Savvy Vaccination

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The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) updated its policy on vaccination of dogs and cats in June 2009, which has since been re-ratified as a position statement. It reflects the latest scientific literature recommending less frequent vaccination for adult cats and dogs, and that pet owners need to discuss with their veterinarian the best option for their individual pet. Vaccination is no longer a simple one-size-fits-all proposition.The policy states that once puppies and kittens have received a full course of vaccines, they may only require triennial vaccination for core diseases.For dogs the core vaccines are parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis, and for cats they are feline panleucopaenia/enteritis, feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus.All puppies and kittens need a series of vaccinations against three global disease threats – distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus for dogs and parvovirus, calicivirus and herpesvirus for cats. Usually the series concludes with a booster twelve months after the final vaccination.

After that, dogs and many cats may only need vaccinations for these diseases every three years or more.