IMPORTANT, new vaccination information

6 years ago

Scott has recently attended a lecture by a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's vaccine advisory panel. Michael Day from Bristol University outlined the latest science behind vaccinations for dogs and cats.

This has lead to changes in the way were are going to recommend vaccinating your pets against distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus (dogs) and cat flu' and enteritis (cats).

The most important findings are that even if we extend puppy and kitten vaccinations until 16 weeks, there may be 8% of puppies and up to 33% of kittens that don't develop immunity once the vaccination is given. This is due to maternal antibodies derived from the first milk ingested, interfering with the vaccines given to some animals.

This leaves some animals without a protective immune response to disease until they get their first annual vaccination a year later. The solution for cats is to revaccinate at 6 months of age when we know that all maternal antibodies will have left the system. We can also revaccinate puppies at 6 months to achieve the same protective effects, or with puppies only, we have the ability to perform a test on a drop of blood to see if protective antibodies are present. Currently this test is not available for cats in NZ.

The result will be protection of the animals that may have missed becoming immune with their initial vaccinations. After this vaccination against the diseases listed above is generally only needed every 3 years.

Titre testing for protective antibodies can be done in dogs at an Annual Health Check to see whether a vaccine actually needs to be given.

We are happy to discuss this issue with you. If you require more information, please call the clinic.