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Find out about vaccinating your pet

Every pet needs its vaccinations. At Ark Vetcare we firmly believe that prevention is better than the cure. We all know that dogs and cats like to get out to play around outside, but in doing so they can pick up all sorts of viruses and bacteria causing them harm. Even if you’re out at one your favourite walking spots, maybe Killiney Hill or Deer Park, if your puppy isn’t vaccinated it may become infected and we don’t want that.

Responsible pet owners always vaccinate their pets to protect them and help protect other animals in their local community by stopping infectious diseases spreading.

We understand that for many new pet owners this might be a bit confusing, so let us tell you a little more about vaccinations, why they are so important and what is involved for you furry friend.

What are Pet Vaccinations?

Vaccines are medical products that have been carefully designed to trigger protective immune responses in your pet and help get its immune system ready to tackle future infections that make our pets sick.

When a healthy pet is vaccinated it stimulates the production of antibodies that identify and fight diseases as they enter the body. Vaccines help to protect your pet and provide immunity against a variety of nasty diseases.

Why Should I Vaccinate My Pet?

Pet vaccination has long been a very effective way to reduce diseases in pets and is a key tool in maintaining their health, so they can live happily as part of your family for years. The animal vaccines available today represent years of specialist innovative research. Their widespread use over the last 100 years has prevented the death of countless animals.

The bottom line is that vaccines are a necessity in protecting your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and also help improve the over quality of your pet’s life.

Are There Any Risks to Vaccinating My Pet?

With any medical procedure there is an element of risk, however, the risks associated with vaccinations are very low and the benefits certainly outweigh any minor side effects. The majority of pets respond exceptionally well to vaccinations.

The side effects, if any, are mild and remain for only a short period of time and more serious reactions rarely occur. Advancements in vaccinations in recent years have greatly reduced the chances of any serious issues arising.

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Dog Vaccinations

The core dog vaccines protect against the following viruses:

  • Canine Parvovirus (CPV)
  • Canine Leptospirosis
  • Canine Cough
  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPi)

Canine Parvovirus (CPV)

This potentially fatal virus attacks the intestines of your dog and is contracted by coming into contact with vomit or faeces of an infected dog or fox.

Given the prevalence of foxes in Dublin it is extremely important to protect against Canine Parvovirus given the seriousness of the diseases, and all good vets in Dublin highly recommend it. Over half of unvaccinated dogs who contract CPV will unfortunately die.

Canine Leptospirosis

In human terms, Leptospirosis is Wheels disease and a very dangerous infection. It is shed in rat’s urine and the bacteria can survive in the environment of mud and puddles for several days. We know our canine companions love to have a jump in the muck and take a drink from puddles when they think we’re not looking, so your favourite local walks do pose a serious threat to your furry friend.

The increased construction activity taking place around us at the moment sees more rats on the move, so we need to pay particular attention to this disease.

Canine Cough

Canine Cough, also known as kennel cough, is another infectious disease that we protect your dog against. Vets no longer refer to this disease as kennel cough because we see it regularly in areas where there’s a high concentration of dogs playing and mixing. High contraction zones would include all the great local dog-friendly spots like Deer Park, Cabinteely Park, Killiney Hill, Shanganagh Park etc.

If you want to keep your dog safe while they are playing with other dogs, the correct vaccination for Canine Cough is needed.

Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPi)

These are less common but your vet in Dublin will still recommend you get cover for your dog and we include vaccination cover for all our friendly dog visitors. Thankfully, Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Parainfluenza Virus have become less of a problem due to the progress of successful vaccination practices and are now almost eradicated.

However, an attempt to reduce vaccinations in Finland about a decade ago saw a re-emergence therefore we still advice our dog owners of its importance.

Our vets view vaccinations as a great time to do a check on your dog’s health and to create a bond both with your pet and you, the pet owner.

Whilst each visit to your vet might only be 1 year for you it is 7 years in your dog’s life and a lot can happen to the little fellow during that time. Our team of vets will also check if worming and parasite protection is correct and advise you on the best course of action and help you put a plan in place if necessary.

Cat Vaccinations

Traditionally there are two main diseases in cats to vaccinate against:

  • Cat Flu – Herpes and Feline Calicivirus (FCV)
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

Cat Flu – Herpes and Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

These are both respiratory infections and when severe can be fatal, so we advise all cat owners to make sure their cat has a vaccination against FCV.

Less commonly, young kittens can be susceptible to feline panleukopenia virus. Protection against this is included as standard in our vaccines.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

Feline Leukemia Virus is a fatal blood-born virus that is more prevalent in suburban areas. There is generally a reservoir of infection within local wild cats and transmission can often occur during fighting.

Although not as common as the flu, we strongly recommend this vaccine as FeLV is a fatal disease.

If you are using a cat or dog home for a short time your pet's vaccines will need to be up to date and any reputable cattery or kennel will look for this information.

If you plan to use the cattery at Ark Vetcare please contact us to book early as we tend to be very busy.

Puppy and Kitten Vaccinations

When you first take home your new puppy or new kitten they may have already received some vaccinations and it is important to discuss a plan with your vet. Very young and small animals are in danger of catching infectious diseases because their immune system is still developing. It is important to keep them indoors and away from other more mature adults until fully vaccinated.

Puppies and Kittens require a series of vaccinations to help them grow up big, strong and healthy. The first round of injections helps to prime your new puppy or kitten against diseases and follow ups help to stimulate the defensive antibodies, further protecting your new family member.

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