Vaccinations and Examinations

Regular vaccinations and examinations will help keep your pet healthy and happy. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you of the frequency that your pet should be examined, but most recommend annual visits. This is because pets age an average of 7 times faster than humans and so by the time they reach 6/7 years old they are considered middle-aged. Larger breeds of dogs are often considered to be seniors by the time they reach 8.

Typical components of a wellness examination include:

  • Checking the central nervous center
  • Checking and cleaning the ears, treating if required
  • Checking joints and mobility
  • Checking skin and condition of coat
  • Checking urinary and reproductive systems
  • Dental examination
  • Eye examination
  • Listen to the heart
  • Listen to the lungs
  • Observation of alertness and response
  • Palpate the abdomen checking for painful areas and/or growths or tumors
  • Physical examination of the rest of the body for unusual lumps
  • Weight check
Other tests that your pet may be given include:

  • Heartworm testing (otherwise known as blood parasite screening)
  • Fecal testing. This allows the veterinarian to check for the presence of internal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.
  • Blood work. Blood tests screen for infection or disease that may not otherwise be detected through a physical examination. Blood work also allows a veterinarian a comprehensive assessment of your pets’ health.

Vaccinations

When to vaccinate?
Puppies and kittens are usually protected from infectious diseases by their mother’s milk provided she has been adequately vaccinated. However this protection only lasts for a short while.
  • Puppies should be vaccinated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks.
  • Kittens should be vaccinated at 8 and 12 weeks.
  • Boosters injections should be given 12 months after the date of the last vaccinations. After which time dogs and cats require booster vaccination every 3 years.
  • If you have an older pet then your veterinarian will be able to advise the correct vaccination protocol that you should follow.

Dogs
Dogs should be routinely vaccinated against:

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Infectious canine hepatitis
  • Parinfluenza
  • Rabies
  • Lymes and Leptospirosis vaccines are also available for dogs:

If your dog is going to be spending time in kennels then you should also inquire about getting them vaccinated against kennel cough. The Bordetella vaccine is usually given orally and protects against bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus.

Dogs should receive their first Rabies vaccine at 4 months of age and booster injections given 12 months after the date of the last vaccination. After which time dogs require booster vaccinations every 3 years.


Cats
Cats should be routinely vaccinated against:
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline herpes virus
  • Feline infectious enteritis
  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Rabies
(Current guidelines recommend that only ‘at risk’ cats are vaccinated against feline leukemia virus. Those deemed at risk include kittens and immune-compromised cats).

​Cats should receive their first Rabies vaccine at 4 months of age and booster injections given 12 months after the date of the last vaccination. After which time cats require booster vaccinations every 3 years.


If you are unsure about anything to do with pet vaccines, consult your veterinarian who will advise you on the best vaccination protocol to follow.