Many of the diseases we vaccinate against are still quite prevalent in the community at large, we still see a large number of cat flu cases every year, and Parvovirus is commonly seen during the summer. For this reason the concept of "herd immunity", where you rely on the fact that if most of the population is vaccinated then the risk of you contracting that disease is very low is not valid for pets in NZ. It is for this reason we reccomend vaccinating your pet with the core vaccines at the manufacturers reccomended intervals.
Felocell 4 is a four in one vaccination aiding in the protection from feline panleukopenia and three respiratory diseases (Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Chlamydia).
Feline panleukopenia (a.k.a. feline enteritis) causes lethargy, incoordination, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration. This disease is usually severe enough to result in death even with veterinary intervention. Feline enteritis is contracted through direct contact with infected animals and indirectly with contaminated objects. Fortunately with the introduction of vaccination the incidence of feline enteritis has plummeted.
Feline respiratory disease (a.k.a. snuffles) is very common due to the highly contagious nature of the pathogens involved (refer above). They are spread by direct contact with an infected cat or contact with airborne droplets of infectious agent from sneezing/ coughing. Signs of respiratory disease are characterised by sneezing and coughing, discharge from the eyes (conjunctivitis) and nose. As the disease progresses anorexia, lethargy and pneumonia can result. Pneumonia in kittens can be fatal. Cats who survive the Rhinotracheitis virus (a herpes virus) can become carriers. This means they can shed the virus intermittently without serious symptoms e.g. may have weepy eyes which resolve without medical attention. Severe Feline Rhinotraceitis can cause pregnant cats to abort. Feline Calicivirus can cause ulceration of the oral cavity and nose. Chlamydia primarily causes inflammation of the eyes.
Initial Kitten vaccinations start at 6-9 weeks of age and are repeated every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. It is then reccomended to have an annual booster every 12 months. Most catterys will require your cat to have been vaccinated in the past 12 months
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Up until recently there has been no way of protecting your cat against FIV. Although there is no risk to people this disease has many similarities to HIV in humans. In cats it is generally spread by biting scratching and fighting. Stray cats are at risk of contracting this disease as they tend to fight more. Unfortunately the disease appears to be on the increase in Auckland, with up to 14% of cats testing positive for FIV. Here at Unitec Veterinary Hospital we would diagnose this disease once every one to two months. At present there is no treatment or cure for this disease and it will be ultimately fatal. If you are concerned your cat may have this disease we are able to test for this in house with a simple blood test.
The initial course requires 3 vaccinations at 2-4 week intervals, with an annual booster required. This vaccine can be administered at the same time as the annual core vaccines.
Vanguard Plus 5
Vanguard Plus 5 aids in the prevention of Canine distemper (CD), Infectious canine Hepatitis (Adenovirus type 1, CAV-1), Respiratory disease caused by Adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2), Canine Parainfluenza (CPI) and Canine Parvoviral enteritis (CPV). Initially a minimum of two vaccinations are required 3-4 weeks apart. The first booster vaccination is given after one year and then every one to three years depending on your situation. Some kennels require your dog to have been vaccinated within the previous 12 months.
Canine distemper presents in many different ways as the virus thrives in most parts of the body. Common signs are fever, respiratory disease, eye and nasal discharges, hard pads, nervous symptoms (muscular twitches, ataxia, seizures), vomiting and diarrhoea. There is a high rate of mortality as the symptoms tend to be severe. Fortunately it is uncommon in New Zealand these days owing to vaccination.
Canine hepatitis is spread via infected saliva, faeces and urine. This virus also attacks many parts of the body and is therefore often fatal. Signs include fever, jaundice, inflammation/ clouding of the eyes, vomiting, diarrhoea and nervous signs (seizures and even coma).
Nobivac Kennel Cough
This vaccination assists in the prevention of respiratory disease caused by Canine parainfluenza (CPI) and Bordetella bronchiseptica (both mentioned previously, symptoms as above). Immunity is achieved as early as 72 hours after vaccination. Vaccinations are given annually or before a period of anticipated risk (e.g. before boarding in a kennel). This vaccination can be given more frequently if the chosen boarding facility requires it. The vaccine is administered as drops into the nose.
A vaccine developed to aid in the protection from Leptospira bacteria. The bacteria affects dogs of any age damaging many body systems, the kidneys and liver in particular. Syptoms are fever, anorexia and jaundice. Illness is severe and usually fatal. Dogs that do recover can shed bacteria (in their urine) for months following recovery. Common sources of infection are rats and cows. Humans are also at risk of picking up Leptospirosis. The strain that affects dogs is usually only found in the north half of the north island, so if your dog has moved to Auckland from elsewhere it would pay to check that it has been vaccinated agaisn't this disease. We consider leptospirosis vaccination an essential component of our core vaccinations for dogs in Auckland
Initial vaccinations can start at 6-9 weeks of age and are repeated every 3-4 weeks up to 16 weeks of age. It is important to have a final puppy vaccination at 16 weeks or older to ensure they have long term immunity to last them for 12 months. An annual booster vaccination is required to maintain immunity. If the period between vaccinations is more than 15 months , it is reccomended to have a repeat booster for leptospirosis after 3 weeks