South Africa

Health Care

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Why vaccinate my pet?

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are special medications that have been designed to stimulate the body’s immune system so that it will produce the disease-fighting antibodies that are necessary to help protect it against diseases.

Why should I vaccinate my pet?

Dogs and cats must be vaccinated to help protect them from all the infectious and contagious diseases out there. When puppies and kittens are born, the mothers pass on some immunity to their young through the colostrum in their milk, but unfortunately, this protection is temporary and the best way to ensure long-term protection for your pet is to provide it in the form of vaccinations against all the common diseases.

What vaccinations are recommended for my pet?

You should talk to your vet about your pet’s lifestyle. Many factors affect your pet’s risk of exposure to disease and these include their contact with other animals, the time they spend travelling or boarding, and whether they live indoors or outdoors. Veterinarians typically recommend that your pet be protected against the most common diseases, or the ones that are most easily spread and can cause serious illness. They might also recommend additional vaccines based on your pet’s risk factors for other diseases.

How often do I need to vaccinate my pet to help protect it from disease?

Here are the vaccination guidelines prescribed by the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) for dogs (cats between brackets):

  • First vaccination at 8 to 9 (8) weeks*.
  • Second vaccination at 11 to 12 (12) weeks, which includes the first rabies vaccination.
  • Revaccinate at 14 to 16 (16) weeks, which includes the second rabies vaccination (revaccinate cats if they are in an environment with a high risk of infection, like a breeding cattery; else, give only the second rabies vaccination).
  • Revaccinate at 1 (1) year.
  • Revaccinate every 3 (3) years, including rabies.
The best protection and prevention against these infectious diseases in your pet is vaccination
  • Don’t allow your pet to get sick from a preventable disease .

  • Discuss any queries you may have with your veterinarian.
  • Ask your veterinarian about the risk of disease where you live.

 

* SAVA. Vaccination Guidelines – http://www.sava.co.za/2018/07/19/vaccination-guidelines/.

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