Responsible pet care requires puppies and kittens to be taken to the vet for their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the whole of their lives. The immunity weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Should your pet become infected, treatment can require frequent visits to your vet and possibly hospitalisation. However, not all diseases can be cured and disability or death may result. The only practical means of protection is regular vaccination!
Puppies and kittens will be 'temporarily' protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother's milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first few months of a puppy/kitten's life, however, until they drop sufficiently they can neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccines is necessary.
We recommend an initial course of vaccinations with the first vaccination at 6-8 weeks of age, 2nd at 12-14 weeks old, 3rd at 16-18 weeks old. Thereafter, annual health checks and booster vaccinations will provide the best protection for the life of your pet. We routinely vaccinate dogs with C5 (puppies also have C2i) and cats/kittens with F5 vaccines.
After vaccination, your pet may be lethargic and off its food for a day or two, or have some slight swelling, tenderness or temporary itchiness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact the clinic for advice.
Avoid letting puppies near unvaccinated dogs until the vaccines are protective (usually 2 weeks after the second injection). Also avoid taking your puppy out of your yard until this time as unvaccinated dogs can leave viruses wherever they go, including streets and parks.
On the other hand, socialising young puppies with vaccinated dogs, cats, cars, adults and children is important but we suggest doing this at your home or only where unvaccinated dogs have not been. Similar advice applies to kittens so avoid contact with unvaccinated cats until 2 weeks after the second injection.