If your kitten has been vaccinated prior to 8 weeks of age with their breeder, there is no adverse consequences to your kitten, however, the final kitten vaccination should be as close to 16 weeks or older.

Each primary course vaccination must be given less than six weeks apart, if more than six weeks had lapsed between vaccinations, it is recommended the primary course is restarted.

kitten vax wallchart a3 scaled

For unvaccinated adult cats we recommend a F3 vaccination, and then a booster vaccination 4 weeks later. Your pet will then be due one year from this booster vaccination, and annually ongoing. If your cat is more than 3 years overdue for their annual vaccination, they will also require another vaccination 4 weeks later.

adultcat vax wallchart a3 scaledWhat are we protecting your cat against and why?

  1. Feline upper respiratory tract infection or “cat flu”. This condition is primarily caused (90% of cases) by two viruses, feline herpes virus or rhinotracheitis and calicivirus, both of which are constituents of the F3 vaccination. These viruses are spread by close contact between cats, such as in sneezed droplets. They can also persist on contaminated household items. The most important form of transmission is by persistently infected cats, which may have no clinical signs of disease which intermittently shed herpesvirus, and cats infected with calicivirus which shed the virus continuously. Studies suggest up to 36% of pet cats may be intermittent shedders of herpesvirus for life, and 50% of cats with calicivirus may shed the virus for around 3 months before clearing the infection. Affected cats often present with eye and nasal discharge, sneezing, conjunctivitis, eye ulcers, fever, lethargy, mouth ulcers and dental issues, and are more likely to develop serious secondary infections such as pneumonia. It is important to note that this vaccination does not prevent your cat from developing cat flu, but certainly acts to decrease the severity of infection if they were to contract it.
  2. Feline panleukopaenia virus or feline parvovirus. This virus causes rapid onset high fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhoea and in young unvaccinated cats, death can ensue. The virus is highly contagious and is shed in the urine, faeces, nasal discharge of infected cats, and can survive in the environment for long periods. Thankfully, the vaccinations against this virus are excellent and provide long lasting immunity against disease.

 

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

What is FIV, how prevalent is it and how can we prevent it?

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is one of the most common and consequential infectious diseases of cats around the world. In infected cats, FIV attacks the immune system, leaving the cat vulnerable to many other infections. Although cats infected with FIV may appear normal for years, they eventually suffer from immune deficiency, which allows normally harmless bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi found in the everyday environment to potentially cause severe illnesses. There is currently no cure for FIV.

The most common mode of transmission of FIV is through an infected cat’s bite, and there is evidence to suggest up to 30% of Australian cats are infected. Therefore, the most effective preventative measure against FIV is keeping your cat inside or in an enclosed cat pen. If this is not possible, the FIV vaccination is recommended for all outdoor cats.

Why do we recommend protecting your cat against FIV?

In the initial stages of infection, cats can have a fever, decreased white blood cells which increases their susceptibility to secondary infections such as skin or gastrointestinal infections, and some cats can succumb to disease. Infected cats are infected for life, some may not develop any further clinical signs but some develop terminal signs of disease. These terminal signs include but aren’t limited to severe dental and gum disease, chronic respiratory infections, anaemia, chronic gastrointestinal problems, immunodeficiency, renal disease, cancer and/or neurological signs.

What are our recommendations for FIV protection?

At the Brighton Vet Hospital we recommend vaccinating your kitten at 10, 14 and 18 weeks of age, and then annually after the 18 week vaccination, for life.

Each primary course vaccination must be given less than six weeks apart, if more than six weeks had lapsed between vaccinations, it is recommended that the primary course is restarted.

For unvaccinated adult cats we recommend testing for FIV prior to commencing vaccination. If negative, the cat will require three FIV vaccinations one month apart and then an annual vaccination ongoing. If more than six weeks have lapsed between primary course vaccinations, it is recommended that we recommence the primary course again.

What if my cat has been affected by the recent worldwide shortage of the FIV vaccine?

Please review this page with further information on FIV and the recommended steps in returning your cat to full FIV vaccination status.

More information

General Vaccination Information

When and why do we recommend vaccinating your puppies/kittens?

We recommend the final vaccination for both kittens and puppies to be close to 16 weeks of age as they receive maternal antibodies from the bitch/queen in colostrum, either from her being exposed to or vaccinated against the above diseases, which act to protect them before they are vaccinated. However, these maternal antibodies interfere with them mounting their own effective immune response to the vaccination and can lead to vaccination failure. As they age, the maternal antibodies wane, and their immune system is able to mount an effective and protective response. In a majority of puppies and kittens these maternal antibodies have waned by 12 weeks of age, but a small percentage (up to 10%) have these maternal antibodies until 16-20 weeks of age, hence the 16-week recommendation.

Potential adverse effects of vaccination

The risks of adverse vaccination reactions are rare. Your pet may develop transient irritation or swelling at the vaccination site, or may be lethargic or mildly pyrexic. Some pets may go off their food for a day. After administration of the canine Bordatella bronchiseptica, or kennel cough oral vaccination, some animals may develop a transient cough of one or two day’s duration. The severest form of vaccination reactions, such as anaphylaxis or injection site sarcomas in cats are extremely rare, and a majority of pets we see have no adverse reactions to their vaccinations.

View our after care vaccination leaflet here

When can we not vaccinate a pet?

Our veterinary team, in collaboration with you, may decide it is best to postpone your pet’s vaccination if they are unwell when they present to us. If these circumstances, it is likely we will ask you to return to the clinic in 2 weeks’ time for their vaccination.