We strongly recommend you ensure your pet is fully vaccinated prior to any type of travel and it is compulsory for all pets to be fully vaccinated against certain diseases if they are going to be boarding at a kennel or cattery. Whilst it is not our policy to insist every pet is vaccinated for every disease, it is important the owner accepts their failure to vaccinate may put their pet at greater risk at all times, not just during transport or kennelling.
Because we move many animals that are vaccinated but do not have vaccination cards, such as greyhounds, farm dogs and working dogs, we do not demand to see the vaccination details for every pet. Additionally, many animals are known to be vaccinated but the card is no longer available.
It is important to note any animal, even vaccinated animals in our care, who have recently come into contact with a disease, may carry on or in their body that disease even though they themselves may not succumb to the disease and would be showing no signs or symptoms. There is no evidence unvaccinated animals are more likely to be carrying or pass on an illness but they are more likely to be able to contract those diseases for which they could otherwise have been vaccinated for. Whilst we make every endeavor to exclude sick animals, it is never possible for us to fully guarantee your pet will not come into contact with an animal that has or is carrying any illness. Likewise, we cannot guarantee your pet will not be walked in an area which has previously been used by an animal carrying any illness.
It is essential all pet owners notify us in the event their pet is showing signs of an illness, either before or immediately following a trip, and all animals that are symptomatic for any contagious disease, must have their trip postponed until appropriate measures have been taken. For the good of all animals, we rely very heavily upon the owners of the pets we move to be honest regarding their pets health. In the event we accept an animal on board and subsequently find it has a condition which would have excluded it from travel at that time, we will deliver it to a vet for appropriate treatment at the owners cost. Such cost will usually entail boarding until we are next in the same area to collect the pet and can be quite expensive. If you are unsure about whether you pet should travel or not, please contact us to discuss as it will always be cheaper for you to deal with the issue at home, using your own vet, rather than for us to deal with the issue in another location.
Puppies & Kittens
The advise for young animals is exactly the same. We strongly recommend you ensure your pet is fully vaccinated prior to any type of travel. Plus, we strongly recommend young animals should not be transported from the breeder within 10 days of having had their first vaccinations.
However, as most Breeders and new owners prefer to transport puppies and kittens at around 8 weeks of age, it is not possible for them to be fully vaccinated. In this instance, there will always be an additional risk of a young animal contracting a disease with all forms of travel, including if you go and collect it yourself, because it will encounter new environments, other people and animals that may have come into contact with a micro organism that are still on their body. It would be wrong, however, to suggest this risk is larger than it is and it is possible to reduce such a risk with some basic precautions.
Of greatest concern to us, is the period of time directly after a young animal has received its first vaccinations. Whilst the incidence of reactions to vaccinations itself is not high, we have found there is a higher incidence of animals falling ill from a range of diseases in the 10 days after. This is probably due to additional stress upon their immune system, and additionally, there is some evidence animals that were not themselves fully healthy at the time of receiving a vaccination, may be more likely to be able to transfer the disease they have been vaccinated against to other animals.
As with the advice above for adult animals, it is essential all Breeders and Pet owners notify us in the event their pet is showing signs of any illness, either before or immediately following a trip, and all animals that are symptomatic for any contagious disease, must have their trip postponed until appropriate measures have been taken.
In the event you are aware your new pup or kitten has had a health issue but your breeder is unwilling to keep it for another 2 weeks until it has fully recovered, I would suggest you consider terminating the contract and seek another breeder. It is important to note that the breeder does have ongoing responsibilities with respect to the health of your new pet under consumer law and such obligations do require the breeder ensures the animal is in a fit state to travel and this obligation does not stop at a “vet check” when they are being vaccinated.
We do take the health of all animals in our care very seriously and endeavour to always have appropriate controls in place to stop or minimise the spread of any disease. We believe the incidence of pets contracting an illness during, or around the time of travel with us, is very low and is likely no higher than the normal everyday risk for animals in contact with other animals. However, we are not in a position to take responsibility for animals that may contract a disease in a manner outside of our control, which would otherwise be considered a normal risk for any pet in the given circumstances.
If you are uncertain about any of the above, please contact us directly to discuss your concerns or to arrange any specific requirements that may be required for your pet.
Further Information about Vaccines
The core vaccines vets recommend for all Australian dogs are:
Additionally, vets recommend that any dog who meets other dogs is also vaccinated against:
Parainfluenza virus (a canine cough)
Bordetella bronchiseptica (a canine cough)
The addition of these non-core vaccines to the core vaccines is called a C5 vaccination.
All dog owners should be aware of the signs of parvo, distemper, hepatitis and kennel cough.
The other dog vaccines available in Australia are only needed in specific situations:
Coronavirus vaccination is poorly studied and probably only of use to breeders
Leptospira vaccination is only needed in parts of northern Australia
Rabies vaccination is only necessary as a part of export to certain countries
Tetanus vaccination is only needed in certain rural situations.
We recommend that you discuss your vaccination options with your Veterinary specialist.
New Reduced Vaccine Schedules
For more than 20 years the routine vaccination for most dogs in Australia has been the ubiquitous “C5” – a single injection delivering vaccine designed to protect against Distemper, Canine Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Parvovirus, Parainflueneza and Bordetella.
This type of vaccine had to be delivered three times to puppies, ideally at 6, 12 and 16 weeks of age and is believed to be very effective. Some vets still use and recommend this type of vaccine and this recommended schedule.
However, In the past few years vaccines have been developed which enable an “early finish” to puppy vaccinations – initially at 12 weeks of age, and more recently at 10 weeks of age. These vaccines protect puppies from an earlier age, reducing the risk of the fatal “parvovirus”, and enabling puppies to get out and socialise earlier. This may improves their confidence and reduce the likelihood of them developing some anxiety or aggression problems.
A further benefit to owners is a reduction from three to two puppy vaccinations, reducing the costs of those early months of puppy ownership.
These vaccines also offer benefits to adult dogs in that they are registered to protect adults from Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus for three years, instead of the usual one-year. This is very worthwhile because the risk of side effects after vaccination is proportional to the number of ingredients in the vaccine – the new regime uses only two (instead of five) components for two years out of three. It is no “stronger” or dangerous than the older C5 vaccine, and reduces the risks of complications by reducing the number of vaccines received over the years.
We recommend that you ask your Veterinary Specialist about newer vaccines that may reduce the total number of vaccines your pet may need.