Q & A: One vaccination?

Q: My puppy has had one vaccination, so surely he is now protected?

A: False! A puppy or kitten requires a number of booster vaccinations, starting from six weeks in puppies and eight weeks in kittens. The boosters should be given strictly one month apart – please do not wait longer. Your pets are not fully protected from getting ill from contagious diseases until they have had all of the boosters. Depending on the immunity of the mother, the puppy or kitten will have what we call maternal antibodies in their system. These protect the young animal against the very serious conditions we vaccinate against for the first few months of life, but then start to wane and leave the puppy or kitten vulnerable. By giving booster vaccinations, we ensure that the vaccine will kick in once the maternal immunity has stopped working. Many of the diseases we vaccinate against are life-threatening and very common in South Africa. It is not worth the risk of not making sure your animal is properly protected.

Dr Le-Anne Kleynhans, veterinarian

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